That Wicked and Pernicious Weed

Every year I try to sketch the hops as it curls and twirls and rapidly makes its way over the arch in my garden. In late summer these two plants (they eventually meet in the middle) produce beautiful flowers, which, if you were a brewer, you might use to make beer. In my research to find out what the flowers are actually called (seed cones or strobiles, as it turns out) I came upon a website with historical snippets about Regency England. Turns out that the plant that later became so important in the beer-making industry was first considered “an unwholesome weed that produced melancholy”.

14 Comments on “That Wicked and Pernicious Weed”

  1. Andrea Jeris says:

    Wow, that’s beautiful!



  2. That’s so funny. BTW don’t come to MacKensey King park, there’s too many people now!


  3. Chris Rusk says:

    Gorgeous arch – Cheers!🍺


  4. Donna says:

    Is that lemon yellow In the vine? Great spring color. I pulled some pernicious weeds today before they take over. Hopefully I sketch the garden soon.


  5. This looks like a spooky garden in Grimm’s Fairy Tale! I can kind of hear Tim Burton music 🙂


  6. Marie Emma says:

    Happy you to have a hop plant…Do you know that the young shoots of the hop are a delicious vegetable?-There are different ways to prepare them.
    Blanch them slightly, drain. Add some Lemon, olive oil salt and pepper, and you have a lovely warm salad; stir-fry them in the wok and use them in a tortilla, or make a frittata.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Mary Ann Maruska says:

    Shari, I hope you will prepare a future online lesson on how to paint lights in front of darks, like the “curls and twirls” here or the delicate spring flower bouquet in front of the solid blue background a couple of days ago. I’ve never seen you use frisket, but how else when the shapes are so fine? Cheers!


    • Hi Mary Ann, I would love to do that and I will add that to my longish list of subjects that I want to teach. You’re right, I don’t use frisket. I either save the whites or I use little dots of white watercolour. Thanks for the suggestions. Hope you are well.


      • Mary Ann Maruska says:

        Shari, I appreciate your adding this challenge to your list of instructional topics, after trees I hope! These days I’m becoming much more aware of shadows. All is well, thanks!


  8. Uma Maheswar Nakka says:

    Good Evening dear Shari,

    Very beautiful sketch and also sharing the knowledge about Hop plants and use.



  9. Nice plant, I like how you created strokes of green, and I really like the dark grey background.


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