Horses

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I have only ever ridden a horse on two occasions. Once on holiday in the lake district and the first time at a nearby village where we were visiting a friend.

I used to cycle a lot, so the first ride (well sitting on a small horse being led on a halter round a feild) didn’t feel too scary, except when the horse lowered its head to crop the grass. I felt like I would slide down its neck. I still felt safe because it was under supervision.

The second time was a few years ago, before I got creaky and was still able to climb up onto a mounting block. First we had a little amble around a fenced in square of concrete. Then after being showed how to hold the reigns, we went for a short walk on some flat land between the rolling green hills of the south lake district (near Barrow I think).

I tried kicking and clicking my heels to get the horse to walk on, but it would only go when the other horses were moving. We gradually wended our way up an overgrown lane. High on either side with tall grasses and nettles. I regretted wearing ordinary shoes as some of the nettles were tall enough to sting my ankles!

Luckily the horse had thicker skin so as it was in the middle of the bunch it continued its stately waddling walk up the lane.

We finally got to a gate that led onto the main road, but thankfully we turned round and started off again. I realised we were heading slightly down hill and had the familiar vertiginous feeling as the horse dropped its head to nibble at some juicy flowers.

I was glad to dismount, which was a bit of a struggle! I was not used to riding horses and found it quite uncomfortable.

I’ve never been out on a horse again. I doubt I could climb aboard now. I still have much respect for horses, they are beautiful animals, and all the ones I have seen have been friendly. I really respect anyone who can horseride. That must be a wonderful skill. How they can stay on while the horse gallops along underneath them is beyond me.

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Drawing emotions

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Sad or sadness?

Down turned mouth and soulful eyes,

A flicker of tears moisten the lashes.

A sigh finds its way stifled by closed lips.

What made that face?

A drawing application,

Or my thoughts dragged from finger to screen.

A digital frown of sorrow….

A sigh finally escapes.

No I’m not feeling sad but I just thought I would try and draw emotions. I would like to do a series of simple pictures to express different feelings.

Light and dark

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I was watching a programme about Joseph Wright, a famous painter from Derby who used chiarascuro to paint fantastic images, from blacksmiths at work to factories and landscapes. His first painting that was bought for the city of Derby. It was paid for by public donation. It was called the Alchemist. Later in his life he went on a grand tour of Europe.  He painted the volcano Vesuvius as an explosion of red lava and dark boiling clouds of smoke and ash.

I tried to do a quick digital sketch of what I saw but it was too complex to represent so I made up my own idea. This was drawn in ArtRage oils and the metallic setting was on about 50%.

I used the drawing tool on 100% for the wider brush strokes and 50% and 25% for the thinner lines. I also had the phone in its side so the image is in landscape format.

 

Silver and frost

 

 

I found these a few days ago. I think I did them in an app called sketcher free. Then edited in picsart and Instagram. There are so many ways of manipulating images today that would never have been possible even a few years ago without something like photoshop. But also having these images could stretch my painting skills.  Trying to replicate this in paint would be a real challenge.

I’m not sure how I would do it but I think I would need to use a thick impasto of paint, even using something to press into the paint to create texture. You can get modelling media that thickens paint so you can almost sculpt it. Plus use metallic paint and use different shaped brushes.. Fun!

Tired

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This little I inch square sketch is  me trying too quickly draw three of the people at a rehearsal.

I just came in after 4ish hours rehearsing with two Choirs I am in, Clay Chorus and some of Loud Mouth women. We are accompanying a play that is on this week at the New Victoria theatre in Basford, Stoke-on-Trent.. Its called Bright Thing and is the 25th anniversary of its first performance, so no pressure x.

Pears

A couple of weeks after our small crop of apples the pears have almost all fallen off the tree following a strong breeze. There are two left up on the tree.

As with all windfalls they are a bit battered and bruised.  We had a few earlier and I think birds have been trying to eat them too, but pears stay hard for ages then suddenly ripen so they are not soft enough for the blackbirds and robins in the garden.

What to do with them? I’m going to chop off the bad bits then poach them in white wine when they are a bit riper . I dont think they will be beautiful pears standing up right in their bowls, but a bit more of a chopped up chunky pudding, with added custard. I might take photos!

Why is the tree at an angle?  I don’t know, we put it in and it  grew this way. This year we put an old shelf upright underneath it to support it as it was tipping further. As it grows large fruit, they seem to pull on the top half. Hopefully it won’t snap. It was bought as a sapling from an old Woolworth store. It must have been planted 20 years ago and since its matured it’s always borne fruit.

Hooray for the old pear tree. Faithfull fruiter!