Sunday, 26 February 2017

Garden work

Veg patch now ready for new season. Path lined with logs that had been sitting at the back of the garden awaiting a suitable use. Woodchip acquired from local waste ground where some trees had been chopped down and chippings left unwanted. Some strong galvanised wire veg protectors were recently bought from a salvage yard and these now will hopefully keep birds, foxes and cats off my new plantted garlic bulbs and onion sets. Welcome to spring.


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Thursday, 16 February 2017

White Cat


A rather scrappy sketch of some trees at Croft Castle a few days ago.


Different Realities

In about half an hour the sun will set behind the haze covered Welsh hills to the west of Croft Ambrey. Compared to yesterday’s almost blizzard like conditions up on Stow Hill near Knighton, the sunshine today was quite warm in those places sheltered from the cold breeze. I have spent the day walking meditatively around the walled garden at Croft Castle, Fishpool Valley and the woods up to Croft Ambrey. Just a slow relaxing plod looking at everything around me and enjoying a day when the sense of spring was tangible in the landscape. I could have stopped to draw so many times but my senses are just overwhelmed at being outside in a place I love. I just wanted to walk and sense everything around me.

This is all a distraction from the whirl of work and deadlines. I can drift away from the demands of modern work life and sit, stand or walk in my own little world. This is real place of course, but not part of my normal daily reality. It is a place that seems to be a significant ‘other place’ for me. It is another separate world in which I can exist but not really a place in which I live.

The wind in the scots pines above me is soothing and with a padded shirt, coat, scarf and gloves I feel fairly cosy. I am dry and so is the bench upon which I sit so I am not getting damp and cold. I expect the temperature will soon drop when the sun dips below the horizon.

When I head back down the hill I find I am bouncing along quite merrily. It’s like I have regained something of who I feel I would really be if I didn’t sit in front of a computer all day.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Stow Hill, Shropshire

(Only two words allowed and no hyphens)

Stow Hill
Icy wind
Circling buzzard
Gentle snowflakes
Crackling bracken
Crunchy ice
Wary fox
Hilltop snow
Chatting farmers
Whispering pines
Biting blizzard
Obscuring mist
Silent woods
Delicate outlines
Conversational starlings
Hedgerow snowdrops
Hungry sheep
Laid hedges
Possible bullfinch
Dilapidated barn
Chocolate Biscuits
Warm clothes
Enhanced contrast
Waterlogged sketches
Disintegrating combine
Exhilaratingly nippy
Shelter welcome

Shropshire Hills

A snowy sketch looking from Bedstone Hill across to Stow Hill in South Shropshire. Walking down and along the valley was quite pleasant compared to the almost blizzard conditions up on the top of Stow Hill in the distance.


A few days ago...

Clouds grey and heavy with sleet. It seems as though there has been no sunshine for days. As I leave work I see the clouds thinning and a deep peach ball of light breaks through the heavy greyness. No rays of bright light touch the landscape, just the dull glow on the horizon. As I drive further ball of light brightens into an intense orange but the light seemingly barely touches the clouds around it. Just a glowing sunset on the horizon.

The dull cold weather of the past few days has felt bitter and uninviting. A planned weekend to Shropshire begins to be questioned amidst a forecast of cold, rain and sleet. Do I really want to go?

The sun is a reminder that sometimes the unexpected can happen. A few seconds of awe can change an emotional state. A conversation with nature or a meeting with people can lead to a change in one's journey. Welcome the unexpected.

I look forward to going away.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

White Hair

Sketch in Sainsburys cafe today. My concentration wasn't very disciplined and my comfort zone was not brilliant so I just dabbled hap hazadly here.

Thursday, 2 February 2017


After a day spent at work under artificial light I enjoyed drivng home in the lengthening daylight. The sky was overcast and grey giving a very white light as darkness encroached. A very wintery white light. A contrast with the dark hues of the trees and hedgerows alongside the motorway. Warmish too, and a wind picking up. I like this weather.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017