The next day, it was sunny and warm, so I caught the cabbage white butterfly, which had spent the night in my kitchen, and released it onto the forget-me-nots in my front garden. In my new nature journal, I recorded this in watercolour and coloured pencils.
Today, I was out in the rain to biologically treat my containers against vine weevils, so I put it in my nature journal.
Do you nature journal? Leave a link in a comment and I'll check it out.
For Earthday2018, an urbansketcher friend posted an invitation, a nature challenge #sowinghopefornature, which included starting a nature journal. (Read the post here). I've been having a muse-free year and think this is the incentive I need - I'm even blogging again.
First, I got out a new Seawhite of Brighton A5 Artists Travel Journal Sketchbook and attacked it with a stencil that was left over from a workshop, thereby commiting myself to the task.
Then, my furry assistant and I headed into the garden - it was a glorious sunny day - and started my first spread and, as last year, I celebrated Earthday with a watercolour. On 8th April, I sowed a corner of my garden with wildflower seeds, cornfield annuals, plus a plug of Digitalis and one of Knautia Arvensis. They were last year's seeds, but they are starting to grow 🌱 In front, is a willow fence is to stop my lovely assistant digging them up. Below are photos of this first spread.
I had several ideas for a second spread, yay I have a muse, but when driving to visit my mum there was a hitchhiker, a cabbage white butterfly, on my dashboard and then windscreen. (I pulled over, parking, and turning the engine off three times to take photos and to try to let it out). Therefore, my second spread had to be of the hitchhiker.
I don't like handlettering, so am going through a trial and error period whilst I find a style that's both fast and neat. Here's the hitchhiker...
and a bad photo of the spread.
Today, I managed to get the butterfly out of my car, fed it a little sugar water, and it is currently on my begonia in the kitchen as it's too cold to put it outside.
Unfortunately, due to my teaching commitments, I didn't have the time to add anything to the journal, I will do soon, but am not putting any pressure on myself to do X per day, week, or month. Please check back here soon.
Recently, I was very flattered to be invited to sketch at the Roman River Music concerts, of which the main festival is in the autumn (Details here). A limited number of Colchester Sketchers were invited to join me at a couple of rehersals connected to the Summer Festival.
Last Friday, we went to St Mary's & St Michael's church in Mistley where the talented musicians Elena Urioste violin, Timothy Ridout viola, Orlando Jopling cello, and Tom Poster piano were rehearsing for their concert that evening.
Arriving before the musicians, I took advantage of the time and sketched one of the church's beautiful stained glass windows.
Then tried to capture the musicians as they rehearsed... but I have to confess to keep stopping to listen to the music. The sketches are in pencil or watercolour. Here are my results:
The following day's rehearsals were in St Mary's, Wivenhoe and the musicians seemed to have such fun. They were all superb and were Juliette Bausor flute,
Daniel Bates oboe, Katherine Spencer clarinet, Stuart King bass clarinet, Peter Whelan bassoon, and Pip Eastop horn. Again I sketched in pencil or watercolour:
I can't wait to sketch more!
What have you been sketching?
The New Town Gardeners were very lucky on Sunday as the sun actually came out for the event. It was lovely wandering around the area and I saw and sketched many beautiful gardens. Most, I sketched on-location in pencil, but one garden I watercoloured, and it made the local newspaper.
As you can see from the top photo, I took the almost finished sketchbook to Friday's monthly gardeners meeting, where it stretched across 2 tables.
Last Sunday, I didn't manage to visit all the gardens, but am hoping to visit more when the sun comes back.
Where have you been sketching?
I finished this piece a little while ago. Hope you like it.
Last Sunday, I arranged for the Colchester Sketchers to sketch at the bandstand in Colchester Castle Park where The Band of the Parachute Regiment were playing. The concert was great, the sun was out for the majority of the afternoon, and there was a good turn out of sketchers. The only negative has to be my wonky perspective and roof on my watercolour.
After doing the watercolour sketch, I did the two quick pencil sketches above.
What do you think of them? The band liked my watercolour.
Next Sunday, if you are in the Colchester area, you will find me at the Farmers Market at Bourne Mill, where I have a table showing sketches, paintings and selling prints and cards. Pop by and say hello :)
Have a lovely week everyone.
I seem to have developed a minor fascination with sketching my neighbours chimneys and rooves, so far all from the confines of my house. However, now the warmer weather has arrived, I may be sketching further down the street. After 15 years living abroad with hardly a chimney in sight, I wonder if it's the novelty of seeing them in their different shapes and sizes. What do you think?
I have just returned from the Black Buoy in Wivenhoe's May bank holiday real ale festival. My assistant and I sat outside sketching and listening to the music, although my assistant was more interested in the fish and chips.
Earlier this week, I arranged for the Colchester Sketchers to drink/draw at the Bricklayers. My first sketch of my Aspell's cider was the most successful and is shared below.
Finally, something different, I currently have my experimental piece hung at the Art Exchange where it was selected for the Celebrate Landscape exhibition. If you are in the area, pop in before it closes next Saturday.
I have just spent the last few days in Barcelona. On Wednesday, I flew over having left my assistant to stay with her dogsitter. After checking into my hotel, I headed straight to MACBA and spent and hour on the above sketch.
After the rain stopped, I spent Thursday at the Barcelona Open BancSabadell – Trofeo Conde de Godo. I saw Rafa win amongst other matches, but didn't sketch anything.
Friday morning, I headed out for breakfast and had to paint the girl at a nearby table. (below) I went straight in with paint as I didn't know how long she would be there. I had just snapped her surreptitiously, should have moved the menu, when she left.
From there, I visited the Fundació Antoni Tàpies and saw some interesting artwork and prints before heading to Passeig de Gracia. Being the day before Sant Jordi (Saint Georges), who is the patron saint of Catalonia, Gaudi's Casa Batlló had been covered in roses. It looked beautiful and still being early there were not too many people, so I sat on the street corner to sketch it.
In the afternoon, I went to see some more art at the CaixaForum, which had an exhibition Impressionists and Moderns: Masterworks from The Phillips Collection.
Then went for a walk up to Barcelona's botanical garden. I sat and did a small watercolour, which I really enjoyed painting, surrounded by vegetation, bird song (including green parrots), and little else.
Afterwards, I had a wander around took lots of photos of the beautiful plants and flowers.
Yesterday was my last day and I spent it catching up with some friends. I still managed an incomplete sketch whilst waiting to meet a close friend for brunch. I wanted to capture some of the San Jordi celebrations, as I did last year (Sant Jordi 2015) but tables and more were still being set up, so started above them... and ran out of time.
*Jo dibuixo i tu? is Catalán for I draw, do you?
There's a new challenge over on twitter led by Anthony Greentree (@antsgreentree) called #buildapril, which is is all about buildings and structures in any media.
Above is my 1st April sketch of my across-th-road neighbours drawn with a Super5 pen with DeAtramentis ink and painted with Winsor & Newton watercolours in A Daler Ebony A5 sketchbook. Whilst right is a work in progress started yesterday of Bourne Mill.
Last month's challenge was #animalmarch, and I started well with daily sketches of my assistant, but then life got in the way. Here are a selection of them:
It's almost time to send my spring newsletter.
I am a nomadic artist travelling the world for inspiration. Here, I publish my sketchbook work alongside my new finished pieces.