Hi there! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. We were just home, very casual, but I did bake a Victoria Sponge cake for dessert! It is a perfect spring cake, and there’s even one sitting in the background of my latest painting!
I just finished this piece, “Lucy’s Spring Kitchen” this week– I listed her today in my Etsy Shop and she’s already been bought! But I will definitely make prints, so never fear!
This piece was inspired by my love of COZY– or in this case, COSY— as this painting has a distinctive English Cottage look! You can see that young Lucy has planted an array of spring bulbs in beautiful old china pots, with a dresser full of blue and white dishes behind her (my favorite!). She’s made a Victoria Sponge Cake, Hot Cross Buns and pysanky Easter Eggs for her own Easter celebration. Out the window, just beyond the blooming spring trees, an old stone church is nestled in the hillside.
This piece was very much about adding all the pretty things I love about Spring and about English cottages. I am unapologetically a fan of pretty and serene and very much most of all- cozy. I want you to feel at home when you look at my art, and to enjoy looking at the details I make for you to find when I’m creating. This piece is packed full of flowers— do you know them all? Have you ever made the baked treats she has in her kitchen? Do you see the little scenes painted on the flower pots? It’s all little things that I enjoy– and I hope you enjoy finding them!
The inspiration for this painting actually came from I photo I saw in a magazine that showed just the hands of a woman arranging some flower pots of spring blossoms. I took that inspiration and ran with it– adding old pots like those Tasha Tudor owned, and gave my subject a beautiful collection of china that I admire. It all came together out of my imagination— which can run riot in paint— and became a collection of things I love and think are beautiful. I hope you do too.
Here is a look at the Victoria Sponge Cake I made for Easter. It is such an easy cake to make, and a British classic. This cake was made from a recipe given to me by a friend, and it is delectable! It’s supposed to be made with strawberry preserves, but I’ve used cherry (Bonne Maman) preserves because my son isn’t fond of strawberries. You can use just jam or also add a buttercream frosting as well. I’ve heard that it can get very heated in the UK about what is layered first— the jam or the buttercream— and I’ve made mine according to a friend’s preference (Her husband is from Northern England— and that’s where the Sleightholms are from too– so I’m guessing this is how we’d do ours ‘at home!’ 😉 ) I know it’s delicious either way!
In other news around here, Charlie got his first haircut! We were all shocked to see him looking like, well, a cocker spaniel! He looks like a completely different dog! I’m honestly not sure we’ll continue with getting him cut so short, we all liked him with some fluff, but it’s fun to see him ‘done up.’ I look at this photo and laugh, because I keep thinking he looks like King George V. Such doleful eyes, and he already had ‘resting cocker spaniel face’ 😉 I promise— he IS happy- he just makes such sober faces!
Recently we were in the garden, and in this photo you can see him looking a BIT more excited– I had just planted a rose that was a Christmas gift from a friend! I was so excited when it came— it’s the Emily Bronte Rose from David Austin Roses, and they ship you your plant in the appropriate growing season. Miss Emily arrived a few days ago, having slept in a wrapper on her short trip from Texas. I kinda love that evidently there is an English rose farm down in Texas! Which should inspire you if you’re like me and live in a hot summer climate but long for roses.
Charlie supervised as I planted Emily Bronte front and center in the garden, in the place of a rosemary bush that I’d lost when it was so cold in February. I’ve already noticed tiny buds on her branches, so she is waking up! I cant wait to see her in full flower!
And speaking of full flower— everything is lush and beautiful here in Oklahoma, and the early blooms like tulips and lilacs are all abloom.
I absolutely love lilacs, and I am not happy to own three of them! This beauty is a Persian Blue that I just added to the garden and is now blooming. I also have one by the studio door, which I love. A lilac by the door is such an old fashioned, charming thing. I need to remember to paint that in a scene! (*Makes note!)
I know we are all in different blooming seasons and some friends still have snow and cold. I hope you don’t mind my posting flowers– just know I’ll be signing in the 90 degree heat and still getting mosquito bites when you’re posting beautiful photos in cozy sweaters in pumpkin patches! We all have our best seasons, and April in Oklahoma is absolutely beautiful. I am going to relish and enjoy it before it’s too hot and I’m just trying to nurse my garden through the most scorching days. Til then—
of course, we must–