Saturday, June 20, 2009

The old larch

At the side of my house a very old larch tree grows. Well grow, is perhaps stretching it, as its reached pretty much the end of its lifespan and has a lot of dead limbs, lichen and broken branches on it. Each time I go past it, I think its soon time to cut it down. But, its like an old dog who is sick and you think, `well let`s just wait another while and see how he gets on` then before you know it a year has passed and the dog and or tree are still there.

I started this sketch this morning, standing in my dressing gown in the garden (there is a lot of benefits to being isolated) fighting off black fly and waiting for the coffee to brew. I will continue to wait and let this tree exist until it becomes dangerous or really starts falling apart. Meanwhile, I will capture this elderly statesman in his decline and glory and it will join the others for Vivien`s tree challenge.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rustic drains

It was a very warm day and I managed to get 30 minutes to myself to go for a stroll in the early afternoon, trying to keep with at least some effort for my involvement in Sketchercise.

On the road to my house, there has been some reconstruction lately and one of the efforts was to update the ditch that drains water from wetlands on its journey to the sea. In the sections that had 'bridges' (read piles of earth and stone) new culverts were installed and the work crew made some rather nice little stone walls around the drainage pipes. this is one of about six little bridges created along the road and they caught my eye as the old fashioned method of creating a stone wall is unique these days with so much work being created in concrete.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trees and sketching

Top of the drive
pen and ink 6 x 8

I am part of a group created by Katherine Tyrrell called Sketchercise which is designed to get people moving and to promote sketching. I'm in need of both and made a small start this evening. I have guests so its difficult to go far right now and a cold isn't helping breathing, so slow steps this week. The sketch is the turning point of the driveway of my house. There are many many trees, some areas completely inpenetrable in thickness, but they add to the privacy, not that its really needed here as I'm already out in the middle of nowhere!

Once small people are gone home again I will start in earnest to get back into running again, provided the body cooperates. Or at least brisk walking.

The trees will also be part of a challenge that Vivien Blackburn of painting, prints and stuff has set to draw or paint trees from life. I don't think there'll be any need to search for suitable models for that challenge. however trees, like flowers, scare me and I tend to avoid them for the most part. This could be just the thing to push me to conquer that fear.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Its difficult to sleep with an active toddler around, so some cartoons and Upsie Daisy kept my granddaughter amused (more or less) while Mommy took a quick nap. I took advantage of the situation with a sketchbook and pen.

This had been preceded by a tour around the coast and lots of wandering for little legs on beaches.

Its quite difficult to capture expression or position in a toddler who is constantly moving.
Finally, the child succumbed to a base comfort - a bottle of milk - allowing me to at least capture some more structured lines.