Pots

Chimney pots outside Cherished Chimneys in Longport, Stoke-on-Trent during Urban sketchers Stoke-on-Trent’s national sketching weekend in the Summer of 2019. So many shapes and sizes. We bought a couple as planters and filled them full of summer flowers. They make a terrific display because it raises the plants up above the ground. It’s also a good reuse of an object that might otherwise get smashed and used for hard-core on a building site.

Swan, Westport Lake

Longing for a walk round the cold lake, away from people, stretching my legs, getting exercise again after a month if tonsillitis. I’ve got to escape, get out, get away from crowded stores.

Fresh air, beautiful sky’s and landscapes. Snow White swans, warm down covering them, to survive the winter. Out to feed them, and the geese. That’s what I want to do. Soon…

Idea for a painting

Sprig moulded jug? Longport

Hmm, still thinking about painting this. I like the colours and the ellipses. It looks good against the dark green background. The pattern on the plate has colours matching in with the jug and the wall. If I paint it I think I will enlarge the jug slightly, it’s a little small for the composition.

Gargoyle

Or some sort of stone carving. Whatever he is, he’s a bit frightening!

Seen in Cherished Chimneys in Longport he was staring out from among the chimney pots and pottery. I had to take a photo as he was so cute (for an angry dog!). I was impressed by the carving of the chain round his neck and his huge canine teeth. I guess he is a piece of architectural salvage, though I’m not sure which building he would have come from. Or maybe he was on a gatepost at a large country house? I suppose Britain’s heritage means we have a lot of things like this from when buildings are torn down. A lot of old houses have been demolished, fallen into ruin, or just been abandoned over the centuries. Their loss is our gain.

February walk

The year is passing, the last time I went for a proper walk was back in February. We’d started doing weekly walks, just a mile or so. But it made me feel fitter. Then March came and the sudden lockdown. Oh I’ve been shopping, and done a few visits in the car. But I’m bothered about going to where we used to walk as it’s very popular. My health isn’t good and I really, really can’t afford to get ill. I know this will have a detrimental effect on my strength, but what else can I do? Luckily I have the garden, I can cut things back and tidy things up. I can do housework…… But I miss my walks..

Yard sale at cherished chimneys.

IMG_20200705_172011_846

Cherished Chimneys at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent is a reclamation shop which specialises in chimney pots and tea pots. They were selling cups and teapots, chimneys and books, plants and beautiful ceramic decorations for roofs.

We bought a chimney stack and a zinc bucket for planting up. I want to plant the delphiniums we got in one of them. I also bought a lavender plant and a pelagonium. When I’ve tidied up the yard I will post photos, but I need to cut back the neighbours bramble / blackberry bushes that are growing through our side of the fence. I don’t mind the ones with flowers on as I can pick the fruit later in the year.

X

Short walk along the canal and Westport lake.

Long title…

We went for a walk along the Trent and Mersey canal, from the road up to Trubshaw Cross at Longport, Stoke-on-Trent, along the towpath, to the lakes at Westport. I was not at my best so we only walked round the small lake, then back along to our starting point.

The day was blustery, but I could feel some warmth from the sun. The old bottle oven round the back of Price and Kensington (facade allowed to crumble so much the council had to demolish part of it). It was sad to see all the rubbish and wood stacked up on the yard waiting to be burnt. The owners regularly light fires, not small ones, and cause a nuisance with smoke. I worry that the buildings may be irreversibly damaged by this behaviour. As you walk along the canal towpath the image improves, although there are places that are derelict and that made me wonder what would happen if the facade of a building were to fall into the canal.

We found the entry to Westport lake easily enough. We popped into the cafe to get some duck food, than a nice stroll round the lake. Stopping to chat with a photographer who had a really long lens to take pictures of the birds on the lake.

I need more exercise and this helped!

Jug photo

DSC_2392

I was visiting the Waiting room gallery today to take in my two new paintings. I saw this jug (is it sprig molded?)

It looked classical, it might end up being a pottery painting. The dark green really brings out the colour of the jug, while the shadows help give it a three dimensionality. The shelf it is on is white painted wood which gives it a nice texture. It’s owned by my friend Alison. I think she said it might be a Portmeirion piece although there is no backstamp or other marks on its base.

Taken in natural light from the gallery window on my mobile phone.

Westport today

A cold sunny day until the breeze blew clouds across the landscape. Ducks, geese, pigeons, moorhens and swans looking out for food, so we got two bags full to grain to feed them. I thought we would just go round the small lake which is a quarter of a mile, but instead we did the mile walk round the large lake. We’ll it was more of a slow dawdle. My hip is not right yet after pulling a muscle, but we did extend the walk into the maze that Staffordshire wildlife Trust have made on the area of hedging at the far end of the lake. The paths were muddy and difficult to get out of when we tried to regain the main path.

When the sun went behind the clouds it made a fantastic and dramatic picture. I took numerous pictures of the birds and trees and landscape around the lake. I feel much better for the walk, though I was very chilly when we finished. I need to be able to walk much further than this, but it’s a start.

July at Westport lake.

DSC_2083_optimized

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…

X