Nice to see my friends out grazing after this week’s record rainfall
At least I can grow something – Inktense on Cartridge Paper
The first of this year’s garlic harvest is tied up and hanging in the greenhouse to dry. Its the only thing I grow which I am self sufficient in, the crop of around 50 bulbs will last until this time next year. This stuff is amazing having been planted in October and survived the winter under all that snow. It was buried under three feet of the stuff when John Stremikis visited in January so this crop, John, is dedicated to you, for Auld Lang Syne – I know you like your food.
Garlic Joke : Guy buys food from his supermarket. He puts cheese, pickle and garlic on a sandwich then goes on a blind date. The girl, he meets, takes one deep breath and disappears for ever. The guy is going to sue the supermarket because the packaging said “Best before date …”
Peaceful Places # 3 – Inktense Blocks and Watercolour
This is a scene from one of our local wooded areas. I love trees and when I cannot get out amongst them the next best thing is to draw and paint them. This scene was done, at home on a very wet afternoon. I started by blocking in the shadow areas first, using the pigment from Inktense Blocks. Water colour was added later as it can be glazed over the initial washes as they are permanent. I took a series of photos, of the different stages and these can be seen by looking at this set on flickr.
Peaceful Places # 2 – Inktense and watercolour
This seat, or “bench” as they are are known here, allows a traveller to sit quietly next to the River Almond in Almondell Park. Its been a favourite spot of mine for many years. A long time ago, I was recovering from a lengthy illness and I used to come here and listen to the river meandering past while the sound of the many birds would echo in the trees. A magical place which is dear to me.
Peaceful places # 1 – Watercolour
This is the entrance to St Mary’s Parish Church in Ratho – the village where I stay The church is set in a very quiet and peaceful part of the country. Parts of the present day building includes the east aisle which is dated 1683 and the south aisle 1830. There is a 13th century tombstone, built into the side of the main door and it is thought that worship took place, on this site, as early as the 12th century making this place pre-reformation. There are many ancient and interesting stones in the graveyard in including one shaped like a coffin made from a huge piece of stone, probably placed there as a device to foil body-snatchers (Ressurectionists)
The second plague – Watercolour
After yesterday’s “Ziza Rain” we now have fog. This was how it looked, here (almost – I found this quite hard to paint) which makes me wonder what is next in store. Its a wee bit early for snow but you never know with our climate. Perhaps more thunder and lightning? Now that would be a challenge.
Wet and Gloomy Woods – Watercolour
This is for Grandpa Ziza who wants it to rain where I stay
Since he made this comment it has rained on and off but today we are really back to monsoon conditions. OK my friend, I concede defeat. Here is the woods I usually walk through daily. The overcast sky is making things very dull. Local farmers, who are still harvesting, are getting worried and will blame you for this wet weather. Please turn it off.
The late farmer – Watercolour
No sooner than the corn was cut the farmer, at the top of our road, started to plough the field. Nothing unusual here but this guy still uses an old “Davy Brown” while most others seem to share the cost of hiring one of these huge, modern machines. My local farmer then. Takes ages to get his ploughing completed but this probably saves him cash in the long run. It also maybe explains why he was still at it around midnight.
Wait till your dad gets home – Inktense and Watercolour
I just couldn’t resist this. Most of this is from memories as I couldn’t have sketched this, from laughing – even if I wanted to.
I cycled past the field, yesterday, and as usual she brought her foal to show me. I told her what a lovely son she had. Her body language seemed to agree with this and after a while I continued with my exercise. As I left I noticed that the youngster was charging about, leaping up and down in the daft way all kids do. About an hour later, as I returned, passing the wall, mum “called me over”. At first I thought the foal was injured, or worse but then his mother whinnied at him. He rolled over, kicked his legs playfully then lay still again. I had the impression that he was just plain tired out, refusing to obey his mother and get up. Maybe he was just being awkward. The next five minutes were hilarious. She would look at me then swing her head in his direction and “shout” at him. Then she would look straight at me almost demanding I do something. After this “wee chat” I suggested she behave more forcibly so she really snorted and rushed towards him. Quick as a flash he was up and off in the direction of the shelter. I like to think she was asking my advice and this proved useful. I think he would get a good talking to later on that night.
The Corn is turning – Watercolour
This is not in a Moleskine as it measures 14” x 21”. Is shows the scene from the top of our street, looking north towards Fife.
After a dreary and very wet June and July, summer seems to have arrived at last with some lovely sunny days and temperatures in the mid 20s C. The local farmers must be delighted as the cereal crops have suddenly turned from green to yellow and harvesting is beginning earnest. Its good to know that the bad weather hasn’t damaged too much and that all their efforts seem to have been worthwhile. One downside, at harvest time, is the emergence of tiny “Thrips” or “Harvest Lice” as they are locally known. These minuscule insects descend like clouds of dust and are very annoying. They get everywhere, even behind the glass in picture frames. Fortunately this doesn’t last long and anyway, more rain is forecast in a week which will put paid to this annual invasion. One good thing, which is more noticeable, is that many grass verges are being allowed to grow a bit wilder. A few years ago, there was an insane need to cut back any vegetation at the road side. Now areas of wild-flowers are beginning to emerge, such as the Rose Bay Willow Herb shown in the foreground. There must also be many mice and voles as we have noticed many more buzzards, owls and kestrels lately.