Thursday, 28 June 2012

Mid Summer

I've had very busy times lately at work and visiting family so not much time to blog or paint but I have finished my 'Ynyslas in early summer' painting; adding the blue butterfly and marsh orchid. I will put in the names of each species underneath in pencil eventually. I shall start another one for mid summer too and also one from Elan Valley and other meadows so I can build up a collection of these habitat paintings.

Here are some ox eye daisies I sketched yesterday; these are one of my favorite flowers ,
 Leucanthemum vulgare. They make great compositions and are good for practising fore-shortening and painting white flowers on white paper.
When we get some nice weather I'm going orchid hunting; looking for bee and butterfly orchids especially to sketch in the field.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Heres an update on my newest study ; Ynyslas in the early summer.

I've visited Ynyslas dunes a few times in the rain, dodging the terrible floods and collected a few plants to study.
They include the Burnet Rose, heath speedwell, birds foot trefoil, marsh orchid (I think its a northern- Dactylorhiza purpurella) and some grasses & sedges. In the case of the orchid I collected a leaf and a single flower from one plant and also found a broken tipped plant so I collected this too. I would never pick or dig up any wild orchids.
I am going to add a marsh orchid with enlarged flower heads and also a common blue butterfly which is here in large numbers when the sun eventually comes out.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Ynyslas Dune Slacks

During a busy week and bank holiday weekend I managed to visit Aberglasney gardens with a friend and see Marilyn Wheelers botanical art exhibition. Her beautiful work has won many awards and is very inspiring as she paints native British wild flowers and butterflies. The exhibition closes on Thursday 7th June so there's a bit of time left if you are in Wales this week.

I have also visited Ynyslas dunes twice. The orchids are slightly later this year due to the cold spring but are catching up nicely. I saw many common blue butterflies, always good.

 Above is a watercolour study and a photograph of a sub species of Early Marsh orchid ,
Dactylorhiza incarnata ssp coccinea. It has gorgeous carmine, red flowers.

Above is a gorgeous variety of the Southern marsh orchid called the Leopard, due to the amazing patterns on the leaves. I really want to start painting this one but have not had time for sketches yet. Its latin name is Dactylorhiza praetermissa var. junialis.

Above is a little plant called Adder's tongue fern; not looking like a usual fern at all.
It was believed that it could cure snake bites because of its similarity to a snake’s tongue and so got its name. This is in pen with watercolour wash.