two sessions of poppies

I gave two of my most recent poppies to friends from Denmark, they chose them from a range of things - which felt lovely. I got inspired to paint some more, because they are such amazing blooms. Mine have just finished, and it will be a few weeks till the oriental versions bloom.... I was missing the blousey blooms!

The top row were done a couple of days ago, the bottom row today. They might not be finished... I have been doing some research ie. looked at photographs of poppies that I'd downloaded from the internet earlier. If I don't "touch base" with the real flowers, and the way they are put together, the shapes and colours, my paintings become imaginative rather than convincing. There's a lot of simplification and exaggeration involved, but I want there to be some botanical reality too...

Today it has rained solidly for hours, the garden should be fresh and clean by morning and we are expecting a week of fine, warm, roof-laying weather. I have lupins to hack down before the glorious season of the firing seeds begins, and I have my eye on dozens of sapling rowans and birches that seem to think they should grow around the edges of our garden. That's a constant job, otherwise we would literally be living in the middle of a forest.

We popped into town to deliver some birthday presents, three of the children we know and love have birthdays one after another, our God-daughter Mira's was today. There was cake!

Called in on the Tai Chi group that begins this evening, to say hello to some familiar faces from previous courses, and to meet the new people. A good soup (Annika's best) and lovely lovely bread (Lasse's best sourdough), and good conversations were had. They trooped up the stairs to begin their course and we drove home to have an early night.

My favourite of the 6 pictures is (of course) the tatty looking one in the middle. The rest were painted on exclusive Chinese paper, that was done on some kitchen roll just to clean the brushes! I could have a go at mounting it to give it more stability, but it will yellow and change whatever I do with it - it's only a bit of kitchen roll after all!

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