Canal boats

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.

Sculpted Steel

Charis Jones is a blacksmith and sculptor who runs Sculpted Steel at the Etruria Forge in Etruria Stoke-on-Trent. She is based in the Forge and can be contacted to commission sculptural work. She created a large cat sculpture for our garden.

This weekend she was demonstrating her skills during a steaming weekend at The Etruria Industrial Museum. Home of Jessie Shirley’s bone and flint mill.

The beam engine that powers the flint grinding pans is steamed about once a month.

As with other places in the potteries this is one of those hidden gems that people don’t know about but which are fascinating to visit

Photos courtesy my friend Lorraine.

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Illustrations

Two pictures of a canal illustration I did last year and the photo I used. Each illustration was done in acrylic paint on water colour paper. I posted a couple of other images here last week.

They were painted in rough ovals to assist fitting them on the leaflet they were for. They were then cropped at the printers.

Im not sure if there will be a reprint of the leaflet. I know they have all disappeared from the leaflet stand at the canal museum where they were on display.

Here

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Here I am again

Doodling little squares,

Trying to catch life in a box.

Here I sit with pen in hand,

Drawing the world

Squeezing reality into 2 dimensions.

Time pauses while I sketch,

Only to leap forward an hour

When… I. … look.. .. Up..

Here is life compressed,

Its size shrunk like a postage stamp

With the world drawn on it…..

Here is here at Etruria, here I sketch.

Old cars and engines

Today I had a break from my exhibition for an hour, so I went and sketched a few of the classic cars. I have to say there were a lot of Austin and Morris cars, plus things like the Scimitar car that I drew.

Each sketch took between 10 and 15 minutes. I tried to be accurate, but when you are standing in a field with cars or engines, people have a tendancy to walk in front of you or stand in the way.

Drawing is slow motion photography I guess you could say, you click a camera, but your hand and eyes have the effort of coordinating to get an image. It’s not easy to draw a new subject. Wheels can be too big or small. A bumper might be too high up, and cut across where the radiator grill should go. Also when you use a thin nibbed pen you have the difficulty of getting dark areas without wanting to spend ages cross hatching.

Movement is another problem, while drawing the diesel engine I tried to get a feeling if the spinning motion, but it started to get messy. There are so many pipes and wheels and tubes. I have no idea what bit does which action, its hard to link things up in your head.

Anyway I took photos of the cars for comparison, I may paint some of them.

Exhibition

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This is what I have been stopping up and doing for the last few nights. Painting lots of pictures for this exhibition.

I am a member of a group called Etruria Artists and we meet on Thursday night’s to do hands on Art sessions. I really would encourage anyone to have a go at doing art whether its painting, sculpture, pottery, printmaking, photography.

Life is sometimes a drudge, getting to the end of the week. No break from the weekly grind of work. That is where art comes in. Whether its colouring books, or contemporary painting, and everything in between, art gives your creativity the release it needs. You can come to us on a Thursday night and have a go.

We are based in the warehouse by lock number 40 (summit lock) of the Trent and Mersy Canal. Just up the canal from the Etruria Industrial Museum, past the forge where Sculpted Steel creates wonderful metallic sculptures.

Anyway we are there on Saturday and Sunday. There are also static steam engines on Saturday and Classic cars on Sunday. Fun for all the family .

Recent minatures

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If you wonder where I have been, I have been painting these tiny miniature paintings on canvases around the size of a matchbox.

I’m quite enjoying doing them. I would like to present them in small gift boxes but I don’t know where I can get some from.

People don’t seem to have room for art, so the idea is they might buy one of these to put somewhere special… you never know…

I haven’t done much this month but at least I have got going again over the last few days. I’m putting an Exhibition up later today which will be up on Saturday and Sunday at Etruria.

Details are that the Etruria Industrial museum is holding a static steam engine day on Saturday and a classic car day on Sunday.

Might see you there…..

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