Shadows On The Paper

Shadows on John's painting


When our friend John Jones visited to paint and draw in our garden last September, the day was so wet that he was confined to the greenhouse to avoid unwanted drops diluting  his watercolour painting.

Today, even John would not have minded a little rain. He arrived on time, and, with  Elizabeth, we sat for a while on the patio, drinking fizzy lime cordial. Jackie then repaired to the kitchen to prepare a splendid salad lunch which the four of us later enjoyed; and I took John on a tour of the garden so he could choose his vantage point. He said he was spoilt for choice

and settled in the Westbrook Arbour looking down the Phantom Path.

One of our first Japanese anemones stood just in front of him, and an accommodating hosta gathered up fallen geranium petals.

Over lunch we shared memories of childhoods – ours in London, and John’s in Southampton. Horse drawn carts were just one of the similarities we all identified. Many of mine feature in ‘An Historic London Borough’.

After lunch, our artist continued with his work. He spoke of how, in some ways, working in the steady light of a rainy day, had been simpler than with grappling with shadows on the paper.

John's Phantom Path painting

Having taken this first piece as far as he could today,

 John transferred to a shady corner of the Rose Garden. His necessary expressions of intense concentration were softened by his engaging smile.

John's drawing

He left his drawing at this point.

The four of us settled into the Rose Garden with pre-dinner drinks. Then it rained heavily, we got wet and eventually fled indoors. Then the rain stopped.

After drinks Jackie drove John to New Milton station to catch his train home to Southampton.

Jackie, Elizabeth, and I dined at Lal Quilla this evening. Elizabeth enjoyed korai chicken tandoori masala with pilau rice; Jackie chicken shashlik with an egg paratha; and I chicken jaljala with special fried rice. We all drank Kingfisher. As always, the food was excellent and the service friendly and welcoming.

Published by derrickjknight

I am an octogenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs. In these later years much rambling is done in a car.

44 thoughts on “Shadows On The Paper

  1. What a nice opportunity to paint and draw in such a wonderful garden. Spoiled for choice indeed–and I am glad that you are having some rain.

    I have never heard of an egg paratha in my life! What area is this cuisine from? We have had all kinds of paratha at various venues, but this one I have never heard of. Does it have any unusual qualities like sweet or sour or spicy etc.?

      1. Happy dance Jackie! You’re not tempted to swan past bearing a parasol and one of your lovely smiles, just in case he decides to include you in among the garden treasures?

  2. I have seen John painting at your garden before; I’ll wait for the final pieces. You have painted John in detail with your own tools. Lal Quilla continues to delight your taste buds!

  3. We had some rain last night which was enough to leave the roads and pavements dark for a couple of hours, but it’s getting beyond a joke! I love his first colour picture; it’s got so many pale, delicate colours.

  4. Your garden is an inspiring place to create! It is an artist’s muse!

    John’s drawing and watercolour painting are both wonderful! And he has a beautiful smile!

    What a magnificent day at your house, Derrick! 🙂 And YAY for rain! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  5. It sounds like you had such a wonderful day–filled with starts and stops, like the rain. (I hope you’ll get more soon.) Your garden is so beautiful. I’m not surprised that an artist would want to paint there, and your own photographic artistry captured him well.

  6. Glad you got a bit of rain. In this heat, it will of course be evaporating but I hope the garden feels it has had a respite from the blazing sun.

    And how lovely to have a friend come and paint in your garden!

  7. Being a devotee of the ‘Abstract Incapability’ school of so far post Impressionism as to be beyond redemption as a miserably incapable artist, I am in awe of those that can and love watching artists at work and watching that work evolve. So this was quite a heavenly post for me. But I am then, being a discursive so and so, distracted by the very last paragraph. Egg paratha … what is this magical creation and why have I never come across it. Sometimes I realise that I haven’t lived a life at all!

      1. Yes, having posted my comment I then noticed another reader had asked and you had answered. I will make it my business to seek one out. Purely in interests of research you’ll understand X

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