Come and visit our shared artists studio at Unit 2.9, Halton Mill. The artists will be there between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday 23rd and 24th July. Original artwork, prints, and cards for sale. Browsers welcome. Halton Mill is located on a beautiful riverside setting with lovely walks. The cafe will be open serving teas, coffees, home baking and lunches. You can find directions to the mill here, scroll to the bottom of the homepage: http://www.haltonmill.org.uk/
A short lived spell of warm sunny weather in the past few days has finally brought a touch of green to the trees. This sketch is of the brand new sycamore leaves opening, the grass from last December’s floods still wrapped tightly around the branches.
Its mixed media; acrylic and pastel, on a watercolour background.
These drawings are of buddleia and flowering currant bushes growing alongside the River Lune in Halton, outside my studio. They are just beginning to bud, and I wanted to record the budding leaves and blossoms tangled in the ‘flood grass’, or warlords whiskers, as a friend calls it.
Without really planning it, I’ve embarked on a project I’ve called Lune Year. I am drawing and painting the river, and the riverside, for twelve months following the ‘big flood’ of December 5th, 2015. I’m fascinated by the way that the riverside has been so profoundly changed. From late November until mid January, give or take a few days, the river was in spate. On the night of 5th December, the river flooded to unprecedented levels. The environment agency recorded the flood on 5th/6th December as follows:
The River Gauge at Caton on the River Lune recorded the highest ever flow on an English river as 1742 cumecs (m3/second) – That’s 1742 tonnes of water flowing down the river every second! The flow peak was recorded at 00:15 on 6th December 2015 following the intense sustained rainfall from Storm Desmond.
The river throughout December and early January was pretty scary to be honest. However, it was also utterly fascinating. I spent a lot of time filming and photographing it, at different points within walking distance of my studio, and I began my series of paintings and drawings. I’m planning to exhibit them next spring, once the twelve months is up. In the meantime, I’ll post some of the work on my blog.
And a sketch of two cherries, in watercolour pencil, which I did with my Art in the Park class this morning at Williamson Park in Lancaster. My favourite kind of drawing; no particular agenda or expectations, I just like something, so I draw it. I don’t do this enough in the winter. Its easy in the summer to take a sketchbook out to the coast and sit and draw, but when everything is dull and cold, when the sky can’t even be bothered to have a colour, you have to resort to other forms of inspiration, in this case, a packet of overpriced cherries from Aldi.
An abundance of elephants. I returned from South Africa a week ago with a sketchbook full of animals and a rucksack full of shells, porcupine quills, and various other items DEFRA would not approve of. I had a fantastic month. The landscape is stunning and the sheer abundance of amazing wildlife everywhere is breathtaking. You literally don’t even need to unzip your tent to see it; the baboons do that for you.
These elephants are in Addo Elephant National Park. This park was created in 1931 to protect the last 16 elephants in the Eastern Cape. Today there are over 400. I’d never seen wild elephants before and it was such a privilege to be able to watch them playing in the water. Unlike many of the species I saw in SA, I have seen and drawn elephants before in zoos, so it wasn’t quite as much of a challenge as it might of been. However… elephants move very swiftly, and so basically I have a collection of ‘bum drawings’. Not that that’s a bad thing, elephant behinds are very interesting.
The elephants did not like sharing their waterhole with other animals; so I’m uploading them first and keeping them separate from the other species, which I’ll add over the next few days.
Apologies for the dark scans.