Inside out!

The wind was blowing as we walked round Trentham lake today. That was fine, the weather was cool and cloudy but dry. We walked past the reopened miniature railway which had a diesel train running on it with happy children and adults riding on it. We did think about taking a ride but decided to head towards the end of the lake to the cafe to get an ice cream. We noticed strong gusts of wind and the clouds darkening but it wasn’t bad and I had a large umbrella that I was using ad a walking stick.

We sat and had an icecream but felt the patter of rain. So we decided to walk back the way we had came. Then we fought a head on blast of wind and rain! The brolly was being buffeted, twisting in the air. Its handle and stem were bending in the strong gusts of wind. Suddenly it turned inside out! We both fought it back into a sort of shape because it was still raining, but a couple of spokes are hanging down and the cover has pulled away and is sagging. Sadly it was disposed of when we came home… Mm

Sculpture /planter

A metal squirrel climbs up and birds perch on this sculpture at Trentham whilst plants including tulips grow in the planter. 15 minute sketch while we were at Pieminister at the retail Village. I could also see butterflies and a spider. I decided this is an example of art nouveau or that sort of style. It’s made up of four sections bolted together.

Cedar trees

Out at Trentham Gardens in the sunshine. I love the Cedar of Lebanon trees. Thy must be a hundred years old. I’m surprised they haven’t been felled because a lot of the trees have been (health and safety?). I guess if a large tree limb fell on you it would be disastrous. What I like about these is the way the branches spread out sideways in a very flat, horizontal way. They are evergreen trees and very spectacular all year round.

Trentham Gardens

One of the metal sculptures / plant supports in a planter at Trentham Gardens retail Village. I like the art nouveau or is it art deco feel to these (I can never remember). They are already pretty but come high summer they will be packed with bright and cheerful flowers. Vines climbing up the sculptural sections of metal.

Trentham Rushes

Rushes on the edge of Trentham Lake. Black ink fine line pen in my sketchbook, then filtered in Photodirector.

The filter has modified the image. It has made it more homogenous, less natural, more stylized. The ripples seem more dynamic, the heads of the bullrushes are more like candle flames. The trees could also be on fire. I may colour the image in. I see red or orange as the flood fill choice. Like a fiery sunset. Greens for the rushes, blues and greens and orange for the water. Maybe….

Fairy in a tree

If you visit Trentham Gardens in Stoke on Trent you can find various wire woven fairies dotted around the grounds. Some are easier to spot than others. One flies down to a fountain to fill a watering can, another holds onto a huge dandelion seed head as it is caught in the wind. A warrior queen fairy stands on a plinth by the lake. I liked this one, hanging down from a branch in the trees on a swing. She’s hard to spot as the tree is an evergreen pine. She’s a welcome addition after walking around the lake.

Sketch and texture

I tried adding texture with photodirector to this little drawing I did at Trentham Gardens in 2017. I like the way the rushes stand forward slightly more in the digitally adjusted one. I have a ‘go to’ style in Photodirector, I go to the effects option then generally choose option two or sometimes six. That seems to concentrate and texturise the drawing.

Phycobilins?

At Trentham Gardens today.

Red leaves on plants at Trentham Gardens today. Usually leaves are green but these have a strong red colour. The light shines through them giving them a glow. I remember hearing about other plant colours that happen in autumn. The green chlorophyll is absorbed back into the plant (usually a tree) and other underlying pigments that help to phosynthesise carbon dioxide and water to join together into simple sugars that can then be transformed into cellulose and other plant structures.

As the chlorophyll is absorbed, red phycobilins, yellow xanthophylls and orange carotenes are left in the leaves giving Autumn colours. This usually happens as the temperature cools and the plants start to store food and chemicals for winter.

I don’t know if these plants are doing thus? They remind me of the colours that are found in Swiss Chard.