Look what we grew in our courtyard garden!

©Caron Eastgate Dann, The Crayon Files, 2017

We don’t have a garden as such, but there is a small L-shaped area through sliding doors, big enough for a collapsible washing line, a table and four chairs, one long narrow garden bed and some pots. The horizontal stroke of the “L” is what we call “the badlands”: a few small trees for privacy and just enough of a “jungle” for our cat to believe she is wild and free (when really, she’s an indoor cat who has the run only of a very small suburban courtyard).

But oh what we can grow in this tiny space. I decided to do a quick sketch of some of our autumn produce: three types of tomatoes, red and green capsicums and chillies.

We have so many tomatoes, I’ve been making our own tomato sauce to freeze; so many chillies, they’ve also been picked and frozen for use all winter; and a few luscious capsicums so crisp and dense they seem like a different species to the spongy articles found in supermarkets. Our potatoes are coming on, and we hope to have a bumper crop by winter.

In addition, the courtyard is packed with herbs: rosemary, basil, thyme, curry leaves, mint, parsley, and an olive herb with spiked green leaves that truly does have the aroma and taste of actual olives.

If anyone can tell us how to grow coriander, please advise. We’ve failed dismally!

By the way, the sketch is done on Ampersand Clayboard with Prismacolour pencils. I wanted to do a simple picture that reminded me of some 1980s cook books I have.

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A grand design

Grand Palace, Bangkok, ©Caron Eastgate Dann, 2016.

Here is my latest art work, based on a photo I took at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand. I’ve been to the Grand Palace at least 20 times, and it never ceases to amaze me with its vibrant colour, myriad sculptures, designs, gold figures, wall murals, gold and inlaid gems, temples and more.

I’ve used Copic markers, Prismacolour coloured pencils, and a Copic multi-liner pen in an 0.03 thickness, on A4-size Arttec bleed-proof paper.