Cats must have done Yoga in one of their 9 lives! How else could they bend and twist like they do?
Well actually its because they have extremely flexible spines and can move fluidly and easily.
Imagine a cat was a slice of toast, it would always land butter side up. There was a joke once about tying a slice of buttered toast to the back of a cat. Because toast is meant to always land buttered side down the result would be a perpetually rotating cat!
Anyway I would never do that to any animal, let alone a kitty.
But joking apart cats can bend their spines so that if they are dropped from an upside down position they can generally turn right way up before they hit the ground. (don’t do this at home). Cats also cushion the fall by landing on their toes. Their legs and rest if their skeletons act like shock absorbers.
So Cats are pretty awesome, flexible, and good to draw!
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.
When you are out for lunch, or going for a day trip its good to ditch the camera sometimes and just sketch the view. It might end up a bit skewiff but that doesn’t matter, you are making personal memories, things to remember, like the way my friends hat dominated our table at a local restaurant Amore, in Newcastle-under-lyme or the fact I always seem to eat lunch before I think about recording what it looked like. We had a huge meal at the New Inn at Dyserth. Then drawing a view of a landmark, trying to catch its character and the sunlight hitting the tree trunk just at the right angle to cast its shadow on the huge stone walls behind it. Drawing the oddly angled steps that are made to bend round protruding rocks and the stone wall at Dyserth Falls…oh I cram a lot in on day trips!
I went to a model train show last year and while my partner was looking at the model trains I decided to draw a Morris Minor that was parked outside. There were a few of them there and I had a chat with one of the owners. It turned out the people were from the Potteries Morris Minor owners club. They love their cars and the Morris I drew was beautifully presented.
I decided to do the sketch before I realised I had not got anything to sketch with, I had a tiny sketch pad but no pencils… so I used what came to hand which was a black biro. The drawing was going well, but the biro ran out. Thats why part of it is blue. I could pretend it was reflected sky, but that is a lucky result if running out of ink!
Morris Minor cars are iconic. Thet are beautiful. They are classic cars, their shape is streamlined in that old fashioned way. They came in different shapes, my favourite is the Morris traveller. It looks different because it has wooden spacers between the metal panels. I wish I knew more about them!
After our first night at Morecambe we could not resist a drive up to South Lakeland. Part of the Lake district. It only took a short while to get there.
The first place we visited was the lakeland motor museum. Situated near Haverthwaite in the south part of the Lake district, the museum is just off the main road. There is a large selection of motor cars, from the oldest cars and getting younger as you wind your way through the collection. Interspersed with shop window fronts full of museum exhibits, the cars are very interesting. I decided to draw part of a blue Bentley that was owned by Donald Campbell. He lost his life trying to beat the water speed record on Coniston lake. The colour of the car is not authentic because the car was restored in the past. However it was a beautiful example of the workmanship of car makers. There are also bicycles and planes on display in the museum.
Then it’s a few meters down the road to the Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway. I sat and drew the bridge over the train tracks while we waited for the steam train to arrive. The train was pulled by an engine called Repulse. I’m not sure but I think it was a Bagnall engine. They also have the only two Fairburn steam engines still in existence. (The rest were broken up by British rail when diesels were introduced to the railways).
We took the train up to Lakeside and then travelled on the Tern, an old converted steam ship which is now powered by a diesel engine. Tern took us to Bowness about half way up the Lake. The mist and rain was falling off the hills and from the sky. After several weeks of summer heat it was actually quite pleasant to feel the cool damp air. We did not have time to carry on up to the top of the lake to Ambleside because we were running out of time. So a short break at a Lakeside cafe and we came back on another, smaller boat. Back to the train and back to our starting point at Haverthwaite station.
Back in time for a quiet meal in a Chinese restaurant in Morecambe……
I was going to try and play my trumpet at the pub tonight, but of course I haven’t had time to practice, and although I had a lesson recently….well it just doesn’t sound very good….
So do a song…again…I have been so busy…..I haven’t learned anything new. A lot of the time I will just sing something that I have done before…
When we got there the band was playing, but there is always a section of the night where the audience can sing or read poetry while the band take a break.
I decided to sing “Scarborough fair” but I started a bit too high. I have sung it before, maybe two years ago, so I wrote the words down and sang from some scribble on a peice of paper…..
“are you going to Scarborough fair, parsley sage rosemary and thyme, remember me to one who lives there, she once was a true love of mine” etc….
I took a couple of photos, but my camera phone doesn’t work well in the dark so I have had to put them through some filters.
A friend had brought some paper and pencils, so while the band and audience played music I drew some of the customers at the pub. I have posted the drawings here, some worked better than others. In a rapidly moving crowd you have to try and get an image down quickly. Especially if people are playing instruments!
But then you probably guessed that….
My favourite colour as a child was red, not pink….but hot , bright red. Some people say red is orange when it is bright, but I disagree.
I’m lucky to have full colour vision (even if it is a bit blurry) my other senses might not be so good but I love the bright cerulean blue of the sky. I love emerald green..Orange oranges, the brown, purple, greens of tree trunks…
Where would I be without the varied colours of the sea. Grey’s, blues, aquatic turquoise, even muddy orange when there has been a storm that drags soil or sand out into the water.
Yellows that make my heart sing. When I first moved into my own home I remember painting a room bright yellow. Like walking into pure sunlight.
Black and deep purple give contrast to stark white. But white and black can be warm or cold, just add a bit of red or blue to change the hue…
I love metallics too. I put them into my paintings to add interest…
So ask me what colour I hate? Not one, none, zero…. x