Under grey skies

We have lost the sun for the moment, but the low light on these black plastic bales of silage in a field near Snowshill was still enough to attract my attention today. I used combinations of yellows and blues to create the greens, mostly Cadmium Yellow, New Gamboge, French Ultramarine and Prussian Blue.

5×8″ landscape Moleskine sketchbook

The Poppy seat

We bought this seat as a garden feature but also for somewhere to sit in order to take a breather from the never ending little jobs that always seem to need doing in any garden. Last year some self sown marigolds grew up around it, and this year a lone poppy plant which seems to have expanded in all directions, has completely surrounded it, making us feel like intruders!

May be next year we will get to sit on it, that is if the foxgloves don’t beat us to it.

Poppies at Burford

One of the joys of Summer is the sight of poppies in a field. I am obviously not the only person to think so, as these were growing in a field alongside a busy road, and there were so many people stopping their cars, vans and lorries to take in the sight, take photos and even selfies standing among the poppies, that the traffic soon jammed up.


Getting ready for the start of a new term tomorrow – it will be the first time we have been together in a real live face to face class since covid. It will be good to see everyone other than their head and shoulders staring out of a screen!


It’s still February (just), and the weather is as unpredictable as always, but there was a moment over the weekend when the sun shone unhindered by clouds, causing many to believe that Spring can not be far away. There is (just) a little colour creeping back into the garden, filling us with hope for the future – until we see the news headlines. It is all to easy to lose heart at what may come, but we must cling to the hope that, like the weather, the cold will pass, the days will become longer, and we will all be able to feel the warmth on our backs again, which is the right of us all.

Clementines and lemons

Still just enough fruit left for a final painting before it disappears, and the lively colours are certainly a contrast to outdoors. Not that I really mind this time of year as much as many people seem to – it’s a matter of priorities. I find it an excellent moment to sort out plans for the year ahead (if one hasn’t already), load up the shelves with watercolour paper, stock up on pigments and sketchbooks so one doesn’t have to worry about such things later when the sun is shining, and nothing must distract one from getting out there and painting!

Not that it ever quite works out like that of course. But one thing I am sure of, is having such colourful objects to hand to play with at this time of year does wonders for one’s wellbeing, which has assumed such importance recently. It always has been true. It’s just that people have been too busy to give it much thought.

A bit of warmth

This week has been really grey and overcast so far, so I was pleased to find these Clementines to add a little colour to the day. I used mostly Lemon yellow, cadmium scarlet and a little permanent Rose, to try and keep them fresh. I don’t often paint a lot of warm colours, but today I must have felt the need for it – I might even use some of them again before they all disappear.