Tag Archives: allotments

Jamming And A Hot Cat

21 Jul

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It’s probably been the hottest day of the year so far, in the upper 20sC and the cat is sleeping on a fleecy blanket on top of the hot water boiler! And she wears a fur coat! I ended up in the kitchen for hours making jam. There’s been a glut of blackcurrants on the allotment so jamming is stage 1 in the preservation process. Some have been bagged and frozen and the rest will be converted to cordial tomorrow.

I did a quick digital scribble of Ming the Merciless as she slept on the boiler, using the free Markers app on my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8.

A Happy Accident

20 Jul

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Husb and I spent most of today down the allotment, digging, harvesting, weeding, laying slabs, pruning, watering. It was boiling hot and we’re shattered. A hot bath with Epsom Salts helped to ease the aches. I wasn’t in the mood to do any drawing but I’ve set myself the goal of drawing every day so I got stuck into my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 using the free Markers app.

Husb was looking at his Tablet and it was highlighting his face in the dark living room. I put in a dark grey background and worked quickly in black, white and greys.

It’s different to the way I normally work and that’s because I was too tired to bother. But I like this. A happy accident.

Up The Mynydd

29 Jun

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Husb and I went up Mynydd Betws (Betws Mountain) today to get our regular supply of farmyard manure for the allotment. We had young nephew with us so we stopped a while to look at the gorgeous view and the sheep and lambs. There are a lot of black faced sheep up there.

I had a quick scribble into my little A6 spotty sketchbook with a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S. The landscape is so enormous it’s hard to know where to start and how to approach it, but the main thing is to focus on making marks and not try to get in too much detail. I think of van Gogh’s landscape drawings when I’m doing them.

Allotment Scribblers

5 Dec

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Husb and I have an allotment and we went to the site’s annual general meeting last night and I was really surprised to see two other scribblers there. So I pulled out my sketchbook and scribbled them scribbling others. We have been growing lots of fruit on our plot, but the soil is heavy clay and we have struggled to grow veg. We’ve been building raised beds but they need a lot of filling, which is why we’re often going off to farmyards and stables, shovelling up sacks of manure to enrich our soil. It’s really hard work and I appreciate farmers much more since we’ve had it.

Our plot is behind Oystermouth Castle, built in the twelfth century. We are so used to castles littering our landscape (Swansea has two) that we take them for granted, but they’re quite spectacular really and Oystermouth is a particularly lovely one. Swansea City Council has done a lot of renovations in recent years, including an art gallery and it gets a lot of visitors. At this time of year, when there are no leaves on the trees, the castle is visible from the plot and it’s a great place to spend a few hours.

Tiny Art In Cardboard Boxes

30 Nov

30 cardboard cityHere’s something different. I sent a little artwork to an unusual exhibition called Cardboard City which is starting in London tomorrow (Cardboard City was a collection of homeless people in Waterloo during the Thatcher years).  Artists were invited to submit a piece that reflected social cohesion and community spirit. Each piece has been mounted into a makeshift cardboard box and they’ll be released into the wild during the lead up to Christmas. The first cluster is going out on the 1st December and then daily up until Christmas Eve, beginning somewhere near the original site of Cardboard City and heading along the Southbank, right up to the doors of the Tate Modern.

The curator had a trial run today to see if people would open the box and look at the art – they did – and if you look closely at the picture you’ll see that it’s mine, with a lovely view of St. Paul’s Cathedral and you can follow the progress of the little artworks in cardboard boxes throughout December on Twitter here, or on the Collect Connect website here.  Or if you’re in London, go walkabout on the Southbank and enjoy these tiny bits of art.

And apart from this, I’ve had a lovely day shovelling manure on the allotment – gnats still there despite it being nearly December – and watched a cracking rugby international on the TV, Wales vs Australia. We lost but it was a great game, tight to the end.

Time For Bed

17 Jul

17 musingHad one of those days. Locked myself out of the house this morning, did my admin volunteering at Swansea Print Workshop all afternoon and then went down to the allotment to dig – dug up my garlic. Then I came home and hadn’t done any drawing today so here’s a quickie of Husb at his computer. I drew him from below, using a Faber Castell Pitt drawing pen, size F in sepia into an A5 clothbound sketchbook that I’d prepared with ripped brown packing paper, stuck in with Pritt stick. The T shirt was highlighted in white conte crayon. And now I’m off to bed zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Allotment Gnats

10 Jun

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We stayed too late on t’allotment last night and became fodder for swarms of gnats intent on eating us alive. Here’s my neck! The bites hurt! So I took some antihistamine medicine. The label warns that it may make some people drowsy. It’s knocked me senseless!!! I’ve been at sixes and sevens all day and I’m too woozy to draw so I thought I’d show you some of my sketchbooks.

10 sketchbooks

It’s been almost 2 years since I started blogging and here are most of the sketchbooks I’ve been using. The biggest are the two recycled sari silk ones, they’re about size A5 (about 8 x 6 inches or 210 x 148mm). They’re all small enough to fit into a bag or pocket. I love sketchbooks – they’re such gorgeous little objects 🙂

The Castle Cat

9 Jun

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There’s a lovely cat down by our allotment site, beneath Oystermouth Castle. He’s big and fluffy, white and ginger, cuddly and chatty and we’ve often seen him wandering around the Castle but this evening for the first time he came up for a cuddle as we left the allotment. He and Husb sat on the steps and shared a moment. Husb’s wearing his allotment hat, it was still sunny at 8.30 pm and the gnats were vicious.

Sometimes you only have seconds to do a drawing, especially with animals, who don’t appreciate how important it is to hold a pose. I tried a few sketches of him before he settled down for a bit of a cwtch, but even then I only had about a minute before he wandered off. Drawn into my pink recycled sari silk sketchbook, size A5, with faber Castell Pitt drawing pen size S in sepia.

Quick And Smelly

22 May

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Husb took me for lunch today – at our local chip shop cafe. Last of the big spenders! Anyway, we were just about the youngest people in there (and we’re middle aged) and I scribbled this eldely man while I waited for my battered fish and chips, with a diet coke- must watch the calories. I did the sketch in about a minute; that sort of timescale forces you to focus on what’s crucial.

It was a lovely evening so we went down the allotment for a spot of digging. I love digging. I get into the zone and meditate. I’ve been making comfrey tea liquid fertiliser and I doused my little leeks with it. It stinks and now I smell horrible. Luckily Husb has a cold.

Veg Under The Castle

18 May

Husb and I spent most of the afternoon and evening down at the allotment, because it’s dry and sunny and we are making the most of it. Our allotment is below a Norman Castle, which is really quite a spectacular setting for growing some fruit and veg. Here’s a drawing I did of it a while back, during an evening outdoor performance of Shakespeare.

oystermouth castle

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