In 1906 Edith Holden wrote in her diary on the first of February: Dull day with slight drizzle of rain in the morning but bright and mild in the afternoon. The month was much like ours....just about all kinds of weather--rain, snow, wind, sunshine, thaw, and then more snow and cold.
I didn't practice drawing at all this past month because of some other projects I've started--one not even on my list of goals for the year (see previous post). So I was quite eager to spend the day with The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. I particularly enjoyed this month's episode of the TV series on the book. There were many scenes of the English countryside. You can go to Jacki Kellum's website to see Edith Holden's February diary and then to Bunny Mummy's Blog to see February photos of the English countryside. Bunny's Blog features Edith Holden's 1905 diary, Nature Notes.
I'm also rereading The Edwardian Lady, Edith's biography by Ina Taylor. Edith illustrated several books and painted over 50 oil paintings before she died in 1920. It was her handwritten and painted diary for 1906, which was found 70 years later on the bookshelf of an English country house, that made her famous when it was published a year later in 1977. Edith's mother had been a governess before marrying Arthur Holden. She taught her children many subjects including drawing. Her father had a good knowledge of birds and wild plants in the area and would take the children on nature walks. Their mother would often remain at home due to illness, so the children would always bring her wild flowers. Edith and her sisters would eventually go to art school. Edith spent a year studying drawing in Scotland with Denovan Adam when she was 20, living with his family.
Two of my readers were interested in getting a copy of the Learn to Draw Nature in the Style of the Edwardian Lady and went in search on-line. We were shocked to find only two copies available at around $200 each! I see they've come down in price. They're now $156 and $186. This is my drawing and painting for this month from the Learn to Draw booklet. . . .
While I was looking for another drawing book for my readers I found and bought a couple more books based on Edith's diary. This 1981 engagement calendar is good for this year and had not been written in! I don't think I'll write in it either. I'll be able to use it again in 2026. . . .
I also found this cookbook that uses her drawings and features recipes from the Edwardian period. . . .
For my second drawing I did a partial drawing of the title page for February in Edith's 1906 diary. . . .
As you see, I'm very much into strong colors and just could not "mute" them as Edith did. Nor do I have the patience to draw so many leaves! You just have to imagine the rest in the pile. I rake up enough dead leaves as it is. I didn't want to spend time drawing them, too! I'm eager for Spring to arrive in the diary because I think I'll have the most fun drawing the colorful flowers.
If you are new to my Blog you can read my post for January here.
Until next month. . . . .
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