Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Lucky Find

Yesterday I took some books to trade in at the secondhand bookshop. Of course I had to browse around, and look at the lovely book I found! I already had "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady", which came out about 20 years ago , but I never knew that they had found another of her sketchbooks and published it.

Here is the page from March. I love some of the country quotes she writes in for each month. For March, there is "As many misties in March, so many frosties in May". I truly hope that one isn't true, as it we are having a very misty morning here! On this date in 1905 she "Picked Colt's-foot and Procumbent Speedwell. Groundsel in flower and Chickweed. Rooks busy building their nests." Isn't Procumbent a wonderful word? I'm going to have to look that one up in the dictionary and add it to my regular vocabulary. I do that to tease my children who would much rather I spoke like the brain-dead parents they see on television.

Isn't this an adorable painting? I think loose watercolors are lovely. I try very hard, but my paintings seem to come out very tight and detailed. I just keep noodling away at them! Which is fine, my clients seem to like it, but I wish I could paint both ways. I think I will just have to practise more and build my confidence.

Now I'd better go get busy. We are going to see "Alice in Wonderland" this afternoon, and we have friends coming over this evening, so I'd better do something about the big pile of laundry so that we're not eating dinner surrounded by socks and underpants!


  1. Oh, how exquisite are Edith Holden's watercolors, Jane. A lucky find, indeed!

    Like you, I strive for more freedom in my watercolors. Mary Cecily Barker has that freedom I admire, as well. I think she used that strong holding line for better reproduction purposes, and probably did without them when painting just for herself. Arthur Rackham, I believe, did the same. Probably your clients prefer you keep your art just as it is for that very purpose.

    I learned on wikipedia that along the Thames, when using her umbrella to reach tree buds she wanted to paint, she fell into the water and drowned. She was only 49.

  2. I have this book too, Jane. My daughter gave it to me. It seems they lived an idyllic life.