Otter sculpture

We are thinking of getting a tree stump carved in our garden. We had to get it cut down to about seven foot high as it was over growing a part of the garden and making it shady.

This sculpture was in Trentham gardens today. There were quite a few other ones but this was my favourite, especially since it is next to the river Trent which has got a lot cleaner over recent years.

It was a short but tiring walk. Trentham gardens is worth a visit for a day. There is also a retail village and a monkey forest on the site. But do check what is open before you visit.

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Black Swans

Seen on our walk round Trentham Gardens this afternoon. Two black swans with red beaks, they were gathering nesting material by the side of the lake. They were not bothered by us being close, probably be ause we were not threatening them and they won’t have seen many people over the last few months of lockdown. I’m not sue what species of Swan they are. They had a few white feathers and a white line on their beaks. I wouldn’t have said they looked and different, it was not obvious whether they were male or female. It was a pleasure to see them today.

Portraits with splodges

Ten minute portrait studies with black paint splodges from bubble wrap. I used watercolour and black ink pens for the portraits. We did some minoprint a few weeks back but I found gluing down bits of paper then drawing over the top difficult so tried this instead. It also makes you consider where to paint the face!
We were using found items to add interest. My favourite is the pot of brushes obscuring the face of one of the sitters.

Plum blossom

View from the kitchen window. This is the little plum tree ar the bottom of the garden. There is a cherry tree trunk in front of it and branches from that obscure the view. I decided to leave that out. I painted with watercolours. Palest first, then the pale greens and blues. It’s hard to fit the dark colours in without leaving white edges but I have never used masking fluid to hide the paler areas and I don’t want to start now.

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Mask

Theatrical mask made by a friend for 2019’s Penkhull Mystery play. Strange that sux months later we had to wear real masks! I painted this up with my hubbies features. He had to sit still at a potters wheel and pretend to be a mannequin until the cast were transported back in time. Then he took it off and became Thomas Doodey, Master Potter.

To be honest I really miss the fun we had on that day. Crowds of people watching the action. Molly dancers, a hurdy hurdy man, Punch and Judy, and a maypole. Lots of stalls.

This year we are going to do a virtual Mystery play. I’m hoping to do a copy of the Mona Lisa I an hour and a half. Numerous other ideas are being considered.

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Dragon

Seen in a shop in Llandudno in 2019.

I would have bought it if I had space in my house. The flame like decoration makes it appear as if it were molten. Like magma or lava erupting from a crack in the earth. Like an Icelandic fumerol. So we’ll modelled, gnashing teeth, mouth open, ready to spit flame.

Welsh dragons are amazing symbols, whilst the English Saint, St George, is famed for killing one. Anyway, I still wish I had bought him. X

Purple tulip

Just watched Gardeners World on TV. Who knew that you should plant tip bulbs about eight inches deep to get them to flower well. Or that if you take off the flower and stem when the tulip flower dies the leaves will photosynthesise and feed the bulb so it flowers again next year.

I decided to draw a tulip, but I used some gold glitter and spray ink (purple and green) to create some texture. The gold is really sparkling in the first photo, but top the sketchbook and it calms it down a bit.

I used a thin nib black ink pen for the details. Î