Thursday, August 17, 2023

Day trip

I had the most wonderful day yesterday which began with laying out various clothes on the bed and excitedly trying to decide what to wear. This Country Mouse was going to town.

I was off to London to meet my friend Het and to visit the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. 

The train from Chesterfield to London takes just over two hours and that seemed like no time at all because I was in the middle of an Anne Tyler book I’ve not read for twenty years - Back When We Were Grown-ups. I have a shelf full of her novels and until I find something new and appealing I’m working my way along the shelf. (I'm cashing in on one of the few advantages of being old: not remembering the plots of novels.)

For those of you who don’t know, the RA Summer Exhibition is an open one. This means anyone can put forward their painting for selection. If it's selected, your painting will be hung alongside paintings by eminent artists such as Tracey Emin, Barbara Rae, Ken Howard and lots of famous Royal Academicians that I’ve never heard of. The prices of paintings run from £150 (the cheapest we remember liking) to £95,000 and beyond, to who knows what. There are some paintings so expensive you have to ask for the price at the sales desk. 

My only ambition painting-wise is to have a painting of mine accepted for the RA Summer Exhibition. Having seen some of the ones chosen this year I decided there’s no reason why I shouldn’t try my luck in 2024.

This is the painting I have just finished.

Acrylic on board 35.5 by 35.5 cms.

I realise it’s not realistic and I’ve decided I don’t care. I like it as it is. I like the colours and the shapes and the lines. I didn’t set out to make it horticulturally correct. I painted it to celebrate nasturtiums which I love as much as sweet peas (and long time readers know how much I love the latter.) 

There were over 1600 pieces of art in the exhibition and by the time we got to the last two rooms we were too tired to give any further attention, and decided to leave. Het took me back to her super new flat in the Barbican for one of her delicious lunches and a catch-up. 

I was home in the fresh summer air of Derbyshire by 7 and finished the day watering my pots. I loved my burst of the metropolis and I love it here too. The only thing bothering me today is why my cosmos - which are now over a metre high - are still not in flower. They are bushy and healthy but there’s only one measly bud showing. Any suggestions as to what the problem might be?


marmee said...

Lovely nasturtiums!! Sue, some plants this side don't bloom so well when there has been too much rain..just causes huge foliage spurt !

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks, Marmee. It is probably the rain that’s to blame then.

rowantree said...

I wish I could supply an answer about your cosmos. I buy plug plants from reputable suppliers but I find their progress is completely unpredictable despite carefully potting on. This year the results are weedy, but in past years I've had bushy ones like yours, the biggest growing to 5' and not flowering until October!

Sue Hepworth said...

Oh blimey, I hope I don’t have to wait till October to flower!
(Mine were grown from seed in the shed, as always, but this year only half of them germinated. Usually I am giving them away.