Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 Merry Christmas!

 Happy and peaceful New 2014 Year to all my friends bloggers!

 Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!

  God Jul og Godt Nyttår!

Glædelig jul og Godt Nytår!

Vrolijk Kerstfeest en Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

Hyvää Joulua ja Onnellista Uutta Vuotta!

Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος!


С Рождеством и Новым Годом!

Merry Krismas dan Selamat Tahun Baru!  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

GBBD in December 2013

Happy Garden Bloggers Bloom Day to all!
This day Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) pleased me by its bright red colorful leaves, truly Christmas color! I'm a little late, was waiting for full Poinsettia bloom. It is set on the small table near my fireplace, it has red and green leaves and its small yellow flowers are in the center of the red leaves.
This winter is such unpredictable as last autumn was. In my previous post I wrote that snow is everywhere. The week passed and all snow has almost melted. The evergreens in my garden appeared through the melted snow and they look good between old grey grass. I love these dwarf round thujas, I never prune them and I love their shape.

It was strong windy weather I was worrying about the decoration that I've put on my garden spruce. When I'd come I saw all they are safe on the branches. The bonsai pines are well too, they were covered with snow last week and now are opened. The small evergreen mahonia feels well it's very hardy and in spring its leaves appear through the snow.

I have a small vegetable garden on my kitchen windowsill. I wish I have some fresh salad leaves, green onion and garlic leaves with Christmas meal.

Did you have Poinsettia? Did you store  or throw it away after blooming?
Do you grow any greenery indoors?

Have a nice week, bye! 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

'The Cold Earth Slept Below'

             Now snow is everywhere. I think the poem 'The cold earth slept below' by Percy Bysshe Shelley that I have found in Internet goes well with this time of the year here. Shelley (1792-1822) was one of the major English Romantic poets.

The cold earth slept below;
Above the cold sky shone;
And all around,
With a chilling sound,
From caves of ice and fields of snow
The breath of night like death did flow
Beneath the sinking moon.

The wintry hedge was black;
The green grass was not seen;
The birds did rest
On the bare thorn’s breast,
Whose roots, beside the pathway track,
Had bound their folds o’er many a crack
Which the frost had made between.

Last Sunday I could drive to my summer cottage and garden because the snow was not deep. The nearest forest was very beautiful. Although the sun shone a few hours I could take some pictures of wintry woods.

 I have told in my previous post I bought some Christmas decorations and hung them on the spruce in my garden now. At home my living room window is decorated with candles as well. 


Was it snowing or is there snow in your place? Do you like walking in the woods before Christmas? Thank you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

December Started

             December started. Snow fell finally. No frost, but the pond and the water in barrels have frozen. When the nights are clear many stars are visible in the sky. Sometimes it's a snowstorm with wind, it covers the ground with white carpet. But this carpet quickly melts in the city, and it lies in my suburban garden, glitters in the sun.
Preparation for Christmas and the New Year has begun in the city. The snowflakes, garlands, Christmas decorations, Santa Claus' and his granddaughter Snow Maiden's figures, masks, flappers and fireworks appeared in different supermarkets and street fairs. 
I succumbed to the temptation :)) and decided to buy a few Christmas decorations. I remembered that the garland for the small Christmas tree had burnt out last year and bought a new one. I like gleaming snowflakes and ornaments that can be hung on a door, a window or just on a wall in the living room or the kitchen. Of course I want to hang these decorations in the garden on my spruce as well, I grow it for 10 years.


I recently purchased potted amaryllis bulb, which had only just began to sprout its flower stalk. Gradually flower stalk grew, a bud has begun to open. On the first Sunday in December the first bud fully opened and 3 others about to open.

I had a gift the branch of a blossoming white lily. Lily appeared extremely resistant to the dark and short day conditions, its numerous buds open one by one. The lily smells great, and its pollen from the stamens may be on your nose if you smell very close! I am pleased that the amaryllis and the lily create joyous and festive mood.


 How do you prepare for the Season holiday, are you planning something new to celebrate?

I wish you the joyful expectation of Christmas!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Love Still Life - 2

                Continuing my story of still life, I want to tell you about my favorite paintings of 19-21 centuries, ie since impressionists to modern artists. Many of you know or have heard of the Impressionists, French artists of the 19th century. I learned their works in the halls of Hermitage Museum many years ago. Of course there are Still lifes by Cézanne, Renoir, Van Gogh and others.
To begin with I would like to show you a still life paintings by Claude Monet and Edouard Manet. 

  Edouard Manet "Rose and cake"   and " Two roses" 

  Edouard Manet "Roses" and "Clematis"

Claude Monet  "Christmas roses" and  "Chrysanthemums"

Claude Monet  "Vase of tulips" and "Vase of peonies"

Both artists have worked in the Impressionist style, which can be defined as a desire to connect still life with the environment, nature. The Impressionists abandoned complex of colorful tones, they were painting clean colors, achieving mixing these colors directly on the canvas, created the illusion depicting colored shadows. Here are paintings by Cézanne, Renoir, Van Gog.

Cézanne "Fruit and flowers" and  Auguste Renoir "Still Life"

 Vincent Van Gog "Sunflowers" and "Irises"

I've  chosen to you a few works by Russian artists of 19-20th centuries, and contemporaries as well. Isaak Levitan is one of the most well-known Russian artists began to paint his still lifes in 1880. I show you his modest painting, where he depicted simple bouquets of Cornflowers. Another artist Ivan Kramskoy was Levitan's contemporary. He is known as the author of large canvases, here is his still life "Phlox".

Isaak Levitan "Cornflowers" and Ivan Kramskoy "Phlox"

The artists Igor Grabar and Dmitry Nalbandian created their paintings in 30-50th of the last century. I like their still lifes, simple and at the same time elegant.
Vladimir Volosov and Vladimir Korkodym are our contemporaries, their works are made at the beginning of our century. I think "Country Still life" is especially lovely, it reminds me of my walks in the woods, picking berries and flowers.

Dmitry Nalbandian  "Wild flowers" and Vladimir Korkodym " Flowers"

Igor Grabar "Roses on a Window" and Vladimir Volosov "Country Still life"

Did you like these Still lifes I selected to you? Whom of artists did you know and love? Thank you! 

It's all for today. Happy coming Thanksgiving!

* all photos from internet, click to see bigger.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

GBBD In November

               Who would have thought that mid-November was so warm: +10... +5 C (50...40F)? Usually there is snow in the middle of November in my garden. I wrote in the previous post about my 'to do' plan before winter comes. But apparently I hurried: winter is not yet here:)).
What flowers can be seen in Garden Blog Day in November? I had a gift pot of Chrysantemums, it grows in my garden warm verandah, is blooming very well. Potentilla has one lonely flower, it's blooming near the fence. 

Already leaves have fallen from all shrubs. Sedum grows near the large thuja; when I had cleaned dry leaves, I noticed its young sprouts. How they will survive in the snow, probably will die. Deciduous rhododendrons are quite bare and their flower buds are now clearly visible. This is the variety 'Mandarin light'. 

I have covered with boxes and special material "spunbond" my roses. The boxes stand nondensely on the ground, I put the stones and bricks at the corners to the air comes to the rose bushes. The small rose I have grown out of the cutting, I will cover it with a cloth, too. Tulips are tightly covered with leaves and I hope bulbs will winter well. 

Honeysuckle Perfoliate has not yet dropped its leaves, I have put a chair and decided to sit watching the birds as they managed with a new bottle-feeder. I filled in the bottle sunflower seeds. Some titmice immediately understood how to get the seeds while still others birds looked narrowly at them.

Do you have feeders for birds in your garden? 
What kind of birds do you see there? Thank you!  

That's all for now, have a nice weekend!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Love Still Life

           I love the Old Masters' Still life. Why? When I look at the Still life paintings I think the artists tried to create a sense of nature. Fruit, vegetables, flowers, food comes alive under the Old Masters' brush. I imagine the people who cut these flowers, ate this food, fruit, used these dishes, glasses, cups, table cloths, curtain, etc.. 
Look at the 'Flower Still life' by Franz Xaver Petter and the 'Still Life, Flowers and Fruit' by Severin Roesen. There are many flowers and fruit that are piled on the table, in dishes and baskets. I love those tender colors of roses, bright irises and daffodils.

Franz Xaver Petter, 'Flower Still life', 1821

Severin Roesen , 'Still life, Flowers and Fruit', 1850

The artist Frans Snyders is wellknown as the collection of his works in Hermitage museum, Saint Petersburg. I've chosen his 'Fruit in a Bowl on a Red Cloth' and the 'Fruit Stall' to show you. There are many heavy ripe juicy fruit: pears, peaches, grape, plums, nuts, blackberry, figs in the Snyders's paintings. The fruit are everywhere: on a table, in dishes, bowls, all types of baskets, and even just on the floor, filling baskets, buckets, pails. When having seen them many years ago I was surprised by luxury, bright colors and abundance.

  Frans Snyders 'Fruit in a Bowl on a Red Cloth', 1620
Frans Snyders  'Fruit Stall', 1615

I've recently learned 'Still life' by Ivan Khrutsky and Antonio de Pereda and I liked their works. What the wonderful flowers, vases, cups and bureau! 

 Ivan Khrutsky 'Still life', 1854

Antonio de Pereda 'Still life with an ebony chest', 1652
Here are works 'Still-Life with Fruit and Flowers' by Tomas Hiepes and 'Still-Life on a Table with Fruit and Flowers' by Jan van Kessel. If you look attentively at the fruit you will see that they represent different countries and ripen at different times of the year.

 Tomas Hiepes 'Still-Life with Fruit and Flowers', 1642

Jan van Kessel 'Still-Life on a Table with Fruit and Flowers',1650

The Still life by Clara Peeters was an discovery to me some years ago. She painted many Still life and I want to show you two of them: 'Still life with a tart, roast chicken, bread, rice and olives' and 'Still life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels'. Food is so natural that I'd like to try these bread, cheese, tart and wine! 

  Clara Peeters 'Still life with a tart, roast chicken, bread, rice and olives', 1635

 Clara Peeters 'Still life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels', 1640
I agree with specialists who say that Still life became an independent genre of painting thanks to many painters and especially to Snyders .

What do you think about Still life? Who of Old Masters do you prefer?

Have a nice week all!