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Just Living is Not Enough...


It's part of a quote by Hans Christian Anderson, the Danish author of children's stories.


I was recently asked where the inspiration of my latest painting came from.


"Just living is not enough, one must have the sunshine, freedom and a little flower".

Is the whole quote by Anderson. I was thinking of this whilst sketching in my garden.

Those who follow my Instagram account will know that I have been spending a little time in the garden at the end of a working day, to unwind. grabbing the first medium that comes to hand.

I am missing my garden this year. Last year I was furloughed and could watch it spring to life. This year I am working full time (which I very rarely do) due to a series of unforeseen circumstances. While I am very grateful for my job, as Anderson says, just living is not enough, I do need the sunshine, flowers and I'd like to add a paintbrush too.



Rosa Rugosa


I regularly take my camera, or my phone to take pictures of the flowers, for inspiration, whether it be the flower itself or the colour combinations and shapes. I am also fascinated by insects. Those tiny bodies with mostly the same infrastructure we have but in miniature.



Pencil sketch of the rosa and a honey bee.


The great thing about keeping a sketchbook is that you can flick through it and find something that fits the mood. I have been trying to obtain a transparent effect in petals with watercolours. Though I haven't managed it yet and will continue to practice, I felt maybe I didn't really understand the structure of flowers. Hence, the sketch above where I concentrated on the folds and creases in the petals, where the shadows and light falls.



Practicing transparency with ink.


I went to sleep with this and Anderson's quote in my mind and woke with pretty much a whole poem. I wish it was always that easy! I treat my writing in pretty much the same as I do my painting. If it's not working right away, I leave it, rather than force it. So I have a sketchbook of unfinished sketches and bits of poems that may one day find the light of day. Today I found a use for this ink practice piece.



A Little Flower.


I have my little flower

a small universe of small things.

Each part is food for another

a tiny life with tiny wings.


I have my glorious sunshine

a palette of colour across the skies.

My paintbrush will never master

the freedom of the Swallow as she flies.


I have my flowing meadow

swaying in the wind as it slowly dances.

Each leaf, greeting another

the flower bows to the bees' advances.


I have my heart's desire

the place I truly belong.

There is no other heaven

than the beauty of the Robin's song.


© angiekjames 2021

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