Today’s drawings

Today I had the pleasure of going out with The Orme Art group for our annual trip to a landscape venue at an old house and its grounds in Staffordshire.

The weather was very windy,  so I decided to take a small sketch pad  and coloured pencils,  soft pastels, and fine tipped ink pens. I thought I had my portable chair in the back of the car but it wasn’t there when I opened the boot. Luckily there were chairs in the garden of the large house for us to use.

The other artists there were either painting with watercolours or acrylics, but we were in a reasonably sheltered spot, so they were not affected by the wind. There is something wonderful, sitting in a green space,  looking at the landscape, the shapes of the trees and leaves. Noticing where the shadows fall, which direction the light is coming from. Choosing the medium which is most appropriate for the drawing you are doing. I find using black pens are good for quick sketches, and outlining and shading shadowed areas. The pastels bought out the colours on an old tree, where only one section of bark was still attached and so only a few branches were still in leaf. I used the coloured pencils to try and give an impression of the solidity of the house with feathery leaves superimposed on the walls and windows. Finally I drew a quick sketch of one of the other artists as she painted the tree that I had drawn.

Having a small A5 sketch pad that is ring bound is really useful. You can draw across the whole page without it flipping shut on you. Yes the holes and wire can get in the way a bit, but being able to fold the whole book back allows for easier handling. You can use it in portrait or landscape positions, and it is easier to fold shut if you get caught in a sudden rainshower.

I spent about an hour on the drawing of the house, and 20 to 30 minutes on the landscape/tree. The quick sketch of my friend took about 15 minutes.

The one thing I should have worn is sturdy shoes! There were a lot of insects about and I’m lucky I didn’t get bitten!

Hot

 

I’m hot, its 2.30 am and the temperature in here is 27 degrees Celcius inside and around 19 degrees Celcius outside !

That’s hot, and it’s been even hotter in the daytime. Some parts of Britain have been over 30 degrees Celcius…That’s over 90 Farenheit I think.

We are not used to it. This has been going on for over two weeks, hardly a cloud in the sky.

Fires, either accidental or deliberate have burned on moorland across the country. Some have even been visible from space, plumes of smoke drifting over towns, houses having to be evacuated. Fire crews from all over Britain came to help fight them.

We just are not used to it. The driest summer I remember was in 1976. We had water cuts, and had water bowsers in the street. People were encouraged to take showers or share baths! Grey water, from washing up or the bath were used to water gardens. We even had a government minister for rain. It actually rained when he took on the job!

Today it was really hot, so hot I wanted to melt. We went out to a local park to the 6 towns one city festival to read and hear poetry and music, but after an hour we left because we were overheating!

But….I know elsewhere in the world our heat is a cool breeze. Our use of water has increased, and yet some countries have hardly any. People have to walk for miles to collect dirty and diseased water which is all they have to cook with, wash and drink.

So, I’m not sure I should complain, but it doesn’t feel right. The jet stream is dragging warm air up from the continent …what we need is a jolly good thunderstorm! Maybe its global warming. I do think it’s time we tried to reduce it.