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As September slides into October, heralding the rapid advance of autumn, here’s a quick round-up of the colours of my Dutch summer…
being away at peak seedling planting time meant no vegetable growing adventures for me this year, but my mini rock garden, and the allium bulbs I planted in the autumn last year, put on a very good show!
august mid-morning moon | laser 3.14‘s perceptive brand of street poetry
gira loves this beautiful blue shweshwe duvet cover (made by my super-talented mum)… i suspect it might be because he knows how good he looks on it :)
soft pink early morning views from the studio
leiden is rocking the pink too!
lotus @ hortus botanicus, leiden
gingko | venation
~ and you don’t get greens like those above, without a bit of the below ~
street art in leiden | stained glass window designed by willem bogtman, haarlem, 1920’s (as seen at the ‘living in the amsterdam school: designs for the interior 1910-1930‘ exhibition at amsterdam’s stedelijk museum)
everyone loves the sun(flower)
rainbow cherry toms, ready for slow-roasting
blue-eyed visitor at my studio window | radiant brickwork, amsterdam
brick gables, haarlem | beautiful berries (buds? anyone know what this fascinating plant is?)
to the beach!
kite-flying | fallow deer grazing on the verdant dune grasses at zandvoort
grey is a colour too
au revoir summer!
(early morning view from my studio window)
As October’s Autumn mists roll in I’ve been giving some thought on how best to ‘winter ready’ our little patch of potted paradise on the roof: four floors up and facing the North Sea it’s likely to be more than a tad exposed to the imminent icy elements. But before I burlap wrap and mulch and push pots into little huddles like so many Emperor penguins I’m taking a moment to fondly remember the verdancy, vivid colours, and bountiful harvest of our compact roof garden’s first summer…
vegetable patch at sunset, late august
spring onions & crazy carrots!
they certainly wouldn’t have passed the EU’s daft
‘general marketing standards’ regime…
… but they had plenty of character
and, along with the leeks, were delicious!
broccoli, not everyone’s favourite vegetable…
… but beautiful when it bolts
(as mine did, practically overnight, during a mini heatwave in july)
deadheading the rhododendrons | baby’s breath (gypsophila)
japanese maple | lavender
catnip (nepeta cataria)
Nature is, without a doubt, the biggest source of inspiration for my work and it has therefore been a privilege and a great pleasure to have had the opportunity (for the first time) to plant veggies from seed, to watch them grow and flourish, to enjoy the fruits of our combined labours, and indeed to observe them go to seed or die back as summer segued into autumn.
In addition to the veggies I’ve also enjoyed getting to know other, non-edible plants. As a first time gardener the learning curve has at times been steep and my favoured (lazy?) approach seems to be one of trial and error. But the gardening bug has most certainly bitten and I’m very much hoping I can keep some of them alive through the winter. I’m looking forward to observing the seasonal metamorphoses to come…
roof garden skyscapes
(late summer/early autumn evening skies)
early morning sky with vapour trails
When the atmospheric conditions are just right the early morning sky visible from my studio’s east facing windows can be a veritable web of vapour trails (I don’t see or hear the planes… but I guess they’re always there even when their trails aren’t visible). The patterns these trails create against the blue and golden gradations of a winter’s sunrise have a certain beauty and appeal and they got me thinking about, and playing around with, plaid / check / tartan patterns… made out of early morning sky, vapour trails and Photoshop. Fun!
source sky image #1
pattern derived from this source
turquoise & red colour variation
red & turquoise colour variation
red & turquoise detail (look at all those little crisscrossing vapour trails! :)
variation: “blue neon”
variation: “dark matter”
source sky image #2
pattern derived from this source
variation: “rose tinted check”
variation: “indigo diagonal”
The below animated GIF (9 frames in total) gives some indication of the (Photoshop) processes involved in creating these patterns:
another variation on the pattern created in the preceding animated GIF
Producing patterns in this way is a great way to learn more about how colour and tonal variations can impact on a design, and it is endlessly entertaining – I could spend days wandering this rabbit hole… but I really should get back to drawing wolves and jellyfish (more on those in due course).
… are producing some beautiful skies.
And the gulls lining-up along a nearby rooftop each morning never fail to make me smile. Somehow they manage to appear very purposeful and quite desultory at the same time – comrades gathering at the (proverbial) water-cooler for an amiable chinwag about everything and nothing much at all.
There is drama…
and pleasing early morning stillnesses…
I do love autumn!