"March has come in like a lamb with a warm wind and rain from the South-west," Edith Holden wrote in her 1906 diary. On the 12th she wrote, "After a wet windy day, we woke this morning to a regular snow storm, the air was full of whirling flakes, but in the midst of it all I heard a Sky-lark singing."
We began the month with freezing temperatures and on the 5th had 10 inches of snow! Edith explains how March came by its name: "This month was called Martius by the Romans, from the god Mars, and it received the name 'Hlyd Monath', i.e., 'loud' or 'stormy month' from the Anglo-Saxons." Today the sun was shining brightly as I practiced my drawing, but the wind made our 50 degree temperature feel much colder.
I began my day of drawing by watching the March episode of the DVD of The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady. It follows Edith's diary, which can be read here for the month of March at Jacki Kellum's Blog. In this episode Edith receives a letter from the Royal Academy in London saying her painting The Rowan Tree had been selected to be shown there. Getting into the Academy was quite an honor. But Edith really wanted to illustrate children's books and was not having much success yet. Her younger sisters were being hired to illustrate magazine covers and books and Edith concluded she must not be as talented. Here is Bunny Mummy's March post about Edith's 1905 diary with photographs of the English countryside that will give you a feel for what Edith saw and drew this month in her diary.
I found this month's drawing assignment in the instruction booklet difficult because it involved LEAVES again. At least these were attached to lovely flowers. I brought in my two primroses I bought recently to cheer me on as I erased and started over several times. . . .
I finally got my practice drawing done and took a break for tea. Then I redrew it onto watercolor paper with my pencil and went over it with watercolor pencils. This is what it looked liked. . . .
Next, I took my brush and dipped it in water and went over what I'd drawn. To add the shading on the leaves I used my watercolor paints. I finished touching up after supper and this is my final results. . . .
Because of all the painting of walls and cabinets I've been doing this month I have not practiced at all! Hopefully, I will be able to get into a habit of weekly practice by next month and will start to show some improvement.
Addendum: It's the end of March and I've done a March painting from Edith's diary. . . .
In the meantime. . . .
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