On the easle today

Another in the textured landscapes series I’m creating. After getting the first painting accepted into the three counties open exhibition in Burslem School of art, I now have the opportunity to put some paintings up for sale at the Etruria Industrial Museum cafe. I decided to try and use a similar style to create colourful and striking landscapes. I’m using a different size of pattern, smaller than the Waterfall painting and more intricate. I want to evoke wild flowers in a summer landscape with Westport Lake in the distance.

Bovisand cafe

Cafe and shop at Bovisand Bay, sitting next to the car park above the two parts of the bay. The cafe and shop used to be separate but have been joined together so you can explore a range of beach wear, body boards, sun lotion, crafts, etc, etc on one side and the cafe on the other. It seems like a nice set up. The people there were friendly. I think we will go again if we can.

I hope that they get good custom now that covid, which is still on the increase in the UK, is at least milder. One day we must get over it? I hope so.

Art for sale

A few paintings and some cards for sale at the cafe at Etruria Industrial Museum today. Its great to have another venue to show my work and as its open to people travelling along the canal I hope they will be seen more. I put in images based on nature but I may have the opportunity to place other works there soon. I’m obliged to my friend who is volunteering at the museum who invited me to take my work there.

Sketchbooks

I just found this photo, and my mind is taken back to a Sunday afternoon in Prestatyn, Wales. We were visiting family and decided to call in here to have a coffee and cake. The place was part cafe, part second hand shop. The window ledges were covered in succulents (money plants). I remember a huge Teddybear on one side of the room with a big nose. A teapot sign hung in the window. The cafe was near the railway station.

Teddy bears and teapots cafe, Prestatyn

Taking a sketchbook out helps me remember places, it gives me a reference point, and as it takes time to draw the image its not like a photo, it’s got less information but you can choose how it looks (miss things out, add things).

I don’t always remember my sketch books, but when I do, and I have the time to draw or paint I really enjoy it.

Finding things to draw.

No Urban sketchers challenge today so I drew a friend (we met in a cafe to discuss art today), it’s not a brilliant because I got the eyes and nose too big. You can see the grain of the paper, it’s a handmade sketch book and the paper is thicker than I normally draw on. It’s grey because the day was very overcast. This was taken with a light on, but it didn’t illuminate the photo very well. It was good to draw a person again

Full English breakfast

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We went out to meet the art group this morning, but after half an hour in the hot sun on our own we went up to theĀ  local cafe. We both ordered full English breakfasts (you get a choice of ingredients, I had egg, tomato, hash browns, bacon, sausage, black pudding and mushrooms. That came with toast. We both had coffee and I had an orange juice. Not the healthiest food I know, but on the odd occasion its delicious (apologies to vegetarian friends). I appreciated not having to cook in this heat. After the meal we went and waited for our friends again but they never arrived. So we came home.

Sketch in courtyard

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This was a quick sketch I did in September 2017. We often visit places and instead of taking photos I sometimes just sit and sketch, it’s relaxing.

This was at Rode Hall in a courtyard by the barns. The main barn has been converted into a cafe and coffee shop, with lovely hot food too. I hope that once the lockdown is over we will be able to visit again. The gardens that surround the hall are beautifully set out. There is a snowdrop walk down to the lake and pathways through wooded areas as well as more classically arranged bedding areas. There is also a walled garden that is full of colourful beds of perrenials.

They also run a farmers market on the first Saturday of the month (not sure when that will be on again).

So, when you finally get to go out why not think about visiting. On the A34 North of Stoke-on-Trent. You turn left in Rode Heath at the sign.

Note limited opening. Check first. There are details on the Internet. Also note that there is a one way system in the grounds so you come out on the same road but further along it when you exit.

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Full English breakfast

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We don’t have these very often, but as we had gone out to see the train at Apedale we decided to have a full English breakfast. Apologies to vegetarians, there are alternatives available.

Full English in this case consisted of bacon, eggs, tomato, beans, black pudding, sausages and hash browns with two slices of toast. Sometimes they put in mushrooms instead of black pudding.

It was very tasty… . Washed down with a mug of decaff coffee.

July at Westport lake.

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It’s good to look back at old drawings as the days grow colder and shorter. Remembering warmth and colour, the view from the cafe there, then a gentle walk round the lake. Watching the place mature over the years, the trees have grown up so tall. Now Staffordshire wildlife have taken over running the site there has been a programme instigated to improve the area and make it more wildlife friendly. I saw four cormorants perched on a man made island there a couple of months ago. I thought these birds were costal, but maybe they are coming inland like gulls.

Must visit again in the near future, maybe if it snows…. Then I can re draw this scene…

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