Tag Archives: Oystermouth castle

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.

Mucky, Messy and Mumbles

31 May

2 oystermouth

Yesterday evening after Husb and I watered the allotment, I did a charcoal sketch facing Oystermouth Castle. Today, we walked around the castle park and I sat on a bench with my back to the Castle, looking towards the beach. My view was mostly trees and the park in the foreground, with a glimpse of Mumbles Lighthouse and Swansea Bay in the background.  I’m using a thin stick of Winsor & Newton willow charcoal into a Khadi handmade sketchbook. Charcoal is mucky so I carry a tin of fixative around as well. There’s a decision to be made how much you include in a drawing, if you try and cram everything in, it can look really messy, especially with charcoal, so I decided to keep a lot of white in the composition.

 

Willow And Khadi

30 May

1 oystermouth

Husb and I went to our allotment to water the plants this evening, it’s been boiling hot and we don’t want to lose any. As we left and walked past the castle (Oystermouth) I had a quick scribble with willow charcoal into a Khadi sketchbook.

Potager, Leftovers, Castle. In That Order

10 Apr

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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.

 

 

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.

 

Paisley Daps

22 Mar

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This coronavirus situation is weird for me, creatively. I seem to be unable to do anything meaningful, I have no ideas about how to do some art that is relevant. It will come with time, I suppose – I hope. In the meanwhile, I need to just knuckle down and practice. So I drew my paisley daps on my Samsung Galaxy Note 8 using a free Markers app. I haven’t used either for ages, it’s a bit of a clumsy programme but to be honest I can’t be bothered to learn a more sophisticated programme, I prefer to create art mostly in the real rather than virtual world. But the tablet is easy to pick up, no need to go to the cupboards and get my materials out and set up a work station.

caastle

I’ve been spending more time cooking and working on the allotment, survival instinct I guess. Our allotment is in a gorgeous place, behind Oystermouth Castle and we’ve had a good few days, dry and sunny, and the site is so big that it’s easy to practice social isolation.

 

 

 

 

Concrete And Astroturf??!!

16 Jul

loganberry cordial

Husb and I are keen gardeners, well, no, that’s not true. I’m a keen gardener and Husb would happily fill the garden with concrete and Astroturf! Our garden is small but we also have an allotment and grow a lot of fruit and some veg. At this time of year, we’re picking our produce which means spending time cleaning and preserving it. Today we made 6 jars of gooseberry and elderflower jam and 6 bottles of loganberry cordial and picked about 4 kilos of jostaberries (a cross between gooseberries and blackcurrants), a kilo of rhubarb and a load of rainbow chard. Not much chance of doing anything arty with all this going on, but I did this drawing a while back of our local castle which overlooks the allotments. It’s an idyllic place, we’re very lucky.

Tomorrow, I’ll be jamming all those jostaberries and making rhubarb chutney.

The Scruffy Little Model

9 Apr

Scruffy cat

It was a really nice day today, not too warm, dry and perfect to get down to the allotment to make an early start on the Spring clearance and planting. The same thing happens every year, I say I’ll break myself in and do an hour at a time and work my way up but no, I did four and a half hours of digging, weeding, planting and hedge trimming straight off. And then got home and crashed on the settee. And didn’t do any art. So I grabbed my sketchbook and scribbled Little Ming who is asleep on the pouffé. She’s getting on a bit, she’s sixteen now but she’s always been a scruffy little thing.

Oystermouth Castle 2

As we walked across the park by the Castle to the allotment site, I noticed a swathe of bright yellow celandine and gleaming white wild garlic (Ramsons) tumbling down the grassy bank. I love the Spring.

 

I have put my series of drawings en plein air of ancient Welsh monuments on Artfinder.  If you want to see more, please click on the image below or the Artfinder link at the top right of this page. This one is the legendary grave of Saint Elfys (Elvis) in Pembrokeshire, not for from the Presceli Mountains. Elfys? Presceli? Elvis Presley? Coincidence? hhhmmmm

St Elvis

Rhubarb At The Castle

8 May
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Rhubarb in pen and graphite

Too warm for me today, temperature around 21 Celsius, so Husb and I didn’t get down to the allotment until about 4pm, when it was staring to cool off a bit and I could do a load of digging without flaking out. Our allotment is on a site sandwiched between two woodland glades and right behind the 12th century Oystermouth Castle in Mumbles. It’s an idyllic setting but the soil is poor, a heavy clay and very hard to cultivate. But it’s good exercise and we generally harvest a good crop of fruits. Most veg need a lighter soil so we’ve built some raised beds and we’ve had moderate success with leeks, chard, rocket, potatoes, runner beans and broad beans. I’m trying out some beetroot and peas this year. Brassicas are a non-starter; as well as the poor soil, everything eats them.

oystermouth castle

Oystermouth Castle at twilight

 

If you would like to see some of my other artworks, please click here.

Another Dark Room

3 Sep

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I carried on drawing in a darkened room with my Samsung Galaxy Tablet Note 8 this evening. I liked what I did yesterday, so I kept to drawing on top of a dark ground with white and touches of other colours.

Husb and I have been making the most of the good weather to work on our allotment in the evenings after work. Tonight, I dug over a raised bed, I like digging, and then planted some late kale, chard and radish. We left as the bats were swooping out of Oystermouth Castle across the park.

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