I went out with Urban sketchers today and was at an old farm near Eccleshall to draw. I took a few photos. I need to take good pictures of my drawings.
The day was grey, overcast with great rushes of wind that you could hear soughing through the trees. Starting far way you could hear it rushing and pushing the tree branches. Rooks were flying and calling in the air, scooting about and apparently enjoying it. We even saw a murmuration of Starlings flocking in the distance.
I sat on a white metal garden chair, strong but cold. I ended up folding up my scarf to stop my bum going numb with the cold. Within a few minutes I was shivering and then I got used to it although my hands started to go numb with the chill. Luckily there was hot tea available. It was very kind of the artists that live there to let a crowd of about twenty urban sketchers come round and draw everything from trees to stone dogs.
I just wrote a blog post about taking my sister out to lunch at the Red Cow at Werrington, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. But I fell asleep and pressed the wrong button, so the description and information disappeared!
I was trying to say the view from the restaurant is wonderful and the food was great. Hot, tasty, delicious.
The leaves that are remaining on the trees are sparkling with copper, gold and bronze, the fields are still green.
Anyway I’m posting this now because I’ve dozed off again three times already.
This is an image from Rode Hall that I photographed a couple of weeks ago. As you can see the rhododendrons are in full bloom. These showy shrubs originally come from the far east, China I think? They are grown for their flowers which can come in a variety of colours.
They do spread though and can shade out native plants which is why they are sometimes drastically cut back in wooded areas, allowing light to penetrate the canopy of leaves.
I must visit the Dorothy Clive garden soon. They have a large and mixed collection in their quarry garden. They are in the countryside west of Newcastle-under-Lyme.
I went out this morning to go to the Orme Art group. We were supposed to do limited pallette paintings, white, red, yellow ochre and black. I cheated and used some cerulean blue in the background. I want to add harebells, a beautiful bell shaped flower found in the countryside. The image is an amalgum of a photo from a magazine that I’d taken a photo of and a photo off the Internet. I’m not sure if I will finish this or any of the other paintings at the moment. Every time I feel better I do stuff, then I feel ill again. I guess I’m trying too hard. But I wanted some really strong paintings for the exhibition. I hope they look good. Anyway I’m having a rest for half an hour.
A year ago I was outside Chatterley and Whitfield colliery drawing with the Stoke Urban Sketchers.
This year Stoke-on-Trent is hosting the United Kingdom Urban Sketchers annual festival from 7th to 9th June 2019! There may be a lot if sketchers descending on the city.
There is a lot of industrial archaeology and architecture here so I think people will enjoy it. Hopefully I will be able to get involved in it.
There are lots of places in Stoke-on-Trent and in the surrounding countryside which are worth drawing. I would love people to come here and fall in love with this city.
Pictures of the Trent and Mersy canal, these photos are by a friend. The painting is up in the warehouse next to the summit lock ,number 42 on the canal at Etruria.
Canal boats allow you to travel around the countryside without having to use a car except for going to your departure point and parking up. Canal cruises are usually circular so you travel around or along a route and return to your starting point. There are famous routes like the Cheshire ring which can be done over a few days. There are also hotel boats where you have a cabin but all the chores are done by a housekeeper.
There are apparently more canals in Birmingham in the English Midlands than there are in Venice.
Some canals and rivers run either side by side or into one another. The landscape can either be countryside, industrial or town buildings, it just depends where you travel. There is much more information available from the Canal and Rivers Trust.
We briefly visited Yorkshire sculpture park today. The sculptures usually seen there are by Henry Moore. However we didn’t have time as it was a flying visit so we looked at sculpture by Giuseppe Penone.
I’m always looking for things to draw so I drew a few of his works and a couple on the veranda where we had a quick sandwich….
The sculpture park is set in huge grounds with a lake and pieces of art dotted all around the site. There are also underground galleries which is where some of Penones art was situated.
Entrance to the park is free. You just pay for parking.
The sculpture park is near to junction 38 of the M1 motorway in Yorkshire a few miles south of Leeds.