This time last year we visited Holywell in North Wales. It’s a little town set up a hill a bit in land from the coast The actual Chapel of St Winefrid is on a steep hill and is accessed through a visitors centre that gives you the details of the story of the Saint.
There is a pool of water below the church building which is set into the hillside. Inside the building is the holy well where a spring of clear water rises up and wells out of the ground. The architectural details are lovely and there is a real feeling of peace to the place despite it being next to quite a busy road. I think we will visit again.
Starting with a ceramic head I made in the 1980s at a pottery class. It has lasted through many years and many plants. This year its just planted up with lobelia, but the fuschia that was in it in 2017 was spectacular.
The second photo is part of a Chinese bridge at Biddulph Grange gardens. A wonderful garden owned by the National Trust at Biddulph, North Staffordshire. The garden is split into different areas including one based on Egyptian architecture, a Swiss cottage, an ancient grotto, and the Chinese pagoda garden. It’s a fascinating and beautiful place to visit.
One of the odd things they have there is in picture number three. This is an upturned tree root that is covered in moss, there is a whole section of them lining the steps down to the grotto, the trees must have been huge before they were hewn.
The fourth photo is a phone error. Probably because I had too many images on my phone, so two photos of daliahs are grouped with the hedges of the daliah walk at Biddulph. The picture is totally random, and the colours just happened.
Today I had a break from my exhibition for an hour, so I went and sketched a few of the classic cars. I have to say there were a lot of Austin and Morris cars, plus things like the Scimitar car that I drew.
Each sketch took between 10 and 15 minutes. I tried to be accurate, but when you are standing in a field with cars or engines, people have a tendancy to walk in front of you or stand in the way.
Drawing is slow motion photography I guess you could say, you click a camera, but your hand and eyes have the effort of coordinating to get an image. It’s not easy to draw a new subject. Wheels can be too big or small. A bumper might be too high up, and cut across where the radiator grill should go. Also when you use a thin nibbed pen you have the difficulty of getting dark areas without wanting to spend ages cross hatching.
Movement is another problem, while drawing the diesel engine I tried to get a feeling if the spinning motion, but it started to get messy. There are so many pipes and wheels and tubes. I have no idea what bit does which action, its hard to link things up in your head.
Anyway I took photos of the cars for comparison, I may paint some of them.
Orchid I see you flying, Up through Sun and space growing tall and twisting, bricks and tiles supporting. ..
I don’t know why I like making these pictures from ordinary photos. I feel like they are alien views of life. If you had faceted eyes you may see things like this. In fact human and animal eyes project an image upside down on your retina. The brain has to turn it the right way up. The same thing happens with a telescope, the image you look at is upside down, but how many people look through a telescope?
The orchid is new, its in our kitchen, but the cat knocked it off the cupboard and although I have put it back in its container its looking a bit poorly. I think its too cold.. I’ve got some new orchid medium so I’m going to re pot it.
In 2015 I went on a photo walk organised by a friend round a local town called Burslem. The town is quite run down in places, but thats what made it interesting. Neglect sharpens architecture. Photos taken on an old vodaphone.