This time of year I find new enthusiasm for walking outdoors. Instead of briskly marching around the woods with Codi at lightning speed, I find myself instead wandering leisurely - taking everything in.
A far cry from the winter months where everything seems to be a different shade of brown, the moss has carpeted the woods with the brightest green, and already the Bluebell shoots have begun to protrude from the soil. I can hardly wait for when they flower because the entire woods turn a beautiful shade of vivid purple, which happens to be one of my favorite colours.
During the winter months I came upon this leaf which had caught itself between two branches on its journey down from the tree. Unlike the other leaves which had all but rotted and turned to mulch, this one had remained perfectly preserved away from the wet ground. I felt it more than worthy to be immortalized on paper, so I took it home with me and drew it.
Firstly I laid the leaf with the more textured underside facing up. Then I shone a light strongly on one side of the leaf which added an interesting shadow. And here is the result.
Once the Bluebells have arrived I plan to take my watercolours with me on my walk and see if I can capture some lively little sketches!
Now, here's a regular sight at the moment - the umbrella, propped up against the wall in the hallway ready for use at a moments notice! Still, it's almost April which brings with it the inevitable April showers and with that comes new growth, so it's a good thing. It's actually raining very hard as I am sitting here blogging!
Speaking of growth, Paul has almost finished building the raised beds for the new veggie patch. The soil arrives tomorrow by the ton - just well rotted manure required now. I think I'm actually looking forward to drawing the veggies as they grow more than I am eating them! That's if they grow at all - we are, after all, entirely new to this!
I drew this super-quick sketch at a table sale, which I went to with Mum. I partially hid myself around a corner with my back against the wall... Mum had emptied every box in the place before I had even picked up my pencil! (I'm not great at sketching in public!)
It was at the point where a women stood at the book stall almost directly in front of me, seemingly engrossed in the book she had selected, when I thought, if I don't do it now I will once again go home with a clean page. So, I opened my sketchbook and began scribbling.
I knew that however engrossed the woman seemed, she could walk away at any moment, and I think this feeling of panic helped, because after just a couple of minutes, my clean page was now sporting a sketch of a woman, clearly browsing through a book .
She moved on before I had the chance to add or adjust anything, and actually, I like it just as it is.
It was funny, really. I was worried somebody would realise what I was doing - but instead, the only person to pay me any attention at all was a lady who tried to give me her 50p entrance fee!
If you've read through my blog from the start, you have probably learned that I like the warmth. My husband always tells me that I blossom in the summer - a bit like the flowers I suppose!
At about this time of year my eyes are actively scanning for buds, or indeed any sign that spring is on the way.
I have had enough of being cold through to the bone, as much as I've had enough of being indoors with the central heating on. The only thing I like about the winter is lighting the log fire - that's it.
the summer comes we will spend much of our spare time outside, whether
it is lying in the sun, eating our dinner, or just generally pondering
around the garden - as long as it's outside in the sunshine I really
husband has decided that this year he's going to make a vegetable
patch. The idea of picking something out of the ground and cooking it
minutes later sounds delightful and I'm looking forward to watching them
grow. I might even draw their progress too. So - watch this space!
So, I had to reacquaint myself with the rubber gloves and the tea-towel. We hadn't spent any time together for a long time, not that I'd missed them in the slightest!
It's funny how we take things for granted. We just don't realise it until it's gone.
I sketched the rubber gloves earlier on today, they took about 15 minutes to do, with these lovely soft pastels. The Tea-Towel is a pencil drawing I did a VERY long time ago, which I came across the other day!
Codi joined me at work again today. The first thing she always does when we arrive is present the tennis ball at my feet and look at me expectantly. She hasn't yet learned that the kettle is my first priority, followed by switching the heaters on!
Although the sun been gloriously bright over the last few days, it has still been bitterly cold. Our garden is surrounded by woodland providing a shelter from the wind - It really did feel like Spring out there on Sunday and we spent much of the day tidying up the pond. But standing in an open fieldfeels very different.
Today was particularly cold and very windy, but she won't settle unless I give her a good run, so I did the dutiful thing. Half an hour later she was finally showing signs of fatigue and I got started on my days work. It's always easier to sketch
Codi when she's worn out, but when she's not as settled its easier to
draw different bits of her rather than trying to draw her as a whole.
Its a good way to get to know a subject too. I used a water-soluble pen for these sketches.
It occurred to me today, how different the world 'sounds' when the sun shines. Something I barely ever notice on a cold, wet or windy day is the soothing melody of bird song. Today it was in stereo; from all directions, from every tree - Just where do the birds go on a cold day? Presumably snuggled up in there nests, but then why don't they still chat? I don't realise how much I miss the sound during the winter months until it returns in the Spring, though no doubt I might eat my words when they start singing at 4am in the summer! This little bird had stopped at the bird table which my husband built, for a little brunch of bird seed and bacon rind. I managed to sketch the table in less than ten minutes, though the bird just happened to come along for the last minute or so.
Well, what a great start to March! As I reluctantly drew open the curtains at 6.45am, the room was swiftly saturated with bright sunshine – Oh how I wish it wasn’t Monday! Still, that usual Monday morning feeling was, for that moment at least, replaced with one of optimism – it’s amazing what a burst of, dare I say, ‘Spring’ sunshine can do for the soul, especially after what seems like months of relentless snow and rain!
I arrived at work almost an hour early and grabbed the opportunity to try out Codi (our dog's) new 'Ball Launcher' on a dry day for a change - She often accompanies me to work. Standing in the field, bitterly cold as it still was, I could feel the comforting warmth from the sun on my back - What bliss!
After a good half an hour I went inside to start what was to be a particularly stressful days work - Yes, that Monday feeling had come back with a bang! Still, amongst all of the chaos, instead of the usual wet, dim view from my window Spring had instead shown it's face at last and sunlight flooded the office - and I was thankful for that.
Codi slept for the rest of the day, outstretched in a sunny spot.