I enjoyed Open Studios – I have a tidy-ish garden, the office turned into a decent space – and I had reasonable amount of visitors and sales – well actually sales were just as good as at Hatfield Art in Clay, even the second time I did it which seemed like a roaring success – without the cost and effort.

I have left most of the pots out, they suit the garden and the garden suits them.

my vegetable plots are being undermined by a mole – I thought I had sorted moles out with my underground wine bottles – but it seems I’ll have to get the pest man in.

the difficult thing is to get myself back into the swing of making. it seems I am either loafing around, writing, gardening, messing about with the dog

or over-producing, whether painting or making pots.

so this has been made into my painting space, mostly, though there is still some knit and office stuff going on

and I am just putting off touching that canvas, but the idea is to paint the plants of cake’s lane and all the wild parts of walks in the jug, a flower painting, of sorts

though the hogweed is most unhappy and one of the docks fainted too. however the intention is to make it quite abstract. you can see the office stuff going on behind … the imac is back, and some parcelling up going on …

having not been at all inspired by the rush of green growth,

I took Bimba round the Hard Farm paths and suddenly realised that the way to approach it is close up, texture and thick paint,

a bit Joan Eardley

however the heat is making me opt for indoors and the computer, as you can see ….

but I have lots of lovely summer photos of the sorts of things I want to paint.

walking with La B has been interesting, getting calmer,

we are getting to know each other

she likes to stop and sniff a lot, which means that I have to stop too, no way can she be off the lead.

but I am getting new angles

catching more details (a speckled wood butterfly)

feeling more like translating these field textures into paint textures.

the hot weather means the house is open to the garden

she is more relaxed, has learnt to cope with the stairs (she thinks my bed the best place in the house but as she’s still very puppy and likes chewing things I certainly don’t leave her upstairs on her own, and she’s quite happy in her own bed in the kitchen at night)

she’s worn a racetrack through the long meadow grass

and likes to play football by herself with a tennis ball.

the roses are over more or less, early; they started very early, except for the rambling rector which has made the plum tree and part of the sycamore above it white as with a fall of snow.

there are humming bee hawk moths around (see, rather blurred, above, on the valerian), but no swifts nesting – occasionally some screaming parties fly over but they are from the farm, ditto swallows.

 

this morning we paused on the path next to Bullfer Grove, on the bank under the big oak trees and I recorded this – thrush, chaffinch and crow. 8.30 am June 18th summer wood birdsong

such a short season before the birds stop singing and everything starts to be a little dull and over-ripe.