120513 tree planting

ImageI love my garden, and at this time of year I have a one to one with each of my plants. Tonight all the acers in the front garden were given their annual Spring cocktail of goodness AKA liquid fertiliser via my watering can to help them on their way and bring oodles of Spring growth to the fore and front garden. As the last drop of goodness dripped into the ground I could be seen gently caressing the leaf of each tree and whispering sweet nothings into its metaphorical ear; very Prince Charles. Whilst all this was going on my other half was valliantly firing up the bbq and cooking the smokiest, most  flavoursome cuisine of the year so far……and, hey, all on a Sunday night, with kids’ exams the next morning. Normally we’d be tucking into a roast, but for parents worried about their kids’ exam results we by contrast relax and lose ourselves in the summer time pursuits of gardening and eating al fresco which ultimately  keeps us sane. Yesterday I planted a tiny oak tree grown from an acorn (ask me where in thirty years time) , and today I planted a pear tree that has been patiently waiting to be planted since last autumn when it was bought.

Goodness; I’ve just looked at this post and noticed that the drawing is larger than normal; but I like it and shall leave it like that. All the marks and incidentals take on a presence that can be examined at a closer scale. Look hard and absorb; take in and enjoy!


120507 gone walkabout

I have just been along to the annual Cropthorne Walkabout (or Cropthorne Splashabout as my husband called it in view of the weather). It was lovely with gorgeous gardens, stalls, magic shows, Morris men, cakes, teas and live jazz; the very best of British. Some of the views from the gardens beyond the river Avon over the Worcestershire landscape were truly magnificent but I was surprised Holland House wasn’t serving teas; last time we went we were queuing round the block. We bought two lovely art books on a book stall: Eric Ravilious and the Newlyn School, plus a Barbar book (the child in me couldn’t resist) , and I have just planted the plants I bought on the plant stall. And all in aid of Cropthorne Church. Incidentally I read in a magazine in the hairdressers recently that the Queen doesn’t like variegated plants which surprised me because I do! I think they can be used very effectively in a garden to create all year round interest. Without them the gardeners’ palette of colours would be severely diminished, don’t you think? There you go, you learn something new every day. Anyway I hope lots of local people come along and support the Worcestershire Arts Trail in a few weeks time. I’m sure they will.

120121 Landmarks

The body is a landscape of hills and valleys in drawing terms and the more wrinkles and moles there are the better. The artist is eager and greedy to convert them into dots and splashes to enliven and energise their work. I was working with a male life model this week and I have to say he is undeniably skinny; every rib and sinew shows through as clear as a bell. Perfect for some studies but I have to admit an obese male life model would be good to draw also but have yet to find one. Copious folds and acres of flesh, normally shunned and eschewed by society and the media, would be a bonus in life drawing terms. Male or female. So if any life model is reading this, take note; you are not required to follow any diet. Ample is good, folds are visually interesting.

What medium have I been using recently? Twig and ink. I was out picking up wind blown twigs off the ground in our garden after a post Christmas gale had blown them off, neatly placing them on the  bonfire ready for a Spring clean blaze,when I decided they would make ideal drawing implements. I am not sure what sort of tree it is but it’s huge, possibly a weeping rowan, and the twigs are smooth and springy. I tweaked them with my trusty secateurs into a nice angled point and quickly made a couple of  dozen to share with students. They are particularly good to draw with because of their springiness, allowing a few unexpected marks to appear, and I do like the unexpected in my drawing.

Incidentally I am about to take new images of life drawing sketch books so watch this space as these will be uploaded shortly to bring colour and illustration to my blog.

110626 It’s All Go!

Well, what a week. I am well and truly cream crackered but happily so. I have participated as much as possible in the inaugural Literary Festival, reading out my own satirical piece as well as someone else’s where I played the Queen (as One does) as part of the Worcester Writers’ Circle Lampoon evening at Drummonds last Wednesday, read my short story “Whistler’s Mother” as part of the Sinister Shorts evening at the University on Friday, as well as run a Picture Book workshop with children’s book author Karen King in the very beautiful St Swithun’s Church ( I have lived in Worcester for twenty three years and am ashamed to say this was the first time I had stepped inside this beautiful interior).

As well as “performing” I have also enjoyed hearing Tony Judge talk about the writing of his first novel Sirocco Express in an interview with Peter Spalton, attended a mesmerising book binding workshop where I hand stitched two small booklets under the expert eye of Angela Sutton, heard about the writing of the play “Elgar and Alice” about Elgar’s life by Peter Sutton at the Swan Theatre, and nearly, I repeat nearly, heard William Cash talk about his book about Graham Greene’s affair which inspired “The End of the Affair” (unfortunately we turned up not realising he had cancelled. Gggrrr, William Cash, gggrrrr!)

This afternoon I am off for cake and bubbly to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Worcester Writers’ Circle and shall no doubt read a few of my haiku, and tonight I am off to read more haiku at Malvern Theatre as a member of Malvern Writers’ Circle. Today and tomorrow are the last two days to catch our Literary Portraits exhibition here at our Battenhall studios. Oh! and I’ve got toothache. It’s all go!

So what now? Well, I have started writing a non fiction book about life drawing so watch this space and I’ll keep you informed. If and when it’s published you’ll be the first to know and I’ll encourage you to buy a half a dozen copies to keep the bare wolf from this door.

110424 two figures

sketch book study in medical dictionary: Comrie, J.D 1931 News Chronicle Home Doctor Morrison and Gibb Ltd., London

110415 resting nude

sketch book study in medical dictionary: Comrie, J.D 1931 News Chronicle Home Doctor Morrison and Gibb Ltd., London

110414 seated nude


sketch book study in medical dictionary: Comrie, J.D 1931 News Chronicle Home Doctor Morrison and Gibb Ltd., London