Monday, 22 December 2014

A ship of Fools

Having made a start on a large scale version of the Fool and his companions, I am adjusting the picture all the time.  The composition has changed as I was not happy with the relationship between each character, or the size of the boat.
The paper -I am using- is much softer, the moleskine is watercolour rough whilst the larger sheet is watercolour smooth.  Both about 260lb weight but with a completely different surface.  This has made a complete change in the pencil work.  You live and learn.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Telling tales

I have been posting these on the site I share with my other half:

The whole process has been an opportunity to fall in love with pencil drawing again.  Tim gave me a Rotring propelling pencil,which is a joy to use.

The pictures are ideas for the Fool of the World and the Flying Ship.  Most of the illustrations are out of sequence in construction.   I have plans for about 4 or 5 more, but they are resting inside the pencil, waiting to be called out.
After resting for some time, the Fool awoke to the sound of a wooden staff tapping on the ground.
;The old man's advice proved sound. As the Fool opened his eyes he saw, not a tree trunk but a sturdy wooden boat with owl feather oars. 

Eater, Swift and Farsight kept watch over their sleeping companion.

Thursday, 13 November 2014


I wish I was a better writer.  I would probably be a better writer if I stopped worrying about it and just wrote.
Ah well...time will tell.  I am trying to sketch out a retelling of some of my favourite stories.  The ones I remember best from when I was little.  They seem to be mostly Russian or from the tradition of Eastern Europe generally Romanian or Ukrainian.  Sometimes they are Lappish or Sami.
I always loved the ones with the trickster, usually Fox, and his attempts to outwit the other forest inhabitants.  Poor bear and his lost tail.
The way Crow out wits Fox.

I have been retelling myself these stories as I walk to work.  Think I need a dictaphone.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Sometimes the heart carries a heavy load

Dedicated to those who have a gap that should not be there, an absence too soon and who did not get to say goodbye properly.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Tigers lie in wait

There are lots of different stories about how the Tiger got his stripes.
Kipling told one in his second Jungle book: How Fear Came.  Which tells the story of how Shere Khan boasts of his right to kill man and how Hathi tells the tale of how this came to be.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Tale of Two Counties

This has been a weekend of birdsong in sunshine,angelica scented breezes and long, long walks.  It has been a tale of two counties, buttressed against each other, yet differing in their own ways.

Firstly in the footsteps of the men of iron, along a road towards a ringed ditch and former fort.  One of many in a line from Oxton to Calverton.
Through the gate and under the trees, alongside farmland and by the side of a generous hedgerow.  All the while the summer sky rings with the rising rivalry of skylarks; very much the song of Nottinghamshire fields.  They nest where miners once delved or where farmers still plough.  You have to peer to see the small brown bugler, plain in hue but bright with sound as he rises higher and higher over his chosen nest.
Stitchwort and speedwell pepper the ground, as burdocks swell and may blossoms stinking warms the air.  This is a short walk, under oaks, towards the higher ground that looks outwards towards the more northern fort of Oxton.

Trees now people the fort, amongst a carpet of wild garlic.  Little paths invite you to wander and the cool green is sanctuary from the overwarm May sunshine.  A quick drink in of this little bit of magic before our feet turn for home.

The second tale is one of a Leicestershire woodland ghost.  Now long gone, once covering the county. Cutting through the heart of Charnwood is a road of iron. Today it takes nolstagia seekers on short hop journeys, drawn into their daydreams by a puffing horse.  Along side this road runs footpaths: some new, some old, streams from the bigger River Soar and tarmac roads through long settled villages.  These paths are the ones from my childhood, walked with my Dad, Sunday after Sunday.  The sounds and smells of this countryside can bring on instant memories.
 Further south than the iron fort, this is a gentler roll to the land, softer curves and different soil. The shift is a subtle one, though there was still room for the miner to delve, even here.
The hedgerows reveal more colour, with red campion and meadow buttercup hiding between the angelicas and burdocks.  In the distance seas of wheat ebbed and flowed in the breeze.
The air is animal scented and hot, the birds song is fields away from skylark, more warbler and hedgerow tit: chiff chaff, chiff chaff; little bit of bread and no cheese.  All the while rooks squabble and cackle in the tree line and the night animal pathways wend under our feet.
Yesterday the swifts screamed and looped over head, today the silent swallow buzzed the grass in the search for flies.

We circled the iron rails through little tunnels and alongside fields, until we returned to the point where we had begun.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Tammie's neighbours

Inspired by Tammie Lee's morning post (well morning here in the UK)  I couldn't resist reproducing her photograph in paint.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

More 5 minute speed sketches

Although we have been away I am trying very hard to keep up with 5 minute speed sketching.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Friday, 18 April 2014

5 minutes a day

I have set myself the task of a daily 5 minute doodle.
Just because,,,

Here are yesterday's and today's

Sunday, 19 January 2014

My husband takes a damn good photo

The well-trod path

Walking with the boys

None shall pass
With the sun shining for the first time in weeks we took advantage of the break in both weather and work to go tramping.  Blidworth Bottoms is a typical Forestry Commission plantation.  But it is one with a number of bridleways and paths that makes it very attractive for walkers and horse riders.  With this kind of late winter light it is possible to get some beautiful photographs, which Tim duly did.  He takes a good picture!

Matthew, aka Gandalf found a stick if immense proportions; it doubled as staff and light sabre depending on the whim of the moment.  The snickety little paths and wider rides give much scope for imaginative gaming.  Sometimes there is an over enthusiastic dog wanting to join in too.  We walked and played to different birdsong, from robins to crows, as well as a flock of tits.

Like I said, he takes a good picture does my husband.