From little seeds

The Poppies have been beautiful this year and are always a welcome addition to the garden whether planted on purpose or a gift of Nature. Although their delicate petals do not always last long once the wind blows, their tall elegant seed heads add another sculptural element to the borders.

In the meadow

Same subject matter, different location. This time in the meadows near my home. Fields of them, and nobody looking as if they are thinking about moving them soon. So while everyone was sitting sensibly indoors, I perched in the shade of a bale and breathed in the sweet scent of freshly cut grasses and wild flowers while painting today’s sketch. The only down side was when I became aware of an itch in the hand holding my palette and discovered a not-very-nice-looking creature happily sucking my blood. I flapped it away, but some hours later I can still see the puncture mark it made.

This is another entry in my Moleskine watercolour sketchbook.

Summer bales

I spent this morning sketching possibly my most favourite thing to paint at this time of year. Hay bales or Rolls, call them what you will. You never know where to find them as they tend to crop up in different places each year. Wherever they are, I am always more than happy to spend a day, or days, in the field. Just them and me !

Today however, just as I found them and started to get excited, a large lorry drove into the field and parked between me and some of the bales. I was determined to get something down in my sketchbook before they disappeared, so did this first one fast.

After I’d finished, nothing much had changed. There was a lot of talking but no-one had approached either me or the bales. I assumed they were waiting for some other machinery, like a fork-lift or similar to start loading, so I decided I might have a little more time to sketch another.

Here I was standing on the side of the road trying not to get stung by the cluster of nettles, and used the top of a stone wall to rest my sketchbook on. Most passers-by ignored me but I had an interesting conversation with a lady who shared her memories of a painting holiday in Cornwall. With both sketches done, I thought it had been a good morning well spent.

Both painted in my moleskine 5×8″ landscape watercolour sketchbook.


The class painted at the old churchyard today, only the second time we have been out as a group this year! I sketched the archway which stands more or less by itself in the middle of nowhere. Ironwork on the pillars suggest there must have been a gate, or gates, at one time, so was perhaps the main entrance ? It could have been meant as a memorial. I shall have to go back when the Heritage Centre is open and I can read a bit more about it.

Although not quite as sunny as the day before, everyone enjoyed themselves and produced some good work.

Sketched on a double page spread of a Stillman & Birn 8×10 inch Beta portrait format sketchbook.

Cherries and scones

Our cherry tree continues to thrive despite its advanced age. After a late start, the fruit has proved to be extra plump and juicy this year, and has been much enjoyed by the Blackbirds and their young. Luckily we reached agreement with them about sharing and have managed to pick a few bowls for ourselves to make into jam.

I also managed to get some down in my sketchbook before they vanished into the pot.

A beautiful morning

It was a most beautiful morning, one which could easily have been mistaken for summer. Certainly the warmest we have had so far this year. A clear blue sky, lovely sun and hardly any breeze. So still, and, on my walk at least, the only sound came from birds calling from the trees, and a bee which was determined to follow me for part of the way. I paused to sketch the Roundhouse from an angle I don’t think I have done in a while. I’m hoping the weather might be a sign of things to come – at least for a few days anyway.