Sunday, 29 January 2012

Early Flowers and Late Flowers - Snowdrops and Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums are one of my favourite flowers.

They go on flowering well into the Autumn and as the afternoons grow shorter towards winter, I've often been cheered by their bright glow in the dusk as I look out from my work. So after the trials and tribulations of piecing together my repeating pattern last week, I was all the more determined to bring that experience to an outcome that I'd be pleased with.

And this is it: the tracing from last week's post with colour added!

And here is the Messenger Bag that this was originally designed for:

You'll see why I needed a large area of repeating pattern, if you go to my:


- where you can see the whole of the back of the Messenger Bag, as well as a range of sleeves and planners that complement it.

Of course, as I love creating pretty tea pots, pitchers, mugs etc, the design also found its way onto some of them as well - not forgetting a few greeting cards -

Pleased as I was, in the end, with my 'Summer Garden' design, I hoped to move on to something less challenging for my daughter's birthday card.

Her birthday is in February, the month that I always associate with snowdrops. Lord Alfred Tennyson called them 'Fair Maids of February' and, delving into my huge old file of screenprinting designs that I've hoarded since the 1980's, I came across this scruffy little tracing -

This was great news as, although I have crocuses flowering in my garden, there's no sign of the snowdrops from previous years and I read somewhere that they don't like heavy clay soil - which is precisely what ours is!

So, on Friday afternoon, I scanned the tracing, enlarged it, printed it out and traced it again, ready for the lightbox. I was undecided about the best way to go about painting the blue background, which I could see would be interminably fiddly with all those stalks and petals to paint round - especially as I'm not a person who enjoys working meticulously, especially in paint!

One option would be to make a collage, but again, those stems would mean a lot of tricky cutting! Another way would be to use masking fluid, but I only use that when nothing else will do because it ruins brushes and is sometime difficult to get accurate enough. Then I happened upon a solution in Alison Kolesar's blog:  Jumping in Puddles, where she suggests painting the whole background wash in transparent watercolours and then using gouache to paint the light colours - in my case the flowers.

So that's what I did and I was very happy with my beautiful, sunshiny sky-blue background - until I scanned it and 'Technology' let me down again! As I found with some of my seaside collages, my scanner seems to be unhappy with light blues and greens in close proximity and makes as real mess of them. 

No amount of adjusting helped to put this right:

So I'll leave you to wonder if and how I'll manage to retrieve this dismal attempt at a birthday card for my daughter . . . watch this space!



Country Mouse Studio said...

It actually comes up very pretty on my computer. The nasturtiums made a wonderful bag.

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Carole :)

The snowdrops haven't come out at all as I wanted them to!

Crystal said...

These are soooo gorgeous Judy!!! Love it. :-)

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you, Crystal - maybe that art teacher was right when he said I was a 'designer' rather than a 'fine artist':) I certainly enjoy designing!

Betsy Grant said...

What a beautiful, graceful design!

Judy Adamson said...

Thank you so much, Betsy :)