Thursday, November 30, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Nineteen – Quick morning watercolour

Robin had the fun of the playgroup drop-off and pick-up and the nursery drop-off and pick-up as I had a meeting in London. I walked with Rufus up to the Bluebell wood and tried to produce something as quickly as possible. Sometimes the thought of trying to create something fills me with dread, but once I’ve done it, I’d quite happily draw and paint all day if I could.

120mm x 85mm in small watercolour moleskine

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Eighteen – Bench

The benches that have been chosen for Jersey Farm Woodland Park do have the merit of being made from recycled carrier bags. All we need now is for the manufacturers to spend a bit of money on design so that recycled doesn’t have to mean worthy but ugly.

A brief stop in the middle of the nursery run to sketch as, like London buses, all the paid work has arrived at the same time.

200mm x 130mm ink pen in cartridge paper sketch book

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Seventeen – Branches

Some branches – that’s all, no time to indulge today.

205mm x 140mm in cartridge paper sketchpad

Monday, November 27, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Sixteen – Abandoned boots

These boots have been lying on the verge at the top of Highfield Road for at last a week. Probably about the right size for an eight year old child. A lunch time walk over Jersey Farm Woodland Park. And I feel soooo good. Nothing quite like a bout of vomiting to make you appreciate good health.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Fifteen – Trees from Pound Farm

I feel you could spend your life drawing trees and never run out of beautiful, interesting subject matter. This is all I’ve done today because I was up half the night being sick with the ‘interesting’ fish I cooked last night. You know when you cook something that is so vile that nobody else in the family is prepared to eat it, but as the cook you feel compelled to make a hearty meal of it. Well I think that’s why I’m the only ill person. Fortunately, it feels like a one day wonder so tomorrow I should be awash with gratitude for normality.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Fourteen – The church again

I walked up towards Nashe’s Farm and looked back at this view. Then on round past the listening station and down Woodcock Hill and home. I was lucky that after the lunchtime downpour the weather cleared for the entire walk. Then straight out to the playground with Xavier. He has a couple of warts on his finger – I’m not worried, I know they’ll eventually go of their own accord, but he makes me laugh as he insists on calling them his ‘warthogs’.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Thirteen – Famous at last!

I was quickly drawing this scene in between my third and fourth trips to and from nursery, when the householder of the house to the right of the fence came out to check what this strange woman was doing near his front garden. After assuring him I wasn’t up to any nefarious activity, and continuing my drawing, I was then approached by another man who said ‘Are you the lady who does those drawings on that website?’ Now, my Australian one-milers, for one moment I thought we’d hit the big time – lurkers all over Sandridge, Canberra and Victor Harbour feverishly logging in to get their fix of one-mile drawings – multi-million pound publishing deals ran through my head, the Getty museums knocking at the door. Anyway back to reality, it turns out that Mark (hello there, Mark) had been directed to my blog by the Sandridge Village website – where of far greater interest to him, the babysitting services of Tom and Flo are advertised. Ho hum.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Twelve – Pound Farm

A five minute quickie in the rain, in the dark, from the bus shelter. And I have to admit it was barely a mile as I began to imagine horrible things happening on the farm track in the dark so I cut it short (even though Rufus was lit up like a Christmas tree with his flashing light dog-collar). Tomorrow I will more than make up for it as Robin needs the car and so I’ll probably walk for about three and a half hours going backwards and forwards on the morning and afternoon nursery treks.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Eleven – Sandridge High Street

A dismal drizzly day. I left the house wrapped up but trying to think of place I could draw with a dog but without my paper getting wet. A few hundred yards in, the roof overhang at the front of the village hall was the first place I spotted so I took shelter there and filled the last page of my sketchbook. I now realise why there were so many left hand pages left at the beginning of the book. I initially wanted to do a landcape drawing but if you try it you'll see that it’s pretty difficult to sketch (standing up) in the left hand pages of the front of a landscape sketchbook – so portrait is what you get.

I then enjoyed the walk up to the bluebell wood and back, as I didn’t have to think about the weather or where I could find a dry spot.

125mm x 410mm sepia ink and muddytint in large watercolour moleskine

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Ten – The last of the sloes

I’m filling up the last few pages of my sketchbook and funnily enough chose almost the same spot as on the right hand page.
The scene looks very different now – it’s cold and wet and almost dark, but the text I wrote in my August post could be used almost verbatim
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to slip out of the house and leave the little Emperor behind with the older children. Thus it was difficult to paint with a three year old who had become bored … and who thought that scooping up the mud on the track and throwing it at everything in sight was a far better way to express himself.
125mm x 410mm ink and watercolour in large watercolour moleskine

Monday, November 20, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Nine – Nomansland

I fully intended to add watercolour to my ink drawing in the field. However as I reached into my bag I discovered I’d forgotten to pack the brushes, probably a good thing as chickenpoxy Xavier was getting bored – he’d lost interest in playing on his likebike and was making his own art smearing mud up and down my trousers. So when I arrived home I added colour from memory digitally and then played around some more with it. If you’re interested in the two previous stages have a look on my flickr page

195mm x 125mm digital illustration

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Eight – View from Nashe’s Farm

Katherine asked for more of these, so as we aim to please…
Click on the picture to see the large readable version

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Seven – Panorama

I promised Alison that I would copy her day 161 post and here it is – a panorama of the view back to the village. I live in the centre of the panorama near to Hopkins Crescent. Click on the picture to see the bigger version.

125mm x 410mm sepia ink and watercolour in large watercolour moleskine

Friday, November 17, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Six – Watercolours in the rain

Look I know that at times you must look some of these images and think what the hell is she doing posting these? But I have to tell you that pleine-bloody-aire is not for sissies and if I’ve sat out in the pouring rain pushing watercolour round a page and then carried said watercolour home upside down in a vain attempt to let it dry on the painted side, then you, my dear readers, will get to see the pictures even if it is only to marvel at the endeavour rather than the result. It’s a great British tradition, celebrating failure.

Langley/bluebell wood walk.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Five – Rained out

Sodden wet day and it rained all over my drawing so I've resorted to adding some digital colour to make some sense of the marks on the cockled pages of the sketch book.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Four – The curse of the artist’s pen

I was on my way to the bluebell wood and to my surprise saw that the village shop was boarded up and that there were huge cracks in the front of the building. It’s a good thing I’m not superstitious. First I draw Rufus and the next day he has to be rushed to the vet at death’s door, then I draw the village shop and it’s ram-raided and has to be closed down for at least three months! Unbelievable, idiotic and such a terrible thing to do to the owner and the community. More about it here.

125mm x 410mm ink and watercolour in large watercolour moleskine

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Three – Same again

A fine constant spray of rain today which pretty much restricts the choice of media.

175mm x 140mm very hard pencil in Tom’s unused moleskine

Monday, November 13, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and Two – Jersey Farm Woodland Park

Usual charge across the park at lunch time. Difficult to draw – I’m still laughing because the Busy Bees staff have cast Xavier as an angel in the end of term nativity play.

175mm x 140mm pencil in Tom’s unused moleskine

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Walk Two Hundred and One – Cows and calves

This wasn’t a crowd – they just kept moving.

410mm x 125mm sepia and black ink and watercolour in large watercolour moleskine

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Walk Two Hundred – London day

A thoroughly exhausting and enjoyable day in London with Tom. For his birthday I’d promised to take him to the David Hockney portrait exhibition, followed by lunch out and then to walk up and down that hell on earth – Oxford Street to enable him to spend his birthday money. After sketching each other on the train we arrived at the National Portrait Gallery at nine – which we knew would be an hour early so we had coffee just off Leicester Square, then we changed one of his birthday presents at Cass Art (an unacceptable proportion of the pastels I’d bought him were broken). They were great and very helpful. I was told that the Rembrandt pastels were a bit tougher than the Sennelier we had and that Paula Rego uses Rembrandt, so if they’re good enough for her, they should be good enough for Tom.

The Hockney exhibition was wonderful – so inspiring to both of us. Lunch was in Soho at a Korean barbecue restaurant. The last time I’d been to one of these restaurants was when I was first married and I thought Tom would find it fun – which he did. Then off to Oxford Street – which is truly ghastly, but has every single shop that might stock clothes that a fifteen year old boy might like. Mercifully Tom was decisive and so we probably had that bit of the day sewn up in a couple of hours. Finally we went on a wild goose chase looking for Cornellisons art shop. I’d forgotten to bring the address, but was sure I knew where it was somewhere off Tottenham Court Road – but I was wrong and so we decided to leave that for another day. Miles and miles of London were walked and both of us had great day – all thanks to Robin looking after Xavier.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-Nine – The shop we all call ‘Darby’s’

This shop has been run by the Darby family for decades – even the first non-Darby to own the shop didn’t dare to change the name. However the next owner has changed the name – though it’s going to be some time before any of us bother with that mouthful. I wanted to draw the shop this week as I noticed that we can now buy that there new fangled latte and moccha chocca frocca from the shop (see those signs either side of the door) – eat your heart out Starbucks – Sandridge is the hip new scene.

Although it was only five o’ clock when I set out, it was dark so this was one of the few places en route to the bluebell wood that had a little light.

130mm x 150mm ink pen on cartridge

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-Eight – Healthy Rufus

At last the little dog could accompany me on half the lunch-time dash across the Woodland Park. This was drawn as we walked and dabs of watercolour with a brush pen were randomly added in the hope that the ink wouldn’t bleed – some hope! If anyone knows whether it’s OK to put Noodlers ink in a Namiki Falcon pen, please do let me know.

Xavier quote of the day on discussing whether dogs, elephants and various other animals have a skeleton - ‘Mummy, a skeleton doesn’t have a skeleton’.

255mm x 180mm ink pen and watercolour on Arches HP

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-Seven – Tree trunks

It was bound to happen, today I came back from my walking and drawing to discover that Alison has chosen the same subject matter as me for today. Of course her drawing is more singular and in beautiful pastel colour. It reminds me of the story of the fashion editor who on being asked how awful it would be if two women turned up to an event wearing the same designer dress to which she replied ‘well one of them would always be thinner!’ So looks as though you win Alison!
195mm x 125mm sepia pen in watercolour moleskine

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-Six – Another bench drawing

A more overcast misty day today. Xavier quote of the day when we noticed a tree that had lost nearly all of its leaves – ‘That tree looks naked’.

205mm x 155mm watercolour on Arches HP

Monday, November 06, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-Five – View from a bench

The ultimate laziness – find a bench and draw whatever is in front of you. Usual lunch-time walk back and forth over the woodland park – sans Rufus until he’s a bit better.

185mm x 140mm watercolour on Arches HP

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-Four – Great news


I’m sure you’ll all be glad to hear Rufus is much better and at home now. I was so relieved and happy when the vet rang to say he was a different dog this morning. He’s very weak and still on medication, but he’s over the worst. I’ll be walking without him for a few days while he recuperates. I don’t like to linger by this pond when Rufus is with me in case he jumps in, so today was an opportunity to draw it.

125mm x 185mm pencil on cartridge paper

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-three – Bluebellers

The weekends are a mecca for the bluebell woods. Rufus was missed on this walk. I quickly drew other people out to catch the last rays of sunshine. I had been able to vist and hug Rufus earlier on, he’s a bit better, and the vet said he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ - which is hopeful. I am throughly exhausted now after a market shop, chauffeuring, cooking mackerel for supper, and taking kids to the big public fireworks display, so night night, I’m off to bed.

270mm X 180mm ink pen on cartridge

Friday, November 03, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-Two – Backlit tree

Another lunch time dash across the woodland park and once again without Rufus. He’s still in ‘hospital’ and still very ill. They still don’t know whether surgery is necessary and they’re still waiting for lab results. He’ll almost definitely be in for all of the weekend. Thank you for all your good wishes. I really am not terribly sentimental about animals – I value humans much more – but this little dog has such a special place in my heart, I feel very tearful, thinking how he’s feeling awful and he dooesn’t have any of his ‘family’ with him while they give him drips and barium meals and x-rays and goodness knows what else.

85mm x 130mm ink pen in watercolour moleskine.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety-One – Bad drawing

Today my heart isn’t in it. I woke up this morning to find the kitchen floor looking something like a Quentin Tarantino movie – covered in blood and diarrhoea. Poor Rufus is very ill – he’s always been very healthy and he’s not very old, but the vet has had to keep him while they do tests to see what exactly is the matter and whether he needs surgery or some other treatment. And I need to be prepared for him not coming home. He’s accompanied me on almost every walk and I don’t think I can bear it without him.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Walk One Hundred and Ninety - Rufus

Another day with very little time. The lunch time charge back and forth over Jersey Farm Woodland park. Somehow I felt that something that wouldn’t stay still would look better in the quick style that was all I had time for. You have an expectation that a drawing will be more accurate when you know that the subject is not going to run away – and today did not allow the time for accuracy.

300mm x 180mm ink pen on cartridge composed digitally