Sunday, 11 March 2012

A sea of crocuses

Opposite Cadbury World in the pretty village of Bournville is a beautiful park. I went for a walk there last weekend and saw a sea of crocuses, worthy of a Wordsworth poem.

We have a little cluster by a tree in the garden, which are beautiful close up, but not quite so impressive at a distance!

Daffodils, continued

I'm snowed under with coursework and work for an event (details in due course), but here is my daffodil textured cushion, after I had added the spray of flowers on top. It had been in the fridge at college for a week, so the foliage and daffodils were not in peak condition, but I think the pink ranunculus and tiny narcissi work well. I could have used more ranunculus though, to push through the bright yellow.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Braving the elements

We’ve had a couple of mammoth coursework assignments recently, including one on the elements and principles of floral design. For this, we needed to do five drawings or paintings, using different art materials, to represent each of the five elements: colour, form, line, texture and space. I’m satisfied with my drawing for texture and my painting for form, which (I hope) show the respective elements effectively, but are pretty mediocre. However, I’m happier with my drawings for line and space and my painting for colour. The first one is a bit out of proportion – which is often a problem for me, as I’m a ‘details’ and not a ‘big picture’ sort of person! You can probably tell which picture I enjoyed doing and devoted the most time to. This was an unexpected bonus of doing a floristry course – it’s reignited my love of painting.

Judge a book by its cover

I took this photo when I visited the pop-up library in Selfridges earlier this year. As someone who studied English for as long as possible, I love books for their words; but as someone who brainstormed designs for books in my last job, I also love books for their covers. There are a few books that I have more than one copy of, simply because they have such great covers. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the main culprit.
But there are others, like J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (one of my top five books), where I nearly always see the same cover, no matter which library or bookshop I go to. There is something comforting in seeing a new copy of the book which looks exactly the same as the one I bought almost twenty years ago.
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”
The Catcher in the Rye

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Happy St David’s Day

We did some designs with daffodils this week at college, so here they are, for my Welsh friends and readers. Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus!
Here we have a chair back, a topiary tree, and the beginnings of a textured cushion. There wasn’t time to do the spray of flowers on the top of the cushion…but I’ll put an ‘after’ picture next week. This design required the heart-breaking task of cutting daffodil heads in half. It felt like flower dissection.

The Golden Country

Since it is also World Book Day today, I thought I’d share a passage from my favourite book, George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. Whenever I see bluebells, I think of Winston and Julia on their secret first date.
“The bluebells were so thick underfoot that it was impossible not to tread on them. He knelt down and began picking some partly to pass the time away, but also from a vague idea that he would like to have a bunch of flowers to offer to the girl when they met. He had got together a big bunch and was smelling their faint sickly scent when a sound at his back froze him, the unmistakable crackle of a foot on twigs. He went on picking bluebells. It was the best thing to do. It might be the girl, or he might have been followed after all. To look round was to show guilt. He picked another and another. A hand fell lightly on his shoulder.
He looked up. It was the girl.”