Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A fishy tale

A few months ago I was sheltering from the cold and rain in the Brighton Sausage Co. shop. 
What I needed there and then was one of their famous hot sausage rolls. 
What I didn’t need was a can of cold soup. 

But scanning the shelves, this Soupe de Poissons tin caught my eye. 
Classic French typography, jolly colours and some disconsolate fish swimming around in a large citrine tureen. 

I recalled a quip from my local scrap metal merchant... 

“If I only sold people fings they need, I’d go broke.” 

....so I put the fish soup in my basket along with my hot sausage roll.

I was back at the scrap merchant's this week. 
I found a battered ex-army jug and an aluminum jelly mold. 

I didn’t need them, and my £3 will hardly make the proprietor wealthy, but my purchase might well be invaluable for my next painting.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Almost caught out….

Last spring, after much umming and ahing, I replaced some disintegrating willow hurdles with a Rosa rugosa hedge. It backs the mixed border that edges the front path. I wanted something that would provide a long season of interest, plus a harvest (rose-hip syrup) and be beautiful to paint. Who says I’m demanding!

Kept in check, it should provide me with dense glossy foliage from spring to autumn, floppy magenta blooms all summer and corpulent orange hips in the autumn.
And... the old hurdles will make nice dry for kindling for the woodburner!

Having planted the thorny twigs with plenty of compost I kept my fingers firmly crossed. 
As self elected ‘bud monitor’ I watched closely for the first signs of life. Sure enough, over the next few weeks, ruby red swellings erupted into fresh green foliage. And all summer I have enjoyed vibrant splashes of pink followed by those unbelievably glossy hips. Perfect!

Only I never quite got around to painting the wretched things. Until last week. I picked what is probably the last flower of the season, wet my brushes, made a nice cup of hot tea, and settled down at my desk

Monday, September 7, 2015

It's that time of year again..

"A cucumber should be well sliced, and dressed with pepper and vinegar, and then thrown out, as good for nothing" 
Samuel Johnson

Funny, I really have just thrown out a jar of vintage 2013 pickled cucumber that I found languishing at the back of the larder. 
I have also found seven cucumbers partying in the bottom of my fridge. 
Armed with this nifty recipe I illustrated for Waitrose Kitchen recently...
I'm about to spoil their fun!