Inspiration for my pictures comes from a variety of sources. Sometimes all it takes is to press a different plant material. This cottage picture started its life after pressing some Clematis Tangutica seed heads. I needed to prune this clematis a couple of weeks ago, and really didn’t want to waste any of the beautiful seed heads. The wild clematis is also known as Old Man’s Beard, for good reason. It really does look extremely hairy. After taking it out of the press though, my first thought was that it would make an amazing roof for a thatched cottage. Once I get the idea for a new design I’m always extremely excited about starting work on it.
I did have to wait a couple of days though. We finally had a break from the endless rain, the sun was shining, and I really needed to spend some time in my garden. Living in the driest part of the country, we’re not used to having so much rain. I really can’t remember having such a wet winter. Spring is only a few weeks away, and so I need to start preparing the ground for sowing seeds. The break in the weather didn’t last long though, so I was soon able to get my flowers out and start making my thatched cottage.
The first step of the process is looking through all of my different plant materials. I decided to use some loveiy leaves I pressed in the autumn for the walls of the cottage. Once I have the basic shape laid out I can spend time on all of the finer details. I always think of myself as being rather an impatient person, but when it comes to making pictures I absolutely love working with the smallest flowers or leaves to create a world in miniature. All I need are my tweezers, glue on a cocktail stick, and these days, my glasses ☺ !
As I’m working on the picture, other ideas just generally pop into my head , and the picture gradually takes shape. I particularly loved making the brick path and the lady in the garden, especially finding petals for her beautiful dress, although the choices are getting slimmer at the moment. I’m so looking forward to Spring and having lots of new materials to use. I’m getting very low on most things now. I’m especially looking forward to the cow parsley coming out. It’s one of my favourite umbellifers, along with wild carrot later in the summer, and I have absolutely none left. I’m missing it a great deal. It’s beautiful for using as lace on a dress, and really softens the edges of a picture.
Back to this design though. Once the cottage and the lady are finished, I can create the garden. I love this part as well. I’m always at my happiest in my own garden, so making a miniature garden in a picture is just an extension of my being a gardener☺.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little of the process that goes into creating a design like this one. There were many hours of work over a few days to create this picture. It really was a labour of love though. Hopefully, by time I write my next blog , the sun will be shining, Spring will be in the air , and I’ll have all my presses full of beautiful Spring flowers. ☺