Take a break

Thursdays #bandofsketchers prompt was ‘take a break’ so I chose to draw this image from the front of the 2021 National Trust Guidebook. It’d just drawn in coloured pencil, charcoal pencil and fine liner black ink pen.

I need a break! So I would take it at Bodnant garden near Llandudno in Wales. It’s a National Trust garden. A beautiful place which drops into a wooded valley and is surrounded by the Welsh hills and mountains. We are missing the laburnum walk that will be in flower now. I hope to go there soon.

Smiling faces

Smiling cloud faces, view of Snowdonia, Wales, UK , June I think, 2019. Wishing I was there now. We haven’t been able to visit for over a year because of Covid…I saw this again today and remembered how enjoyable it was just travelling, exploring, driving down roads I’d never been down before. I don’t mind not driving much, but I’d like to go to a few nice places again….

Dragon

Seen in a shop in Llandudno in 2019.

I would have bought it if I had space in my house. The flame like decoration makes it appear as if it were molten. Like magma or lava erupting from a crack in the earth. Like an Icelandic fumerol. So we’ll modelled, gnashing teeth, mouth open, ready to spit flame.

Welsh dragons are amazing symbols, whilst the English Saint, St George, is famed for killing one. Anyway, I still wish I had bought him. X

Red dragon

Two years ago we were visiting the Gladstone Pottery museum in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. I saw this design for a red dragon and took a photo. I think it was a panel explaining the glazing techniques for getting the red colouration. I believe reds are quite difficult to produce?

Red dragons are the symbol for 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wales, but this does not look like it. At the moment I’m trying to create a map for a maze/garden and this is another possibility to base it on. We will see…

Here be dragons…

Not Welsh Dragons, but at least they are dragons. Today is Saint David’s day, the patron Saint of 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 Wales. But the symbol for the day is the daffodil. This is a bit of a confused blog post!

Anyway this dragon fountain is in Hanley Park, Stoke-on-Trent’s. I think the dragons are more like water monsters as they have fishy tails (and this is a fishy tale!)

Manorbier Castle

Painted a few years ago while we were on holiday in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿.

I ppainted this while we were staying in a caravan in Pembrokeshire, I’d decided to take paints and a canvas for a change (I usually just take a sketch book or watercolours). I did some sketches of the castle but used a guide book for the castle to find an image to work from.

Manorbier is still in private ownership (a lot of places are now owned by the National Trust and other charities). Its really close to the coast, you can walk down a valley to the sea and if you look back you can see the castle up on a hill on the left and the church tower of the village on a hill on the right.

If you ever go to South West Wales it’s worth a visit……

Conkers

Still llife photo of conkers. Photo taken last year at Bodnant Garden in North Wales last year. What a great trip out that was. We walked round the large garden grounds. Down into the river valley, past huge and ancient trees. Late flowering perennials and bushes. Its a charming place to visit, but be aware it is hilly. Its a National Trust site so its very well maintained. There are small shops trading there, a garden centre and a cafe/restaurant.

Great for a visit when the garden is in full bloom, especially the laburnum walk. You can join the National Trust or pay when you visit. BUT check opening times, it does close in the winter and with the lockdown for the pandemic there will be changes to visiting and probably closures.

I wish

I wish that I was driving on this road, following it round the bends, storing by a stile at the side of the road and climbing over it, walking up the hill, maybe past a few grazing sheep, till at the top I would see mountains in the distance in one direction, and tree covered hills in another. If I looked in one direction hard enough I think I would see a distant view of the sea.

Where am I? I could be in Scotland, or some parts of England, but this winding road is in Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 land of ancient people’s and dragons. Wales is in a lockdown for just over two weeks at the moment. I hope the people will all be safe. In the meantime I’m expecting where I am now to have another lockdown soon…. When will this end….

Welsh views

A year ago, driving down towards Snowdonia. I like the way the Layout app has joined some of the mountains up. Reminds me of the phrase ‘and the road goes ever on’ from The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein.

The thought of not being able to go there for the moment is very disappointing. We were going for a short break but there has been another lockdown. I really want to see family and friends, but everything is messed up. We are expecting new rules for this part of England on Monday. As the nights draw in I think people will feel more and more isolated. Oh well…….