The Call Of The Wild

Issue 70

As the summer unfolds, I find myself irresistibly drawn back to the colours and shapes of the wild and cultivated flowers growing here at Leam Cottage and by the riverbank. Suddenly the place is a riot of colours, with pink campion, cranesbill and dog daisies dominating the scene on the edges of the garden and the wild areas, while the brash and blowsy oriental poppies and blue irises stand out in what is left of our perennial borders. Now is the time to use colour directly out of the paint pot, grab the big brushes and be bold!

I like to clip up large paintings which are in progress for visitors to look at – they often find the progression interesting and surprising. The only rules I have are to resist the temptation to touch an unframed painting, as even the tiniest touch can leave an invisible fingerprint which reveals itself over the years as a yellow mark. Recently, one such unfinished painting remained in a visitor’s memory so firmly, that they got back in touch weeks later, and having seen a photo of the completed painting, decided to buy it. Days off are spent exploring new swimming spots. The excitement of having found a body of water on a map, done a bit of research and contacted the owners for permission then…finally tried it out, is fabulous! Not every little lough or river is accessible or safe, but it certainly makes for some great mini adventures, and opens up yet another undiscovered part of the area to me. Now that we have definitely put the dates on the diary for a summer exhibition, we are in full swing preparing for it. Invitations are in the process of being designed – these should be sent out in July, but due to the remaining uncertainty due to covid, a catalogue will not be published this year, but all the new work can be viewed online. Dates for your diary – exhibition preview weekend is 14th & 15th August, 3 – 6pm, with bubbly and afternoon tea. Huge excitement here as we are heading away in the caravan for three nights in July. It has been over a year and a half since Fifey and I went away together, and I think we may have forgotten how to do it!

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