Saturday, 1 August 2009

Lords and Ladies

I love red berries and when I found these three stems of "Lords and Ladies", I just had to draw them. Due to all the wet weather all three of them had rotted away at the base of the stem. The weight of the berries, along with the weakened stem and they had all toppled over. So I rescued them before they all rotted and decayed in the wet soggy grass. The berries are poisonous but I have known this since being told as a child. That is why they are in the plastic bag, I can touch and observe and of course keep washing my hands afterwards.
So that evening I spent four hours quickly getting them down on paper. It was an attempt to capture what I first saw, the bright glowing berries on a gloomy wet day. I hope to draw one with much greater detail and record the lovely way the spathe (once the green hooded leaf), shrivels up and folds like paper at the base of the berries.
I like the shiny berries, still orange coloured and some at an even earlier stage of green. Later in the autumn they turn deep red. They really shine out bright red and glow in the hedgerows on their tall stems, just as everything else is turning brown.
I painted them with acrylic paints...yellow, red, green and yellow orchre mixed my colours. There is something so nice to start with paper and a pencil, paint and a brush and create a drawing, inspired by Nature. Thought you might like to see the real thing, the lords and ladies, found 30th July 2009.


Alex said...

Oh wow! These are great! :) I always admire how you focus so much on the details, and these don't lack any of them.
Thanks for visiting my site and leaving such sweet comments.

Mary Timme said...

I didn't know that is what they were called. What a great little vignette about them to go with the drawing.

Frances said...

Good evening from New York to you, Milly.

I am not sure that I have ever seen Lords and Ladies like this before. Do you think that they grow in the States?

If so, I will try to seek them out. If not, well I have seen them magnificently through your art. Your mentioned their poison and having to be wary and making sure to wash your hands, ... all that just makes me appreciate your skill even more.

I have actually got a week off coming ... beginning tomorrow on Sunday morning. So, so hoping to find peaceful, quiet, contemplative time to draw, to paint. Lately when I get my sketchbook out, I find that I am mainly doodling, just trying to remember how to hold a pencil or brush! (I have managed to paint up some cards to send to friends for various occasions, but that is not all that that I would really like to be creating.)

You continue to inspire me. xo

Lucille said...

I've just returned from Provence where I saw a carpet of these on a stony hillside. Most unexpected. Beautiful observation, as ever.

Acornmoon said...

I haven't seen any at all this year, they look so Autumnal don't they?

As always you have captured them so well, always with such an eye for detail.

Hope the etching is going well, I am sure your work would translate very well onto this medium. I would love to do a short course on printmaking, maybe one day!