Monday, 31 May 2010

Tea in the Garden

My daughter Lara recently set up a photoshoot to represent a teaparty for one of her photography tasks for college, and what fun to get out pretty china, silverware, a table cloth lovingly crocheted as a gift for our home and also the excuse to buy some decorated cupcakes! ( I admit - being a Domestic Goddess is not something that has happened to me - although I love cupcakes and often paint them which is a better option waistline wise too. I have no talent or patience to make edibles cakes! )

I love teacups too, and am having great fun finding pretty ones in the charity shops which sadly is getting harder to find now that Vintage Anythings are all the rage now!

I don't drink from teacups often, but again I do like to paint them - having been totally influenced by Connie Parkinson who is the Queen of painted teacups, cottages, roses, cakes and all things quintessentially English!

Connie is an American painter living in California and if anyone can be described as being the Queen of Tea - I would say it is Connie.

I came across Connie in 2004 in my internet search for book, dvd's, pattern packs and anything else I could find which would help me to learn how to paint roses.

When I chanced upon Connie's work - it was as though my quest had been answered - here was a lady who was doing all the things that I aspired too and I was hooked.

At this time - it seemed to me that most people in England had little interest in the tradition of tea and roses, and cottage gardens, and yet in America there was a whole community of women celebrating the traditional customs of tea, growing roses, tending cottage style gardens and decorating their homes in pink with distressed painted furniture covered in roses. Connie introduced me to many talented rose painters selling on ebay at the time, and I spent hours searching through pages and pages of US ebay listings of painted furniture and accessories being painted and presented for sale, and drooling over all the pretty pretty items.

I was hooked and have spent the years painting as often as I can and trying to learn as much as I could, never actually reachimg my goal, but helped along enormously by the encouragement of Connie, a very sharing painter.

Well now - now that teacups, roses and traditional pastimes like sewing, knitting, gardening and crafting are all back big time in this country, as well as the tradition of taking tea (see June 2010 issue of County Living for pages about it!), I have been pestering Connie to come over to teach a painting seminar in England sharing her knowledge and instructing us as to we can learn to paint all these wonderful traditional iconic symbols of days gone by!

Now won't that be the icing on the cake!

Have a look at her website which is on the page next to me to have a look at here art and see how wonderful her art is!