Tag Archives: allotments

The Stand Of Trees

25 Jun

7 Oystermouth

Another quick sketch in willow charcoal on Khadi paper caught as we left the allotment this evening. I’m getting used to being very sparing with it now, not doing too much detail. I find it helps to squint to see the blocks of light and dark more clearly. This stand of trees caught my eye, I liked the strong diagonal they formed on the slope of the hill.

 

Just Five Minutes

24 Jun

6 Oystermouth

If you’ve only got five minutes, draw. Even when you’re so short of time, draw. It only takes a few minutes every day to keep up that regular practice and it all adds up over a year, decade, lifetime. I only had five minutes this evening after we left the allotment with our first summer berries.

berries

Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook at Oystermouth Castle. Gooseberries, raspberries, Alpine strawberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

The Sausage Fingered Stick Of Doom

23 Jun

5 Oystermouth

For most of my life I haven’t been keen on charcoal, I thought it was a bit clumsy. Husb calls it “the sausage fingered stick of doom”. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it isn’t much good if you want to do fine detail on small paper. My Khadi sketchbook isn’t big so I’m limited in what I can put into a drawing, which is challenging but in a good way. Here’s a sketch I did with Winsor & Newton willow charcoal after Husb and I did some work on the allotment earlier this evening. There’s a group of copper beech trees in a row alongside the path leading up to Oystermouth Castle and I made them the focus of the drawing. It was a chance to play around with strong diagonal scribbles.

Carving Blocks And Charcoal At The Castle

15 Jun

Lockcook 1

Today was pretty productive. I inked, traced and transferred seven texts onto little lino blocks and cut two of them. These are part of my series of words and phrases I’ve written down through the course of the Covid19 pandemic, from the first day of lockdown. Eventually, I’ll be printing them onto home-made cotton masks.

Lockcook 2

It was really hot and dry so Husb and I waited until early evening before we went down to our allotment. I did a quick sketch before we left the site, of Oystermouth Castle and it’s grounds using Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook.

4 oystermouth

I like working across two pages, especially with square sketchbooks. I take a can of fixative with me when I draw with charcoal, it’s manky and the drawing would smudge badly without being fixed.

 

 

Charcoal And Baps

2 Jun

3 oystermouth

I took my Khadi sketchbook and willow charcoal to the allotment this evening and drew from inside the allotment site, which is tucked away in a corner of the Castle park. It’s on a fairly steep hill dropping away to the coast and we’re near the top. It’s surrounded by woodland, which can be a bit of a challenge for growers, but it’s an idyllic place to hang out, especially in these pandemic times – we’ve been sanctioned to travel to allotments since day 1 of lockdown. I concentrated on mark-making again as there is such a lot of different textures crowding together in the view. I suppose I took about 10 minutes.

baps

I also made some sesame seed baps. We gave our bread making machine away to a relative, so I’ve been trying out making bread from scratch and it’s surprisingly easy with fast acting yeast. Lush.

Scruffy, Bitey, Digital Cat

19 Apr

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Just doodling this evening with my Samsung Galaxy Note 8, a free app called “Markers” and Sparta Puss. She’s looking a bit scruffy because it’s Springtime and she’s moulting. She needs brushing but every time I get near her with a brush, she bites me. Hey ho.

 

 

Potager, Leftovers, Castle. In That Order

10 Apr

acer

Hot hot hot today! It was too good to stay indoors and we’re lucky to have an enclosed garden so I spent most of the day working on it. It’s the silver lining in the lockdown, having time to do stuff like this. The garden was really scruffy and overgrown after the very wet and mild winter. We’ve got a mixture of fruit, vegetables and decorative plants so I suppose that technically it’s a potager. My Japanese acer is just coming into leaf and the colour is fabulous.

pizza

I had some leftovers in the fridge, a bit of pastry from when I made quiche the other day, some laverbread and a scrap of bacon, so I put them together to make a Welsh pizza, topped with Tintern cheese and a few tomato slices. Into the oven, Gas mark 5 for 30 minutes and it was delicious. Leftover meals are great. I never waste food.

 

castle

And we went to the allotment quite late to do some watering. We have a permit from our local authority to go there as long as we practice strict social distancing. It’s easy enough as the site is so large. As we left, the lights by the castle came on, it was lovely. We’re so lucky to live here.

 

 

9 Apr

I printed my little lino block “isolate” onto fabric to make a mask but I also printed some on paper as well, as I’m thinking of taking it into different materials and formats. I did a couple onto white Hosho paper and then tried them out on different coloured papers made from recycled saris.

isolate 3

Husb and I also did a couple of hours on the allotment, he’s doing maintenance on the shed and I’m digging, raking, weeding, tilthing, pruning and sowing. I was fine while I was there but I’m really aching now.

loganberry

The loganberries are coming on well, I gave them a feed of potash and a good watering.

 

 

Clean Green Space

4 Apr

allotment 1a

We’ve just had our letter from the local council giving us permission to go to our allotment during the lockdown. We’re so lucky. We’ve had the plot about 12 years and it’s not been easy – a very heavy clay soil, surrounded by woodland. A few times we’ve considered giving up but I’m so glad we stuck with it because now it’s a godsend. We were there for nearly 3 hours today, getting exercise, fresh air, sunshine and growing food. It’s just below Oystermouth Castle and you can see the castle behind the trees in the first picture.

allotment 2

Because we’re overshadowed with woodland at either end, it’s hard to grow crops in those areas so I’ve created a small woodland garden between the shed and Compost Corner. The hellebores and primroses are in full bloom but the little daffodils are dying back. The wild garlic is about to flower and the arums are flourishing. The apple and plum trees are just budding.

allotment 3

This is the view that greets us. There’s a wooden shed hiding behind the greenhouse. There’s loads of wildlife here too. The birdsong was beautiful today and we’re visitied by foxes, squirrels and badgers, who are very fond of sweetcorn. We’re so lucky to have this space at the moment. I really feel for people who live in the larger congested cities with no access to clean green space.

 

Survival Kicking In

27 Mar

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I seem to have gone into some weird default setting, a deep seated survival instinct. I’ve been wondering why I’m finding it so hard to do any art at the moment – surely the greatest crisis within living memory would kickstart some creative ideas? But no. Instead I’m digging my allotment, planting seeds, picking crops, cooking, preserving, using up leftovers, recycling, storing.

Art is a higher function. Food is a basic need. Something deep seated has been triggered and the energy I would normally be putting into my studio is now going into my kitchen and allotment. Today I bottled some rhubarb and made rhubarb cordial. We’ve got a glut of rhubarb this year. Normally I’d be making crumble and upside down cake with it but Husb has decided to give up sweet things for a while because he thinks he’s putting on weight and I can’t take cakes around to friends and relatives because we’re on lockdown. There’s loads more in the ground ….. tomorrow I’m going to make rhubarb gin.

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