Monday, 10 March 2014


February is supposed to be the month of romance, what with Valentine's Day appearing like clockwork on the 14th. So for this month, I decided to work on some studies of buds and emerging blooms, using passionate pinks, purples and reds.

The emergence of spring.
watercolour, pen and ink.

It has been lovely to see the camellias, early irises, hellebores and bergenias coming into bud and bloom in the garden, despite the recent shocking weather. Nature is wonderful how it just does it's own thing regardless. Starting with the typography, I mixed a rich pink using Perylene Maroon and Permanent Rose with a touch of Carmine and carefully painted the opening title.  Choosing some deliciously plump buds from a Camellia Anticipation from the garden, I kept the little study quite simple with just one prominent leaf. The acidy greens of the buds looked so pretty against the emerging pink of the petals and the rich green of the leaf. It all came together really nicely. To offset all the pink and not to go too overboard with it, I added a purple blue bud of iris reticulata.

In the garden...

Hellebores under an old tree

And more Hellebores, creating a satisfying clump.

Bergenia or 'Elephant's Ears'.
These just 'popped up'. 

Garrya elliptica 'James Roof' 

Last year, I discovered the joys of Garrya elliptica 'James Roof'. Having never seen this unusual plant before, I was quite taken by the long dangling tassels that are actually the flowers. The Garrya is an evergreen shrub with the most gorgeous, large glossy green leaves. initially, I used a sprig (or should that be small branch) of this new delight in a mixed study last year, and having come by another piece (pinched from over the hedge up the road) it had to be done again. This time I used some pen work too, just to give the piece more a sketchbook feel.      

Just for a personal touch, I also added a couple of little studies I completed a few years ago.

Snow on a frozen pond,
and cloudspotting


  1. Lovely blog Sarah. There is a lovely freshness to your painting, a clarity, that I'm beginning to recognize in your style.

  2. This is lovely Jarnie. Our styles are all so different and everybody's contributions are going to make these sketchbooks such treasure. You have such a delicacy in your painting - really looking forward to seeing this later in the week!