CLICK ON ANY IMAGE IN A CLUSTER TO ACCESS ITS GALLERY, INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF WHICH CAN BE VIEWED FULL SIZE BY SCROLLING DOWN AND CHECKING BOX AT BOTTOM RIGHT. THE TWO SINGLE PIECES OF ARTWORK CAN BE ENLARGED WITH A CLICK OR TWO.
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.
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.
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.