Monday, May 26, 2014

Chelsea Flower Show

I went up to the Chelsea Flower Show on Saturday with Ruth, the last day of the show and the sell off.
We had sun and thunder storms but the day ended in sunshine which meant I could dry off. The gardens in general seem to continue the theme of previous years with soft and meadow style planting, lots of foxgloves, geums, iris, poppies, grasses and aquilegia. The colours over the last few years have also been primarily whites, blues and purples.

Chelsea Show website here.

We started with the Artisan Gardens, which I often prefer in their overall design to the larger show gardens.

This year  Winning Best Artisan Garden was Ishihara Kazuyuki's  A Paradise on Earth, which was also awarded a Gold medal.  A stunningly beautiful garden from all angles, with cushions of moss, Acers, water and water wheel.

  The Dail a Flight Potters Garden also won a gold medal and was designed by Nature Redesigned. It recalls a potters garden left for the war in 1914 I really liked the planting, the old workshop and bottle kiln and went back to buy some plants at the sell off.

The Viking Cruises Viking Garden designed by Sadie May Stowel had a structure based on the prow of a Viking ship and stepping stones with runic style inscriptions. In common with a lot of gardens again this year, the planting was soft in whites, blues and purples.

Other gardens I photographed include the Homebase Garden Time to Reflect in association with the Alzheimer's society

Le Tour de Yorkshire, designed by Alastair W Baldwin had an elliptical bowl of water in black with stone work, granite and boulders

The Topiarist Garden, designed by Marylyn Abbott  had ribbons of white foxgloves in among a number of topiary bushes and a weathered brick building at the back.

The Cloudy Bay Garden designed by     Wilson Mc William Studio used charred oak, limestone and coppiced Hazel and soft planting.  I liked

The Laurent Perrier Garden, designed by   Luciano Giubbilie  won a gold medal and Best in Show

I always enjoy the concentrated atmosphere of Chelsea, the perfumes and the colours of many gardens and flowers  in a small corner of London. The grounds themselves too seem better and better each year with shrubs and trees worthy of Chelsea gardens.
Bright green parakeets fly over the gardens squawking non stop which I still find a novelty. It did seem like the grounds were even busier than I remembered, but the crowds are friendly, which I attribute to the influence of the gardens.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Colours of the Sea work in progress

I've been working on my ideas for a project on the colours of the sea.  I am using photography and painting at the moment, but will probably include other media as well.

These are some new watercolours on small pieces of paper, I'm building up the layers on them. Others may stay with just a transparent wash.

Experimenting with how to mount them, I tried some smaller paintings on a black canvas, which I quite like.
This one is destined for a birthday present.

I could also mount more of the pictures together. I will continue to experiment over the next week or so.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Windmill making with artist Carlos Cortes

I spent an enjoyable afternoon in Margate's Adult Ed Centre making sections of a windmill with Carlos Cortes.

The building we were in used to be an Art College and the workshop space is one of the old drawing studios.  Carlos helped by Turner Contemporary staff had us covering long poles with coloured materials, constructing the paddles for the windmills and decorating them.

Carlos Cortes, his website here  has been holding workshops with more to come building a collection of windmills that will be installed on the 24th May on the main sands are of the beach.  He was an enthusiastic workshop leader and I liked his commitment to community involvement in his artistic life.  Carlos had been carefully finding branches to reuse from the woods near him which is something I would have been doing too.

This installation, Moving with the Wind    website here   forms part of the opening day of Turner Contemporary's Summer of Colour. There will be performances of dance and music on the beach too. I like to think families will go along with tradition windmills in their hands or on top of sandcastles.
Website for all the Summer of Colour events  here

My contributions to the windmills had a touch of Mondrian and Matisse going on. I am looking forward to some of the events planned and the next exhibition Mondrian and Colour which starts on the 24th of May.