Finishing line in sight?

I think I’m approaching the finishing line with the Hellebore picture. I have decided to put it aside again for a few days then look at it with fresh eyes. It is surprising how effective this is – you get a better idea of how well a composition works, or if adjustments need to be made. I suspect I will end up increasing the density with extra layers of pigment in places, and having looked at the living plant again recently I think more red in the stem would be both botanically accurate and would help compliment the greens. As you can see – I decided to end the stem, but with a graceful curve, rather than add roots. Still undecided about adding extra flowers..

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Planning my next piece too. My SBA Diploma botanical study – Massonia longipes – seemed to be very popular as well as being fun to draw. I have an ambition to create a series using the rest of the genus. Thankfully longipes is probably the most complex species to draw, owing to both size and the pustulate leaves. M. depressa and M. bifolia are bigger but have smooth leaves, which might be less fiddly! Next in flower, though, will be M. amoena (see the photo gallery) which should not be too difficult either – I hope.

With regards the newly added photo gallery: The current pictures are of assorted South African bulbs, which are a particular interest of mine. I’ve been accumulating images since I started doing the occasional lecture on the subject. I no longer do the lectures but have a lot of digital images being otherwise unused.

My wife and I had a lovely day on Sunday at Abi & Tom’s Garden Plants garden party/open day. Both of us were helping out behind the scenes, my wife Susan dividing and repotting Centaurea and me potting on Teucriums and Nepeta from plugs into bigger pots for sale next year. It was nice to chat with some visitors and the other volunteers about botanical art too!

The chilli beer Nick brought from the nearby chilli fest at Holker Hall was, erm, interesting…. But I’m never going to let beer go to waste so finished my share but was glad I had ice cream in the other hand. Coincidentally a friend at work told me about the same beer the next day as she had tried it too and was similarly unimpressed. I’ll stick to Wainwright or (new favourite) Spitfire I think.

The garden and greenhouse have had only fleeting visits but I hope to make up for it over the next few weekends.