|by the artist Pir Tareen|
I feel as if I have been living in an Impressionist painting this summer.
With all of the cold and rain we have had in Spring and now Summer, flowers here were slow to bloom and then when the days of sun came they burst into bloom all at once, as if they knew that summer days would not come this year and they had to make the most of those few moments of fame. They are now battered by the weather and insects, also desperate to grasp life. Gardens are faded, petals and leaves scattered across pavements and on lawns.
I love the way that nature usually prepares us for the splendor of summer by gradually building up to the ripening of blooms, colours, scents and tastes over a period of a few weeks and then it is there in all it's glory for a short time to overwhelm our senses.
That did not happen this year. This year instead of gentle awakening towards deep rich colours and scents the scent we have had is of water, and the colours are a blur of what they were intended to be. An odd mix of pale, muted and very dark and dusky, all at once.
Cats relish the days they get in gardens, to roll in the sunshine and hunt bugs in the grass. As if I am wandering in an Elizabeth Blackadder painting, cats arrange themselves decoratively about me on my walks matching the gardens in which they chose to play and sleep. This wonderful orange and white tabby did not want to be disturbed.
Our gardens were planted many years before we lived here. We thought about taking out the plants and putting in colours we preferred, but the hot jewel like quality of what is here has enchanted us, and they stay.
Peonies were gone in little more than a day, petals strewn in the tall rain soaked grass. The rose buds either never opened, or if they did their heads bent down heavy with rain.
The huge blooms of the several Clematis have been nibbled this year by the falling rain, and yet there is still something majestic and other worldly about them.
Two more cats in their very own Elizabeth Blackadder landscapes.
It has not been a vintage summer, and yet nature has given us it's own version of decadence and faded glamour. Gardens are not as beautiful this year as last, and yet .... there is a kind of melancholy there, a little regret lingers, love unrequited, or lost. Opportunities missed. There are no Hoverflies, few Bees, Butterflies are rare and the seed heads have come early this season. Swifts, Swallows and House Martins will leave soon.
Coco and Orchid
pencil and watercolour, signed and dated 1981
22 ½ x 29 ¾ inches
I love the way that Dame Elizabeth portrays flowers in a natural state, nature untouched, only slightly tamed. The randomness of her flowers fits perfectly with her cats who glide in and out of her paintings effortlessly. Cats and wild gardens go together.
I also love this scarf which combines scarlet and purple. A colour combination that works so well in nature but is rarely used by humans. It's wool - but then this is a cold summer!
Elizabeth Blackadder Anenomes Wool Scarf
available through the Royal Academy website:
A bio about him says this, and I agree, he is a master of light.
"Pir Tareen has a masterly touch in portraying the emotive power of light, colour and shade as shown in this work, part of his "Brisbane Summer" exhibition at Dabbles on Days Gallery, Grange. "I am a simple perfectionist... my main concerns are light, colour and shade" You don’t have to speak Italian to understand what Italy’s leading Art Critic meant when he described a Pir Tareen painting as “una pittura luminosa”. "