Birksmere watercolour and pencil sketching

We visited this very special garden and lakeside on Monday this week and I was so grateful to be able to sketch and photograph it once more. The dawn was especially beautiful, and the way some clouds were reflected in the lake was mesmerising. There is always something that lights up when I’m there, and it changes throughout the day. I’m coming towards the end of my sketchbook so will need to invest in another soon. I made a large oil inspired by this garden during lockdown and will share images once I have had it properly photographed, which could be a while yet but the machinery is in motion for that to happen. I even have some ideas for my embroidery and puppetry experiments from  drawing there. Nature  is  the  master  healer.

Needlewallet pile

I have now created enough needle-wallets for 8 prospective participants for the puppetry and embroidery workshops I hope to offer for adult survivors of sexual abuse at a local facility that offers counselling to such folk. Here you can see the needle-wallets I have made to lend to the participants. They are each different with a silk painting on the the inside. I hope they will provide a sense of ownership and belonging in the workshops. I am also gathering little starter kits of fabric swatches and threads to use in an embroidery sampler in the first instance. Onward and upward…

Seaweed embroidery with ripples

Have added to my seaweed embroidery based on some that I found at St.Bees beach in the summer.  The running stitch in ripples just made itself into repeated shapes with minor variations. I find myself worrying that it will end soon as is always the case with me making embroideries! I like doing them so much, but inspiration is infinite and will just start another! I’ve just heard this week that the facility that I want to do workshops in embroidery and puppetry with still want me which is great! Covid has interrupted so much of this vital work with survivors of sexual abuse, but the need is greater than ever now. I really believe in the benefits of creative work on so many levels, am all ready to go!

St.Bees Seaweed, drawing and embroidery

I found some interesting dried seaweeds at St.Bees beach on my recent visit there and decided to have a go responding to it through thread on fabric, and pen on paper. I had previously thought it would be a good visual resource for such responses and was glad I remembered to collect some whilst on the beach. The abstract shapes lend themselves to linear responses whatever medium you may use!

Pendle Hill, little oil

I created this small oil painting on canvas board as a commission for a friend. It was fun doing it. My initial photos of the iconic hill did not fit the brief and I was grateful for the feedback from the commissioner. She then hunted down her own image and sent it over to me which was much better as I understood what she really wanted. A ,more brooding and atmospheric Pendle. I made a little sketch which she liked and proceeded with the commission. It was an enjoyable journey completed when I gave it to her daughter in person. Communication is so important throughout this process so the resulting piece is in line with what is looked for.

I should add that I found it really quite hard doing the initial sketch which was a mix of looking at the photo provided and the view of Pendle from my little studio window. I think it was because you have to be in a certain frame of mind to draw atall I think. I was struggling with the lockdown due to Covid, but in retrospect was really grateful fo this work for moving me along and ultimately doing something for someone else that will hopefully give pleasure. My friend’s daughter is returning to Australia where she lives soon, and the view of Pendle will remind her of home I hope.

Little oil ‘Gash’ Netherwasdale

I have just completed this little painting from a sketch made on the spot of the mountains, specifically the gulley on the side of the mountain, at Netherwasdale in the the Lakedistrict in the UK. Here is the sketch along with the little oil I made when back in the studio.

St.Bees beach rapidograph drawing from 1970’s

Here is a drawing I found made way back in the 1970s when I was at Leeds Uni studying Fine Art. Can’t remember exactly what year, but know it was from that time. I was missing my old village and especially the beach. I thought you might like to see it as it connects with my recent St.Bees revisited posts.

St. Bees revisited

Well we managed to get away, finally, on a camping trip up to the lakes and I was able to go to my home village of St.Bees where I grew up. I had all of an hour there as that’s all I had for the parking!  Just  long  enough  to  take  some  shots  and  meditate  a little to the  sound   of   the   waves.

More Grasmere sketches

I made these two sketches from the car waiting for the others to return from their hike. I liked the walled fields on the fell. They came back just as I was painting with my watercolours so had to stop, but I quite like the minimalist effect!