Difficult to know where to begin!

Last Saturday we spent a lovely day on the beach at Walberswick, Suffolk, with a couple of University friends.    Luckily by this stage it had stopped raining… but it was still fairly brisk, hence the hat… yes, in June!   However, the sun was out and you can actually see the shadows from the grains on sand on my little painting below!

We are now in Scotland, having driven through a rain storm, got rather lost looking for a motel and almost ran out of petrol in Kendal, Cumbria where we were planning on staying the night.  The plan was to visit Levens Hall the next day as I am planning on doing some drypoints of topiary and as you can see below, Levens Hall is famous for it’s topiary.   Thankfully, we didn’t run out of petrol, but did end up staying in a more expensive place than initially planned!  Running out of petrol was an even more costly option at 10.30 pm!

Anyhow, here are some sights and sketches from our travels.  

Inside of one of the topiary shapes.

Barry at Castlerigg Stone Circle, nr. Keswick
We stopped and painted here before going to visit lovely Julie Dumbarton  in her fabulously spacious studio in Langholm, in the Scottish Borders
Found this lovely field on the way to Lockerbie.

I think that’s about enough for this post!  I hope I haven’t bored you with all the photos, but the countryside is just so gorgeous at the moment. 

Morning Mist, nr. Biggar, Scotland

Oil Pastel

Here is a little taster of a good old Scottish early morning mist! For some strange reason when I wake up and look outside and it’s all misty, you can’t stop me from grabbing all my supplies and a flask of coffee and driving off somewhere to do some painting! This morning was no exception! October 18th and there was such a heavy mist I could hardly see anything, but I knew that the sun would be breaking through, which it eventually did. It was quite an amusing morning because I was happily painting away and I heard a cockerel crow in the distance and because I was shrouded (I like that word) in mist, I couldn’t see a nearby farm. All of a sudden I remembered that my friend had ‘blue-toothed’ the cockerel sound from her phone to mine and it was actually my phone ringing! The cockerel, which we still have today on our phone here in the US, was a real Scottish cockerel, named Hannibal who lived with Jasmin. Sadly, he no longer with us. But his crow lives on!

Nr. Derwent Water

Nr. Derwent Water
8 x 10 Oil/Linen Panel

A year or so ago I checked into a lovely vegetarian hotel called Lancrigg Hotel near Grasmere in the Lake District. It was January! I was there for five days and I went out and did a lot of pastels and took loads of photos, some of them amazing, some of them so misty and dark that I couldn’t use them!! It was cold and glorious. On the fifth day of getting absolutely soaked and almost washed away near Derwent Water, I decided it was time to move on to my friend’s house in Scotland! I have included a link to her website. Jasmin is an amazing landscape/garden designer.

A House Sparrow

House Sparrow
8 x 8 Oil/Linen panel

I felt that I should pay attention to one of our more common birds, the house sparrow. They may be common but their wing markings are certainly quite elaborate!

I am working on a large painting… again. I have had about three different images on it, luckily it’s a wood panel. It’s such an investment to paint a large painting and I wanted to get it right which has proved easier said that done. I am doing another Romney Marsh, but with the emphasis on the clouds. Hopefully it will be the one that works out. So far so good!

Things are getting better!

Dad is doing so well in comparison to a week ago and I am managing to get some work done at last. I have almost finished four little bird portraits and just started a landscape inspired some photos taken the other day when on my way to the hospital. It was such a gorgeous sunset and I risked slipping and sliding all over the road just to take them. Of course, it’s snowing yet again. I have never ever experienced a winter like this in the UK. I know it’s awful for some, but when I don’t have to drive to the hospital and back, I am selfishly loving the wonderful scenery and inspiration.

Here’s hoping things will get better and better.