Daffodils (c1935) William Logsdail (1859-1944) in The Collection, Lincoln
Suddenly there are daffodils popping up and opening up everywhere. On roundabouts, by rivers, on verges, in gardens, by bus stops, outside schools, in window boxes and in overlooked patches of grass. How glad I am to see them, even though it does feel a litle early. They seem to be brighter, more vivid and somehow more yellow this year, but maybe that's the effect they have every spring.
I've grown to like daffodils more as I get older. I can't believe you can get a decent size bunch for a £1 which means that you can get a real explosion of daffodils on your windowsill for £3 or £4, which seems to me to be extremely good value cheerfulness, especially when you come down in the morning to make a cup of tea and they are already exuding good humour.
Wild Daffodils (1968) Pamela Hardy (b 1942), in the Towner
I think I used to find daffodils simply too ordinary and predictable. But now that I have less tolerance for diva behaviour with flowers (and other things), I prize them for their simplicity, cheapness, and reliablity. They also last for a good week on the windowsill, while the daffodils outside stay a while and nod away happily for days.
Easter Monday (c1950) Winifred Nicholson (1893-19810), in Tullie House
Although they must be a popular subject, it would seem that it's not easy to paint daffodils without slipping into cliché and Easter Bunny territory. These are my favourite daffodil paintings. I like the elegance and varying heights in the William Logsdail picture, the way that daffodils work in a simple domestic interior so well in the Pamela Hardy painting, and having seen the Winifred Nicholson I can vouch for the fact that this is the purest, most intense evocation of spring and daffodils you could ever hope to see.