july flowerings

even the beach is flowering this month, with sea rocket coming up in the sand

on the dunes there is an almost machair type of flowering grassland

northern marsh orchids are fading a bit now

this amazingly bright pink little flower is common centaury. its yellow petal tube extends beyond the pink sepals.

common spotted orchids are out too.

this looks like some kind of pea, I would love to say the rather rare sea pea, as that does grow on this coast, but I think it’s more likely common restharrow, as its leaves (or leaf-like stipules) seem to be sticky-hairy and toothed.

Ariadne has a new shelter, made with various washed up items

the old one collapsed

and she has lost her string

so many wanderings under these clouds

the wave rivulets and impressions


pools and then we found a lochan yesterday, inland

in Perthshire, near Blairgowrie

its yellow waterlilies just coming into flower.

we walked at Drimmie Wood

in towering plantations of larch, sitka spruce, and douglas

found a tiny brown toadlet hopping on the path

the bark of douglas fir catching my eye

in this glade there were more flowers, ragged robin

more than I’d ever seen before

and forests of neon green moss alongside the path

and bell heather coming into flower.

we passed through deciduous plantings and pasture – sadly these ash trees are losing the battle with die back. I wonder if they are some of the imports that brought it here.

rowans covered in thick lichen growth

grey willows and goat willows

northern marsh orchids here too


fox and cubs in the lane

many of the tracks are old drove roads, where cattle rustling was rife

small hamlets and farmsteads dotted around

Fergus is a Pictish placename, as is Angus. we were only just into Perthshire, having driven through Coupar Angus.

this old grey willow

how would Chuta Kimura paint this place?

I made a good start last week

but wavered

and the colours were too bright

the struggle was painful

it got worse, colours that were like scraping your nails down a blackboard. But as David Bowie said, “If you feel safe in the area you are working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the water than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

Mostly I feel out of my depth at some point when painting, some paintings more than others. after two unhappy days I got a grip on myself. I got it down from the wall, leant it against the drawing chest in my studio and wrote on it with wet paint and made that run with a spritz from my sprayer. then I got my water-soluble graphite stick out and drew on it. then I went indoors and had several cups of tea to let things dry.

back out there again and opened a tub of Golden acrylic, pale flesh coloured and used a biggish brush on the acid green, blue and yellow, but that was still streaky, so I used the kitchen spatula – it worked really well, lovely soft marks that pulled up some of the graphite, and skated over the bright colours.

used some dark brown and some rusty gingery translucent red oxide

a softer yellow … and now I am happy with it.

it wouldn’t work in the same way if it didn’t have all the other colours lurking underneath.

my own July flower – Bestow/becoming. 120 x 100 x 4 cm.





  1. Another glorious gathering of your countryside walks and all the names of the trees and the wildflowers – quite a nature lesson every time, as well as a brilliant learning curve re how you paint – fascinating and wonderful always!

    1. thanks Trish! yes, it’s a nature lesson for me. Likely I wouldn’t look them up if I wasn’t going to write about them …

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.