It's that time of year, when our thoughts turn to remembering all those people who have been caught up in war. Those in the past and unfortunately those who today find themselves caught up in the horror of war.
Today I met up with a good friend, for a coffee and a chat, we sat silently at 11 o'clock , in Crediton town square, thankful we live in a peaceful place, in a beautiful part of the world. We gave silent thanks to anyone who had fough to make our world a better place.
You would think that we humans, with all our brain power, might have found other ways to resolve our differences, but sadly no. There are many people suffering in conflicts all over the world.
I am of the generation who watched a BBC comedy programme called Blackadder, and the last series was set in the trenches of WW1. Not many laughs , you would think, but they managed to make it funny as well as poignant. The last clip shows the fields of Flanders , turn from the horror of the battlefield to be covered in red poppies. It always makes me stop, pause, and think.....
My very small contribution is to paint at least one poppy each year, but I usually paint quite a few more. This is a simple , single poppy.
First I sketch out the flower
Then I spray the paper with water and add some yellows and reds around so that when the painting is finished it looks like some of the flower is merging into the background. I love watercolour for it's ability to do this.
Then leave everything to dry
Now to start on the petals. I use Indian yellow, cadmium orange, cadmium red and scarlet. I also use the white of the paper as the highlight.
Wet the whole petal and start with the lightest colour first, carefully getting darker, really look where the dark tones are.
Then simply move around the flower
Until all the petals are done, I have let some of the lower petals bleed out onto the paper too. Try to be in control of the water , but let the paint do it's own thing. Tricky ( I know!)
Then leave to dry and paint in the center, Add your darkest darks here.
Finally I add the stem, and a few splatters of gold ink, and my poppy is painted for another year x