Tag Archives: rhubarb

Survival Kicking In

27 Mar

IMG_20200327_123836_262

I seem to have gone into some weird default setting, a deep seated survival instinct. I’ve been wondering why I’m finding it so hard to do any art at the moment – surely the greatest crisis within living memory would kickstart some creative ideas? But no. Instead I’m digging my allotment, planting seeds, picking crops, cooking, preserving, using up leftovers, recycling, storing.

Art is a higher function. Food is a basic need. Something deep seated has been triggered and the energy I would normally be putting into my studio is now going into my kitchen and allotment. Today I bottled some rhubarb and made rhubarb cordial. We’ve got a glut of rhubarb this year. Normally I’d be making crumble and upside down cake with it but Husb has decided to give up sweet things for a while because he thinks he’s putting on weight and I can’t take cakes around to friends and relatives because we’re on lockdown. There’s loads more in the ground ….. tomorrow I’m going to make rhubarb gin.

Growing and Baking

26 Mar

amelanchier

Husb and I are taking advantage of the enforced national lockdown to spend time on our allotment – it’s one of the few places that has been sanctioned. It’s great, we can drive there and avoid people and it’s so huge that it’s easy to remain isolated. We’re practicing the enhanced hygeine and getting so much work done, getting crops ready for the coming months.

The allotment is on an old site at the top of a hill behind a Norman castle, with woodland bordering the site along two sides so it’s a bit dark at the top and bottom ends, but it’s worth it because the place is so idyllic.

We have some crops ready to pick – rhubarb and wild garlic, Ramsons, that’s self seeded onto the plot from the woods. Sorrel is nearly ready too. I’ve been digging over some of the beds and preparing for beans and leeks while Husb has been doing maintenance to the shed and raised beds – and clearing out a rat infestation in the shed!

scones

We were home by lunchtime and I carried on with some work from our home office while Husb made cheese scones. They’re lovely.

Plants from the top: Amelanchier lamarckii, or snowy mespilus; a Mirabelle plum in the foreground of the photo of the allotment; rhubarb; loganberry flowers just budding; plum in full flower.

 

Rhubarb And Beansprouts

24 Mar

Today started weirdly. I’ve been pretty gung-ho about the coronavirus so far but when I got up this morning (I didn’t want to get up) I stayed in my pyjamas for ages and comfort ate from a huge bag of salt and vinegar crisps. But then I pulled myself out of it and got stuck into sorting out the garden – it needed a good clear up after the winter. I picked a tidy crop of rhubarb as well – haven’t decided what to do with it yet – crumble, chutney, bottled and gin are the options.

rhubarb

I also started off some beansprouts. I had a box in the pantry that I’d forgotten about. They’re a quick crop, 3 – 5 days and there should be a decent amount and they’re really nutritious. I’m still finding it hard to get motivated to make art, but there’s plenty to do in the house and garden which seems more appropriate for the times really.

 

Rhubarb!

2 Mar

17-rhubarb

I picked the first rhubarb of the season yesterday. It’s the earliest I’ve ever picked it, it’s out in the open garden, I don’t force my rhubarb to bring it on early. I guess it’s the relatively warm and wet winter we’ve had.

rhubarb

I did a drawing eight years ago just as the rhubarb was starting to come through the ground – it’s almost three weeks later than the thick robust stems I picked over the weekend.

rhubarb-crumble

 

Then I made a crumble. Husb had it with lashings of custard. I don’t eat rhubarb. It has it’s original ancient medicinal effect on me – a laxative!

A Walk On The Beach

16 Apr

Swansea Bay Tower 2

Went for a walk on the beach, Swansea Bay, earlier today. Husb took off to do a run and I sat and scribbled into my A4 brown paper sketchbook from Seawhite’s of Brighton. I used black, sanguine and white conté crayons. Swansea Bay Tower

There isn’t a huge amount to draw on the beach and I’ve found that intimidating in the past, but many artists have made pictures from very little subject matter by concentrating on the atmosphere or their feelings for what’s in front of them, so that’s what I tried to do this evening.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Baseball Bat And Chips

15 Apr

Carn Eiddil

Husb and I took a road trip up some of the South Wales valleys today, calling in at the new Studio 18 gallery in Pontycymer owned by artist Kevin Sinnott, a fabulous artspace filled with gorgeous art; paintings, etchings, drawings, well worth a visit. Then over the mountain to The Workers Gallery in Ynyshir to catch the end of the current show from the gallery artists and guest sculptor Tobbe Malm from Norway. Always a great show on there. On the way home we called into a chippie in Ferndale for the best pie and chips and the chippie owner keeps a baseball bat behind the counter. My sort of place, totally! Then we drove up over the mountains , stopping at Carn Eiddil for a quick scribble up the valley before coming home.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

In Praise Of Rhubarb

13 Apr

17-rhubarb

It’s rhubarb season and I made the first rhubarb crumble of the year a few days ago. It’s Husb’s favourite crumble and didn’t last long. It’s been around in Europe since the 14th century and it’s popular in gardens and allotments as well as being grown commercially where it’s often forced, especially in the Rhubarb Triangle and gathered by candlelight in the dark sheds. Rhubarb root can be made into a dye similar to walnut ink. I’ll have to give it a go! I did this drawing in a small sketchbook some time ago, using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and a block of graphite.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Drawing In The Dark

11 Apr

cinema

Just back from the cinema with Husb, we went to see Their Finest, a lovey film, funny, warm and you’ll need a hankie. I had a scribble, of course, but in the dark. I could make out shapes of heads but couldn’t see the sketchbook. Frustrating.It’s good practice though, even if the result looks like a spider had done the Charleston all over it with inky feet.

 

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

But Is It Art?

10 Apr

But is it art? No, it’s  rhubarb crumble.

rhubarb crumble

I just made it. I picked the rhubarb yesterday in the garden. Husb says it’s a thing of beauty. Then he ate it. With lashings of custard. Then he had seconds. Didn’t last long.

 

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Rhubarb!

17 Feb

17 rhubarb

My brain’s back! My body works! 4 weeks to the day since I went down with the dreaded lurgi I finally feel well again. Today was lovely and sunny, though cold, so we went down to the allotment, our first visit since November, the weather’s been  too awful to do much. We dug up a load of leeks and picked a winter salad of spinach, mooli radish and wild garlic. Leek and potato soup and salad for tea.  The rhubarb is already poking through the ground. Here’s a drawing I did of it this time last year, using Faber Castell Pitt drawing pens and graphite block.

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