Friday, 4 April 2014

Diva's Challenge #161: "In a Quandary about Quandary"

It's been a very busy week at work as it is our financial year end but I have managed some relaxed practicing as suggested by Laura for this weeks challenge.

Spring in Dorset has been amazing this year so I have also had to keep up in the greenhouse.  It is at least 4 weeks earlier than last year with daffodils and so many other bulbs in flower since February. The tulips are starting now and our garden may have peaked in colour and variety for the rest of the year.

We went to Exbury last Sunday, which is a stunning garden over 200 acres (100 hectares) and if you go in early May it is wall to wall azaleas and rhododendrons.  Last week though we went to see the camellias and magnolias with some early rhododendrons.   The highlight though was their indoor exhibition of Lachenalias that originate from South Africa and are winter flowering bulbs.

Exbury is near Southampton on the Beaulieu River.   It is very sheltered and is renowned for its azaleas and rhododendrons from all over the world.   It was Lionel Rothschild who bought the Exbury estate in 1919  and sponsored many plant hunters to bring back specimens from far flung places and from that many hybrids have been developed.   They still sponsor plant hunters to this day.  See their website

We are so amazingly lucky here in the UK as these plant hunters risked so much to bring such an amazing array of plants back here and because of our temperate climate so many survive outdoors in the winter.  We might always complain about the weather but we always have wonderful gardens.

I did try various ways of drawing quandary.  By using a grid it was better for joining the rice shapes together.  I quite like leaving spaces as well so that was more freehand and I have a much better feel foot the tangle now.  It might appear more often.

The first one is on kraft paper again and I used Pitt pens in sepia and sanguine and Sakura white gelly roll and various colored pencils.

For this second one I did a monoprint with fluid acrylics and used that as my string. It is quite bright but it must be to do with Spring.   So for those if you in colder parts I hope this will be a tonic.

I finally also finished my second spiral.

Thanks for passing by and for all your kind comments.


  1. Wow! I must say all three tiles are amazing! You really created art here! Beautiful!

  2. I like all your pieces. The spiraling Quandary is a unique touch. The second just looks so festive. It is great.

  3. All three your tiles are awesome!!! You really master Quandary. Thanks for sharing your thought about nature and garden. I've never been in Exbury, but I have seen some gardens in UK (my daughter lived there for years and so di my husband before he moved to the Netherlands to live with me). My absolute favorite is Wisley.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous all three!! My favorite is the second one. Really amazing ZIA!

  5. All of them are so good but my favourite is the first one. Well done.

  6. excellent like all of your tiles
    i use to live right by exbury so i know wot you mean , i now live in micheldever and we have our rhodendorons out and 1 azalea its stupid as this time last yr we had not even had our snowdrops out , green house is 5 weeks ahead of its self and i need a extension to make sure the frost don't get in there
    have a good week