The Snake plant

I saw this little plant sitting on a shelf away from others of it’s kind in the supermarket, looking as though it wished it was somewhere happier. So I brought it home. Not a lot of colour of course, but at least it is unlikely to wilt any time soon, so stands a chance of being painted more than once.

It’s proper name is Dracaena Trifasciata. Although I know it as ‘Mother-in-law’s tongue’ I didn’t know, until I looked it up, that it also goes by the name of ‘Saint George’s sword’ and ‘Viper’s Bowstring hemp’ Now I know why it was looking so miserable. I shouldn’t be surprised if it was suffering from an identity crisis.

I mostly mixed the greens from Lemon Yellow, Cobalt blue and Prussian blue, darkening them with either Permanent Alizarin crimson or Winsor Violet.

Path through the Farm

I was hoping to sketch during my daily walk today, but apart from concentrating on keeping my feet as I slithered on the mud, it also started to rain as thought it hadn’t had enough after doing so for most of the night. Instead I took a photo of a favourite view and retreated home to paint on a quarter sheet of watercolour paper.

Last Post 2020

Although the snow has almost, but not quite, gone from this little corner of the world, I enjoyed painting Little Rissington the way it was a few days ago.

Usually, people are convinced that the first day of a new year will solve all the problems of the old one and a bright new future awaits them. I am fairly sure that not much is going to change just yet, but with hope on the horizon in the form of vaccines, I wish you all a safe and healthy New Year, and look forward to seeing your posts in 2021.

Farm buildings in snow

A lovely overnight snowfall greeted us yesterday morning, so we wasted no time in going for a walk around The neighbourhood before the beauty of it turned to slush and back to the mud of previous days. Evidence of a lot of flooding still in places. I took a photo of this on my phone and did this painting at home this morning.

You can never be sure how long the snow will last around here. It could stay a week or only a few hours. We may have more in the next few days or not for another twelve months. The secret is not to waste it while it is here.

Christmas Eve

After a day and a half of heavy non-stop rain, there is a lot of flooding in places although, at the moment, not too serious here, except some of the footpaths across the fields have become mud swamps in places.

I had intended to go for a longer walk than I did, largely because although it is so bright and sunny, I hadn’t realized how teeth-achingly cold it had become. I know it will probably get a lot colder, but it took me by surprise!

As it is highly likely we shall be in another national lockdown come the New Year, I am looking forward to sketching a lot more winter landscapes for quite some time.

Wherever you are, whatever restrictions you face, have a peaceful holiday, stay safe and let’s look forward to a healthier 2021.

Down the road in November

After a couple of days on other things, I really needed to sketch something, and so went straight in with a pen and drew a view from a window in my sketchbook. I noticed I had the angles of the roof wrong but just went back with some other lines and painted over them. Sometimes I think we panic too much when we make a mistake and waste a lot of paper or ruin a perfectly good sketchbook, but to err is human after all, and even our errors can add interest to our lives!

Next door’s next door

Some days there’s so much to do that finding time to go out to sketch just doesn’t happen. That is when you start looking for objects which might work as a still life – some fruit perhaps, or flowers, even a teapot all work well on occasion.

Today I happened to glance out of the window – a window I must glance out of how many times a day, every day. Yet today when I looked out, next door’s neighbour’s garden shed, or part of it, suddenly became interesting! It has probably lived there longer than I have lived here, but I don’t remember seeing it before although I must have. Yet there it was, half hidden behind a fence, between some shrubs, waiting to be added to my sketchbook.

In the car-park

Sitting in the car outside a supermarket early this morning, I hoped to sketch some more figures. At first there were not so many people and I wondered if I was too early, then all of a sudden people came thick and fast and I had no time to manage a whole figure before they disappeared from view. Here are a few who came and went in a short space of time. I added watercolour later.

Taking a walk

Random figures seen today while out for some exercise. None of these figures were actually in the same place at the same time, although they were there within about an hour of each other. Some were scribbled in with a pencil and inked over after they had gone. The man with the wheelbarrow kept stopping for a rest. I leant against a wall most of the time but the larger figure was walking in front of me, talking to a companion and I was able to follow at a safe distance unnoticed. I tried to use the ink pen (make unknown) loosely, but turned out not as loose as I’d like. It also smudged a bit which made me think it wouldn’t take a wash, but when I applied some colour later on it didn’t move as much as I thought.

I really miss being able to sit somewhere with a cup of tea and sketch people when they are not moving so much!