Thursday, July 13, 2006

Its the little things that count

Farms are places of discovery and this small farm is no exception. There are any number of things which capture my imagination and provide fuel for drawing. This image was one of them. The horse's sweet feed bucket one morning had a visitor. A young field mouse who had dropped in and couldn't get out.

I haven't got a love of mice, but I do find them appealing little creatures. Unfortunately the barn is full of them. Animal feed and seed plus shelter is a combination that is irresitable to them and there are constant traps being set to capture them. The crows benefit from the surfeit of mice, rather like a buffet, as they are thrown to the barn roof after being removed from the traps. Its a circle, the same as the 'arrangement' with the foxes to remove old eggs or chicken casualties from the big compost pile at the end of the field. Its amazing that something can be put ther and within half an hour or less it will disappear, as soon as you're not looking. Its a bit odd to think there are always eyes looking at you from the woods...

The old layers now have free access to the yard. Their egg laying capacity is diminishing along with shell quality, so they'll live out their time digging in the compost pile where they squeal in delight when they scratch up a worm and coo to themselves as they dispatch their find. Its a natural environment for them and their diet as freerange birds enhances the egg quality and the yolks are always a rich orange colour as a result.

I seem to be in a pen and ink rut right now and need to break out of it soon. I was always terrified of the medium but once I tried a class in it, I realized that it is a lot more forgiving that I originally thought. The addition of a colour wash to pen and ink brings it to a new dimension.

This is a drawing that I completed this week in that technique. Flowers aren't my forte, simply because I don't enjoy the complexity of leaves, petals, sepals and shading that makes me concentrate too much perhaps. Its one of those perceived difficulties that, once into it, it becomes a simpler task. However, I rarely tackle flowers, beautiful as they are.

Another addition to the scavenger hunt is a stack of books in my office. Lunchtime drawings provide a challenge and a break in my day when time permits. However, I may run out of things in my office to draw that fit the criteria for the hunt soon!

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Mallika said...

I find your stories about farm life so incredibly interesting. You paint as wonderfully with words as you do whilst holding an actual paintbrush to canvas.

Jeanette Jobson said...

Thank you Mallika, I'm glad you're enjoying the information. There's never a dull moment on the farm, that's for sure!