I drew and water coloured the little image and was very pleased with the translucency and fragility of the little flower, initially. I then went off to have lunch and let the previous layers dry properly before adding a tiny bit of emphasis to the outline...sound's good, doesn't it, but on my return I did my usual trick of never knowing when to leave well alone, got out my ColourSoft pencils and added far too much and lost the qualities I wanted. Sigh! Never mind, I am supposed to be learning so I am leaving this one in as a reminder...I just hope I remember to be guided by it...;)
When I think of France and flowers, my thoughts instantly fly to poppies, despite the iris being the National flower. So, poppy it is...
Remembrance Day when I was a child was filled with poppies. Every adult wore a poppy on their lapel that day, at school we had special assemblies, recited stirring poems, sang patriotic songs, and speaking for myself, had little notion of what it was really all about.
Being so distant, both geographically and generationally, from all the destructive action of the wars, and with those few relatives still living who could have set me straight but maintained a tight-lipped reticence about their experiences when serving overseas , I remained rather romantically skewed by the pomp and solemnity of the occasion. It was not until I was older and able to select my reading material with a free hand that the "real" history of the wars took on a much more realistic and sombre aspect for me.
Those experiences of childhood loom large, for me. I can still remember every word and tune of the hymns, poems and songs of my early years..McCrae's ."In Flander's Field" is one of those "stuck" remnants, along with Wilfred Owens "Anthem For Doomed Youth", and my favourite author at that time for the clarity of his landscapes and language, Robert Graves, particularly "The Kiss" and "The Two Fusiliers". This last one still raises the hairs on the back of my neck.
Apart from all that, which is why for me France and the poppy are forever linked, I do love the delicate translucency of all types of poppies, the profligacy of their self seeded blooming in my garden, the brightness of the hues, the way the flowers extract themselves from their hairy tough little jackets and how gorgeous they look when you pick a huge bunch and put them into a big spherical glass vase...just magical!
Addit: I couldn't stand it! I just had to make another attempt at the little flower this morning...
I have simply buried the first image where it lay and adhered the newer version over the top.
It still doesn't seem as nice to my eye as the first little image that I ruined, but that could just be the remarkably curative effect of hindsight, I expect.
I have left all the older images in, just as a reminder for myself to take more time when working on a project....
Well, I am in my last week of the "Writing Family History" unit at uni, I will be sad when I finish, as the work has been very interesting. I still have a final assignment to upload before the end of this month but it is almost ready to go. The break over the Christmas period allowed me plenty of time to get it drafted and now I am in the final proof-reading stage...checking the position of every comma and the relevance of every capital letter. I tend to want to fly through this bit so I am being more purposeful this time...
It was quite funny...the word limit on each of the weekly submissions was a very strict 250 words. I found this very difficult at first, being far too wordy for my own good, usually. However, having gotten used to having to be very austere with the words, when I came to write the final assessment which has a limit of 1000 words, I had such difficulty getting my total anywhere near it, I had to add a couple more paragraphs...it made me laugh, anyway!
Tim had bought some cherries a couple of days earlier at Ross. Knowing full well we wouldn't be able to eat them all, and having given several bags away, I decided to pickle most of the rest of the supply. I did this previously about five years ago, and we have only finished that batch off in the past few weeks, so they were a very timely haul.
As we drove home we could see the storm clouds gathering to our North.