Reflecting

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This is from last year or the year before when I was taking photos at Spode and manipulating them in the layout app that I use to mirror and duplicate photos.

I haven’t been down to my studio at Spode for months with the lockdown, it just didn’t feel safe. The studios are not easy to socially isolate at, with mixed toilets and narrow corridors. I need to go back and build my confidence again. I’m still paying the rent though. I won’t give up on the idea. Just wait! I hope I will soon be creating there again

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Yard sale at cherished chimneys.

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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.

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Dorothy Clive Garden.

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This was my drawing of the Dorothy Clive Garden on 6.5.18. It’s recently reopened but with a booking system so you have to book morning or afternoon slots to visit. There is a self service system at the cafe. I hope we can go one day next week if the weather improves, after a month or more of sunshine we have been having rain for the last few days. Good for all gardens including the Dorothy Clive.

It will be lovely to see different landscapes, beautiful flowers, and peaceful water features.

When you draw a place you are interpreting the world in a different way to simple photographs. That’s why I enjoy it. Trying to tame nature and describe it.

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Day 37. #uskstoke

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Today’s theme was doorway, this is inside the summerhouse looking out into the very green and bushy garden. Unipen black ink pen, size 0.2 because I found it and the other ones are running out. The garden smells lovely, but lots of things in pots are drying out, so they are wilting a bit. We need to get the hose out. Another beautiful sunny day. A few clouds.

Tomorrow is the last day of this challenge. I’m hoping people will come up with new ideas. It would be good to have a few days off. As I’ve been posting the challenges it would be good tobe led by someone else’s perspective.

See you later.

In happier times

I haven’t been to my studio for months , I’m keeping away from people as much as I can. That said, it was lovely to come across this photo. I was at tge studio at Spode. It must have been cold because I was wearing a hat. I don’t know where the jumper went to…..

It is clear I was happy in the photo, something had made me chuckle. Someday things will get better. Some of the paintings have been sold, but I can’t do craft fairs or exhibitions at the moment so I haven’t been replacing them. Maybe I will have a go again soon. I have got a course that I’m taking which starts in June. Hopefully that will get me going again.

‘Underneath’ day 28 usk challenge.

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This is underneath the arch in our living room. There are various things hanging off it, like a disco glitter ball, which I sometimes shine a torch at when music is playing. Then there’s a star that lights up and changes colour, a model of a usaf plane and an old cardboard mobile of the solar system, which is so old it still includes Pluto! Also luminous stars stuck on the underside of the arch.

USK Stoke-on-Trent challenge had pushed me with lots of prompts. I thought of looking underneath the table, or at the shed roof, or even ‘Underneath the canopy of stars’, but this was easier. I haven’t added a great deal of detail as it is a sketch.

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Finding a calm view

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Waterfall at the Dorothy Clive Garden.

This was taken about this time last year. We had driven out to visit the beautiful garden on the border of Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire.

The garden is in a steep slope with colourful flower borders filling the air with scents of summer. But before the summer show I am drawn to the quarry garden at the top of the site. This is filled with flowering rhododendrons, under planted with spring flowers such as bluebells. At its centre is a little dell where a waterfall cascades down into a tranquil pool. You can follow paths up to the top of the waterfall where you will find a full sized bronze stag sculpture looking out magestically over the quarry garden.

Other pleasures include a magnolia walk at the back of the garden, this is behind the quarry at the top of the slope. Here you can see the surrounding countryside.

There is another dry garden, with a laburnum walk arching over the path.

When lockdown ends I think this will be one of the first places I visit.

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Today’s challenge was clothes

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Day 16, USK S-O-T sketching challenge is a self portrait of me wearing my favourite top, covered in red and black owls. It’s funny and quirky.

A few people are still keeping to the challenge, and some say they will catch up later. Some of the subjects are a bit odd, but it’s fun.

I was watching the artist Maggie Hambling on a programme called ‘Grayson Perry’s art club’. It’s a weekly programme on channel four encouraging people to do art while we are in lockdown. Maggie Hambling said draw something every day, and Grayson Perry reiterated that. I think they are right. The drawings I’m doing are my diary of my life at the moment.

Other celebrities were either drawing or making sculpture. Grayson and his wife created ceramic images based on their cat Kevin. Both created wonderful, abstract, exciting sculptures.

After seeing it I decided I shall continue….

 

 

Colourful, today’s usk challenge.

Today’s challenge was to draw something colourful. My eyes fell on an owl sculpture by a blacksmith who works at a Forge at Etruria, Stoke-on-Trent. She’s called Charis Jones and her company is called Sculpted Steel.

Behind the owl is a plate that my hubby painted at the Gladstone pottery museum in Longton.

I started by drawing the outlines in black ink. I then filled in the colours with permanent ink markers and a few coloured pencils.

The colours are not all accurate, but as the brief was colourful I added some to the books and cds in the background while trying not to overdo it.

I’ve included a reference photo to give you an idea of what I was working from.

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Hello duck!

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This was a sign in a local museum that someone shared on Facebook.

It was strange coming to live here. In my home town people would say hello chick, or love. But Stoke people say ‘duck’. I had no idea of the origins, and the first few times I heard it I literally did duck! I thought someone was warning me! Eventually, though, I got used to the greeting. Together with the phrase ‘cost kick a bow agin a woe an it it wi yer hed til ya bost it?’ I may have misspelt this but it means ‘Can you kick a ball against a wall and hit it with your head until you burst it?’

As you can see, the old dialect and pronunciation is interesting. But as someone with a west Midlands accent. Oim not reealy botheered abowt iyt.