Manorbier Castle

Painted a few years ago while we were on holiday in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿.

I ppainted this while we were staying in a caravan in Pembrokeshire, I’d decided to take paints and a canvas for a change (I usually just take a sketch book or watercolours). I did some sketches of the castle but used a guide book for the castle to find an image to work from.

Manorbier is still in private ownership (a lot of places are now owned by the National Trust and other charities). Its really close to the coast, you can walk down a valley to the sea and if you look back you can see the castle up on a hill on the left and the church tower of the village on a hill on the right.

If you ever go to South West Wales it’s worth a visit……

Zoom talk on Nepal

We just attended a Zoom talk on Nepal. Our friend went walking there in 2006 to raise funds for eye surgery for the residents of Nepal. The talk included beautiful photos of the mountains including the Anapurna range. They were close to the eighth highest mountain in the world. The scale of the mountains is incredible. The villages in the valleys are tiny in comparison.

Through wonderful photography of the landscape and the Nepalese people my friend gave us such an informative talk about the country. He also included the music of the people with sweet, calm songs. A very pleasant couple of hours with many friends attending.

Apple tree

In my friends garden

This is a thirty eight year old apple tree that he planted in his garden. It’s huge!

The limbs are massive

It has been a very fruitful year for some fruit trees.

I was amazed, the tree is covered in huge cooking apples. My friend said he weighed one of the large ones and it was over 900 grams. It was a fantastic visit. Seeing someone else’s produce. He also has a small pear tree that is covered in conference pears.

He also has tomatoes which I’m jealous of because I didn’t get any this year!

Birds in the garden

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We had a lovely chart in the ‘i’ paper with ots of bird a you can expect to see in your garden.  Of the thirty or so species illustrated, I think we get about half visiting our garden. They are Blackbirds, Blue tits, Robins, Song Thrushes, Great tits, Coal tits, a Jay, House sparrows, Woodpigeon, Collared doves, Feral pigeons, Wrens and Magpies. We probably have other species but sometimes it’s hard to identify them. Hubby told me he saw a Nightjar a couple of weeks ago but there has been no sign of it since. The best thing is seeing chick’s being raised. Baby Wrens and Robins, we also have nesting Blue tits and Blackbirds. It means we don’t cut the hedge till late in the year. But I’d rather have a scruffy hedge and happy birds.

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I want to be out!

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By a waterfall, in the countryside, with friends. A little picnic, some cheese sandwiches, a flask of tea? An apple or a banana. Sunshine, a scent of flowers on the breeze. Driving a few miles further than I have for the last few months. Out of the city. Where my feet can touch grass. Where my eyes can be dazzled with colour and the clouds are as white washed cotton. I want time to go back. Before pandemics and Covid, before corruption and death..

Is it too much to ask?

Wave, after Hokusai

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Hard to copy, this is a small acrylic on canvas, based on the Japanese artist Hokusai’s picture of a massive wave seemingly threatening mount Fuji and boats fighting the turmoil of the water.

How does he draw that wave? Finger like  curves protrude from the water, white wavelets curve all in one direction. The water becomes a threatening mountain about to collapse. The height of the wave threatens not only the people in the boats, but it even dwarfs Mount Fuji itself.

When did he draw and paint it? He was a famous artist I think for a long time. We’re there other pictures and sea in his career? I think there were.

The image is so well recognised. Type in 🌊 wave on your phone and you get an icon which seems to symbolise Hokusai’s wave and mimics it.

How do you analyse such amazing work. How can you understand it. He makes me wish I could copy his style.

Friends garden colours

Six years ago.

I took these in a friends garden because they were so colourful and interesting. I think some of the plants are Swiss chard, nasturtium, marigold, sweet peas and poppies. Most of the day the sun shone in it except later on when the sun webt behind the hill. Some lovely colour combinations.

Finding a calm view

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Waterfall at the Dorothy Clive Garden.

This was taken about this time last year. We had driven out to visit the beautiful garden on the border of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire.

The garden is in a steep slope with colourful flower borders filling the air with scents of summer. But before the summer show I am drawn to the quarry garden at the top of the site. This is filled with flowering rhododendrons, under planted with spring flowers such as bluebells. At its centre is a little dell where a waterfall cascades down into a tranquil pool. You can follow paths up to the top of the waterfall where you will find a full sized bronze stag sculpture looking out magestically over the quarry garden.

Other pleasures include a magnolia walk at the back of the garden, this is behind the quarry at the top of the slope. Here you can see the surrounding countryside.

There is another dry garden, with a laburnum walk arching over the path.

When lockdown ends I think this will be one of the first places I visit.

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