Bird bath

They have been warning more snow was on the way for ages, and yesterday it came true. The bird bath was covered and once the snow was scraped off the top the water beneath was solid. The bare stems of the fig tree behind are usually hidden by it’s summer foliage when I paint this corner of the garden.

Winter tree

I have painted this tree before but never at this time of year. Usually it’s Spring and Summer foliage hide much of the cottage behind it. The notice pinned on the left hand side of the trunk is a long list of things you are not allowed to do on the grass beneath. At one time, a simple ‘Keep off the grass’ would have been enough, but these days it seems everything has to be spelt out and itemized.

Kitchen fruit

Drawing some fruit in the kitchen today, the banana reminded me of the cucumbers we grew in the garden last summer. How it passed whatever quality control bananas have to go through before sitting on the supermarket shelf, I don’t know!

I drew this in a Red Grey ink and used mostly a palette of Lemon Yellow, New Gamboge, Cadmium Scarlet, Permanent Rose, Cobalt Blue and Winsor Violet on some Bockingford paper.

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!