Lords and Ladies – acrylic and indian ink painting reworked from an oil pastel sketch. The Arum Lily berries were ripening to a brilliant red on the purple and green stems, bare of their own leaves but surrounded by the tangled undergrowth.
Spring is here and the promise of a warm weekend this early in March makes it easy to forget how cold it will still be over the next couple of months. In past years there has been freezing blasts of weather just when the apple tree blossoms.
Ink painting Apple blossom no.2 is in my exhibition ‘Anticipation and Recognition’ at Colchester Library’s Les Livres Gallery, 2nd March – 31st March.
Online catalogue visit
My exhibition ‘Anticipation and Recognition’ was hung last weekend in Colchester Library’s gallery space Les Livres, and continues until 31st March. The paintings selected for display are part of a seven year focus of work recording seasonal changes. Most library visitors would probably not know my earlier work but as you would expect there are connections – clearly the subject matter as a narrative, use of colour, but also of equal importance, line, painted, drawn or printed.
A cabinet at the top of the library stairs gave me an opportunity to communicate a back story with a few words allocated to each postcard size image. Alongside these I included one sketchbook and an oil pastel sketch to demonstrate my visual research and potential for development.
Visit http://jennyhillartwork.tumblr.com for the exhibition catalogue.
PS Behind the railing on the stairway wall is a relief sculpture, Connor Barrett’s Crucifixion of Mankind. I will post a full image in another blog post.
It has been so wet this winter, the wind twisted poppy seed heads stayed whole. In previous years the freezing weather skeletonised the seed heads, leaving open basket structures. This month the soggy plants evolved into their own aerial sprouting seed pot.
The painting “Sprouting poppies’ is more subdued than my usual expressive use of colour. It could be a reflection of the weeks of rain, or the raw umber in the mix.
Almost there with preparations for my solo exhibition at Colchester Library’s Les Livres Gallery. So far press release has been sent, paintings packed and information to email contacts.
To do – What to put in the cabinet. I thought it would be a good idea to use a glass top table cabinet to put in a couple of sketch books, information on sales. But know now that would leave a gap of communication as my press release stated this exhibition was part of a seven year project following the seasons. I realise there has to be some back story, using a few images of previously exhibited artwork with minimal text, to help make some connection with what has gone before and the current artwork. But how to make it look good and interesting is something I will be working on over the next couple of days.
A catalogue for Anticipation & Recognition can be seen at
I had passed this Agapanthus a number of times, noting the yellow and lime green stems and seed heads almost glowing on grey days. I resolved to draw it before the black seeds dropped or the stems pushed over, but it was the forecast of more heavy rain that made me get on with sketching. Drawing in a winter garden for the sake of not missing something sounds dedicated? Fortunately the plant is in a large pot, (a cropped copper water cylinder), just outside my studio window.
‘Agapanthus winter seed head’ will be exhibited at Colchester Library Gallery, Les Livres, March 2nd-31st.
Unripe Medlar fruit seen last October at RHS Hyde Hall Garden, Essex. The fruit is usually bletted, softened by rot, before it can be eaten. As I was painting this from a pen sketch I realised the fruit reminded me of something else. I have since discovered Medlar, (Mespilus germanica), was known in medieval times as the ‘dog bottom tree’.
For more gardening information and recipes visit
Painting using acrylic ink and indian ink.
Thumbnail size fungi, (depending on the size of your thumb), in wood chip mulch at RHS Hyde Hall Garden, Rettendon, Essex. At first I saw only the silvery empty cups and wondered what they were. Then on closer inspection I could see more but with ‘eggs’ that had not been dispersed. A fungi hunt in autumn led by an expert mycologist opened my eyes to the range of common fungi, but I still wonder how I have not noticed these until this year. Field Bird’s Nest – Cyathus olla.
I used silver acrylic ink for one thin wash before adding more layers of orange and blue. Silver ink can give a grey tinge but it worked well for this subject giving a subtle metallic sheen.
The plantain on the path grew flat where it had been walked on, or maybe it was a plant survival tactic to avoid being pulled up easily. Thinking about it now, it could still be there.
This is an old garden with generations of lost, broken and discarded items. When the ground is disturbed or rain washed, small objects can emerge.