Thursday 15 May 2014

My morning walk

When we are young, we never have time to smell the roses, but as we get a little older we begin to realise that we need to make the time. I try and go for an early morning walk whenever  I can and today I thought it might be nice to share it with you.

Its quiet in the village at this time of day, I love the dappled light, the sound of the water and the birds, they seem so loud, but that's probably because it is so quiet.

I am heading towards the 'Ford bridge' where there is a family of ducks I have been watching since they were tiny. There is a small run off where the ducks can get trapped when they are tiny, so a make shift rescue bridge is placed in the river to help them along. I have watched a line of them balance on the wood and hop up out of danger.

I'm not sure if its a good idea, but I count them, and there are 11 survivors this year out of 15. The heron has a lot to answer for, he stands silently along the bank here on the left and watches for any limpers or stragglers. This is the family this morning, sunning themselves.

The calm for the ducks is certainly shattered as a Labrador gallops up the river. He is having such fun it is hard to begrudge him!

I follow the river past the village car park and now begin to see parts of the village the visitors rarely see. The river narrows and I cross this little bridge, the iris are in bud, the shrubs are covered in blossom and the hedgerows seem particularly lovely this year.

The honeysuckle is amazing this spring, the hedgerow smells wonderful.

I pass the little stables along the way, these two love a bit of attention, a nose rub, goodness, they are velvety soft.

Then further along, its the chickens, in the blossom orchard. Most of them seem to be hiding this morning, now these are what I call 'free range' these are the hens I use as models for my paintings, and the eggs in my cooking. What could be nicer? 

After collecting the eggs, its time to head back, this is such a beautiful place, and just a few hundred yards from where I live. There are little lanes like this all over the UK, with people enjoying today, just as I am.

My walk takes me back along the river where I look for the trout. There used to be so many of them, but now there are very few, I think the heron eats them. However, i did see one this morning in the sunshine, lets hope the heron doesn't!

This is the little seat I like to sit on, there are lots of these along the river and at this time if day it is so peaceful, there is hardly anyone about. I am now almost at home, my walk is a wonderful way to clear the mind and smell the roses.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

A busy couple of weeks

I spent a lovely few days in the Lake District at the Derwent Pencil Museum at the beginning of the month, where I demonstrated and taught for three days, meeting some lovely people there. We had a fun workshop painting chickens and learning various techniques, all of which feature in my new book to be published very soon! 

If you buy my book from me from my web site on-line, I am giving away with it a FREE blank stencil worth £3 and a Daniel Smith dot card. I can't wait! Its such a lovely book, I am sure you will love it too.
I seem to have had another hectic couple of weeks.

Yesterday it was an early start for me driving to Wales to visit two art groups, in the morning I was demonstrating flower techniques in Torfaen and in the evening, boats and harbours in South Wales. This is one of the paintings I completed in the evening, there was a camera and projector and a hall full with 75 people, so the big screen was very important. It did mean the room was dark and I was lit, so it looks like I am painting in the dark, but I wasn't really!