Monday, 29 August 2016

Misarden Park Gardens

Last week we chose another glorious day to explore some well-hidden Cotswold gardens surrounding a 17th century manor house overlooking the Golden Valley.  The last part of our journey there was along an extremely narrow, winding, single track road, following a slow-moving, heavily laden tractor.  It seemed as if we had followed it for miles, but the frustrations of the trip were well-rewarded by the vistas which awaited us.

Cottage, Misarden - pen and watercolour
This strange little building was just outside the entrance to the manor house, so was possibly originally a gatehouse.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Brecon Beacons, Wales

The second week in August we spent in the Brecon Beacons in Wales.  Lovely weather (no rain), comfortable cottage with fantastic views, a chance to catch up with my sister and family, plus the chance to do a few small sketches.

We did walk a fair way up Sugarloaf in hot sunshine, but near the summit the clouds rolled in and with a chill wind blowing up we decided to retrace our steps.

Having seen the ruins of Raglan Castle in the distance on several occasions on our trips into Wales, this was our first visit and we were surprised at the extent of the site.  An added bonus was a large Medieval encampment within the grounds, with costumed re-enactors, mock battles, archery, etc. - very atmospheric and colourful.

Hillside Farm - pen and wash 3" x 4"

On the road from Crickhowell to Beaufort - pen and wash 6" x 4"

Sugarloaf Mountain - watercolour 6" x 4"

Raglan Castle - pen 6" x 4"

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Sketching in the Cotswolds

Another beautiful day out with the outdoor sketching group.  Our base was The Masons Arms, Meysey Hampton, convenient for morning coffee and lunch and adjacent to the village green where we were able to set up our "sketching stations".  In the afternoon, some of us moved on to take in the village church, rounding off the day with afternoon tea by the river at Ampney Crucis.

Barn at Meysey Hampton - pen and wash

St. Mary's Church, Meysey Hampton - watercolour marker and pen
Village sign
"Time for a lunch break" - photo P. Kitching

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Suffolk sketches

A while back we had a glorious couple of weeks' holiday in Suffolk.  This being "Constable Country",  a must was to visit Flatford Mill and Willy Lot's Cottage (made famous in the painting "The Haywain").  Indeed, the whole area provided a wealth of sketching opportunities - rustic villages, windmills and busy harbour scenes.

Pin Mill on the River Orwell is a favoured spot for artists, drawn to its 17th century inn and old sailing barges.  Unfortunately, the day we tried to get there the only access lane was almost at a standstill with the cars of other sightseers, so we had to give it a miss.

Flatford Mill

Willy Lot's cottage



Shell still life

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Watercolour florals

A few watercolours from the archives.  Flowers are definitely one of my favourite subjects.

Pink Passion

September Glow

April Lilies

Peach Hibiscus

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Outdoor sketching

After a couple of days of rain, today promised sun so I was able to join a small local sketching group at a nearby community garden. This was a little haven hidden on the outskirts of an industrial estate; over half a dozen different garden themes, all with an abundance of over-flowing foliage and flowers, willow structures, sculptures, a thatched roundhouse and unexpected vistas. An added bonus was the excellent, adjacent cafe – ideal for morning coffee and then a lunch break.  

The Roundhouse, pen and wash

From the Physic Garden, pen and wash