Spring is in the air (maybe)

I was hoping to go out somewhere and do some sketching this morning, but it was snowing , ( still is, but not as hard and it is not settling), and bitterly cold. Decided to stay in and paint some ‘tete-a-tete’ dwarf daffodils and friends. I expect the plants were just as glad to be inside today.

March afternoon

There may be some signs of Spring- crocuses beginning to come up – but it has turned cold again and next week is expected to be quite wintry

Spent an hour or so in Lower Slaughter making the most of a grey damp day until my hands started to get quite numb. Not quite Spring yet!.

A good way to find ideas

Lemon Muffin, painted with no other reason than to cheer me up on a dull, wet day. Not that I actually need a reason to paint ! It also gave me an idea for a future project for the class, with a few more bits and bobs added. Funny how things can be resolved when you are not really thinking about them.

Thank goodness for small phones!

Most people find it hard to keep still for any length of time, especially if they don’t know someone wants them to. They are always moving their head and waving their hands around, probably without being aware they are doing so. But it does make it difficult if you are trying to sketch surreptitiously – luckily I spotted this person glued to his mobile phone, waiting for his next delivery job, which kept him in one position long enough for a quick entry in a pocket-size sketchbook.

Sunny patches

I wasn’t expecting to do much sketching on my walk today, as it was much cloudier and windier than of late, and everything looked a bit dull. However, the wind blew the clouds along and a few patches of blue sky started to appear. The brief shaft of sunlight lit up the distant field to a bright yellow, providing a strong contrast with the trees and hedges still in shadow.

The Old Prison

I spent this morning in prison.

It was a miserable muddy rain-soaked day and I wanted to make something positive of it, so I went to sketch the Old Prison in Northleach, or at least part of it, from the comfort of the car.

The prison was originally built in 1791 as a House of Correction to inspire better care and rehabilitation of prisoners. I have no idea whether it worked or not, but it closed its doors in 1860. These days it is a listed building and museum. Part of it is also a cafe, where one can sit with a coffee and cake and reflect upon the lives of its former guests.


It started out foggy this morning, but once it had been burned off, the low level of the sun really brought out the contrast of light and shadow, especially through the trees along the riverbank near Little Rissington. I was attracted by the light of the sky and its reflection in the water next to the darkest areas of the reflected trees, and then the cast shadows going from right to left through the water and onto the bank on the far left. This was painted in my 5×8 inch watercolour sketchbook which I am using a lot at the moment.

House across the field

This house was catching the sunlight when I went for a walk this morning. Despite a -4 degree temperature a couple of hours earlier, when the sun broke through it was really quite pleasant, and I managed to do a quick sketch undisturbed. Not so many dog walkers around as usual! Later on, I spotted a tent on the banks of a lake, and various rods sticking out of it and nets and boxes strewn around, led me to suppose there maybe someone inside hoping to catch a fish. I didn’t bother hanging around to see if he was successful. I might have been there all day.

Oranges and Lemons

Always sad to see January go, but couldn’t say ‘goodbye’ without a reference to Seville oranges which always make the best marmalade. It is the first preserve-making of the year, and having a new batch of the clear dark golden fruit in the cupboard, always makes me feel optimistic about the rest of the year, even though it will be a while before the next bout of ‘home-made’.

Calla Lily

I’ve been lying low ever since just before Christmas when the household was struck by combinations of Covid, coughs, chest infections and extreme tiredness. Some of it has gone, some of it has gone and come back again! Some people might dismiss it as the ‘January blues’ but I don’t think so. I’ve always rather liked January whatever the weather and I’m always sad to see it go without making the best of its potential.

This Calla Lily is trying to help me make the effort of getting back into some sort of routine.