29 August 2011

Last of the summer photos and some recycled illustrations


Gorgeous flowers en masse at the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

I've gathered together the last photos from my summer holiday and made some more montages. I decided to accompany these with some sketchbook bits and pieces, some of which I've shown before, but most of which have had something new added for the occasion!

'Sweetpeas' watercolour ©Caroline Soer

Sorry that the quality of this image isn't very good. I wanted to include it as sweetpeas are such lovely frilly flowers! It's taken from a larger watercolour painting behind glass. I painted this many years ago - the flowers were from my Mum's garden ... I can smell that heavenly scent now! I've added a couple of lines from a poem by John Keats and a digital pastel colour detail.

'Tango' watercolour with collage©Caroline Soer

These roses from a beautiful bouquet were quickly rendered in watercolour in my sketchbook. Later, for an Illustration Friday project, I teamed them with a pair of my little folded butterflies. Today I added a coordinating border made from digital colour swatches.

Just feast your eyes on these luscious summer berries! Click if you want more!

Cherries - watercolour ©Caroline Soer

Sometimes paintings just don't go according to plan! This illustration is something salvaged from one such occasion! I decoupaged the image of cherries onto another piece of watercolour paper and added a border digitally from colour swatches.

'Cherry pairs' watercolour ©Caroline Soer

Cherries from a sketchbook I used on holiday in Provence couple of years ago.

Part 2 to follow later!

23 August 2011

Illustration Friday - Influence

'Under the influence' ©Caroline Soer 2011

Some cats can't get enough of catnip! Here's one under the influence for Illustration Friday. Watercolour pencil with ink illustration.

22 August 2011

A little trip to Delft

Delft montage - click to explore

View of Delft - Johannes Vermeer

I've visited Delft many times over the years - it's a lovely old city steeped in history. It has beautiful buildings, canals, a good market, many cafes and lots of interesting little shops to explore! Vermeer, one of my favourite Dutch painters, lived and worked here in the 1600's and it's also home to Delftware - blue and white pottery.

As regular passengers on KLM we've collected a streetful of these decorative little blue and white pottery houses - they're filled with Dutch Genever (or Jenever)- a spirit distilled from juniper.

I've just finished reading Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier - a story set in Delft, about the girl in the beautiful painting of the same name by Vermeer - lovely book!

Ranunculous Watercolour ©Caroline Soer

I painted these Ranunculous flowers in a delft blue vase some years ago.

And finally, here are some sunny Marigolds and sky blue Plumbago from my garden, arranged in a delft blue vase to complete my little Dutch post!

21 August 2011

A few more postcards

Another batch of photos from our UK tour this summer. Herewith greetings from Wales! The West Wales coastline is breathtaking -- it reminded us a lot of Cornwall with its azure sea.

In North Wales we journied up Mt Snowdon in the little steam train. You can see the weather wasn't great when we got to the top - not much of a view! Seagulls get everywhere don't they? This one was on the summit enjoying tourist handouts!

More pics from the Flower Show at Hampton Court Palace

Chrysanthemums in all their green and white pompom glory!

I'm getting really behind with my holiday pics. If I don't get going with this project it'll soon be Christmas! So here without further ado is another set.

Small gardens - click to make them grow!

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show was a great day out, though I didn't get to see all the small gardens on the day as there were too many people milling about - one of the drawbacks of these events:( Luckily I could view the rest at my leisure on the television later!

I did manage to get near enough to take some pics of this pretty little garden. The left hand pic shows a closeup of what was growing on top of the little bird tables - nice idea!

and this boat garden with closeup of the planting.

Cabbage - all photos better if you click to see the details.

Not finished yet - my camera was working overtime!

19 August 2011

Illustration Friday

Gull ©Caroline Soer 2011

Click image to enlarge

My offering for 'Swell' for Illustration Friday - just in time before the new theme later today! Painted in watercolour on gessoed mountboard. Nearly didn't make it though....was wondering why it was taking so long to dry, then finally realised that I'd managed to coat it with spray mount, rather than fixative - aargh !!!! That'll teach me to check the can first! Anyway I've managed to dab enough off to stick (!) it in the scanner - now just have to hope the rest will dry up on its own.

I enjoyed painting the gull but I'm not really a fan of them in real life - they are noisy, cheeky and messy!

I went to Lyme Regis in Dorset this summer for a weekend with some old friends (we were at school there together). Love the place, but it does have its fair share of gulls too. One divebombed us (probably a mate of the one in the montage above) and left his calling card! Not pleasant!

16 August 2011

Postcards from the English Lake District

We've been holidaying in the English Lake District many times over the years. This year we stayed a couple of nights in the delightful Punchbowl Inn at Crosthwaite (top pic, 1st left) and then a week in Grasmere in a little cottage a stone's throw from William Wordsworth's Dove Cottage (there's a small photo of this below -see image 2, second row, 1st on left - the strawberries next to it were growing on the garden wall!). Do click the images to enlarge.

Every day we walked miles, up hill and down dale. The scenery is so beautiful - it's got to be one of my most favourite places in the world!

We had a great time despite some pretty grim weather!

Lots of wonderful memories! Can't wait to go back!

14 August 2011

Floral swatches

More flower pics with colour swatches from the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Colour in the veggie patch

The first of several pics from my trip to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show back in July. I'm in a veggie garden with cabbages and kholrabi playing with colour. Hope these swatches might be inspirational!

9 August 2011

Illustration Friday

'Odd-eyed cat' Lino print©Caroline Soer 2011

It's been months since I took part in Illustration Friday! This week's theme is 'imperfect'. I got out my lino cutters yesterday and quickly rolled off a rather imperfect lino print of an odd-eyed cat.

8 August 2011

If you go down to the woods today.....

Walking through the woods during our stay in Wales this summer, we came across these moss covered uprooted trees. We reckoned they resembled bears - do you see them too?

Found this pine cone - didn't know they looked so pretty inside!

A curious little fellow on the other side of the RSPB hide.
'Light of the World' - sculpted from fallen tree wood - one of dozens of wooden sculptures in the Sculpture Park at Lake Vyrnwy in Wales.

'Cuckoo in a cage'

Title unknown but they're certainly intriguing little windows.

The Victorian reservoir of Lake Vyrnwy in Powys Wales, is a stone-built dam, constructed in the 1880s for the purpose of supplying Liverpool and Merseyside with fresh water. Today the nature reserve and the area around is a popular retreat, for ornithologists, cyclists and hikers.

This is the charming cottage we rented for a week - so pretty!

The garden was a delight! Click to investigate.

More travel pics next time.


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