A Little Sunshine

Surprisingly after all the frosty nights and having to scrape the windscreens on the car, we had some unexpected Sunshine yesterday which put everyone in a good mood, judging by the number of smiling faces and willingness to exchange more than one syllable , me included. There was actually a little warmth in the sun, if you stood in the right place and didn’t expect too much. It was the dappled light coming through the trees and across the path which caught my mood. However it wasn’t quite warm enough to stand still for a couple of hours, so this was done when I arrived home from a photograph and memory.

Frost damage

This frost-resistant pot turned out not to be after all. It started to show signs of being less tolerant of the cold last year, but now large chunks of terracotta are falling off, although the plant itself, a Camelia, shows no signs of suffering. Most of our other pots and planters look to be made of tougher stuff and have so far shrugged off our frosty nights without complaining.

Frosty morning Allotments

There is not much happening on any allotments at this time of the year, but a recent frosty morning attracted my attention on these. I liked the white roof on the sheds and the quietness of the scene. This is actually quire a large area and there is a lot more to be seen, but I simplified the background and shamelessly removed a green screen from across the foreground, although I included it the small sketchbook version I made at the time. I also used a limited palette of colours, choosing French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna and Yellow Ochre. I also used a small amount of New Gamboge to find a bit more of a green than the blue and Ochre could give me.

Goodbye to 2021

We may be getting to grips with one lot of Covid, but one thing is sure – there is bound to be another variant before long.

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday. Stay safe and please follow the rules as they apply to you wherever you may be. That way, more of us will be able to enjoy a healthy 2022.

See you in the New Year.

Drain Liners

They have been lining the drains around here for most of the week, and whilst I am not too sure what the process involves, it has clearly taken a great many vehicles of all shapes and sizes, pumps, generators and swarms of orange-clad men in white helmets who, between sporadic bursts of manic activity, did a lot of standing around, talking. Which was most fortunate for me, once I realized they weren’t going to be changing position very often, as it gave me the chance to try and draw them. They mostly stayed still except the one on the left in this sketch who kept wriggling his legs I think in an effort to keep warm, but for all I know he could have been rehearsing his part in an upcoming pantomime. Anyway, they seem to have lost interest in our road now.

Painted in Moleskine A5 sketchbook.

November snow

The snow may have gone, for now, but the memories linger, thanks to a painting I did looking out of a window where I had no need to worry about freezing water or fingers. I used New Gamboge, Permanent Rose and Cobalt Blue in the sky and some Raw Umber in the buildings.

A taste of things to come?

Snow in November – Thanks to Storm Arwen. You either love it or hate it, viewing it as either magical or a threat to life and limb. It’s certainly magical to paint, and in some ways simplifies the landscape into areas of cool blues and violets against areas of warm siennas and ochres with a few slithers of untouched paper.

Of course, the difficulty with watercolours is if the water hasn’t frozen, your fingers probably will, so if you are somewhere where you are unable to sit in a car, it might be a good idea to memorize a simple view or make a pencil sketch to work from when you reach home – alternatively you could just paint the view through the window.