Imperial sketch

Sketched this view in Imperial Gardens, Cheltenham, this morning before it became too hot, although I did find a handy tree to sit beneath.Plenty of people walked by, but only one stopped to ask what I was sketching, and declared it “Smashing!”

sketched in a Stillman & Birn 7.5 x 7.5 inch sketchbook

A good read

A tip if you want to sketch a figure – look for someone who is sitting comfortably and engrossed in a good read, preferably a book or a newspaper, as they are less likely to get up and walk away than someone glancing at social media. Actually I hadn’t intended to tackle such a subject at all, but his orange jersey jumped out at me like a beacon. I don’t know what he was reading, but he was still there when I had finished – the perfect unsuspecting model!

Seed pods

During a routine garden tidy-up this weekend, one of the casualties was a sad looking bedraggled poppy with shrivelled leaves flopping over the wall and across the pavement. I saved these seed pods to paint and to keep until they are ready to burst and provide us with a lot of offspring next year.

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.