Monday, 30 May 2011

Walking.

Inspiration comes from all around me and I'm so lucky to live in this beautiful land. Walking the dog gives me the opportunity to find things I may normally overlook. This is one of our favourite walks, although it's pretty arduous in places. We start off along one of the deer paths, through a tangled mass of buddleias now sprinkled with early dog roses.



An hour's walk through deep woodland brings us to spectacular views.



The peace of the sun kissed day invited me to rest on a grassy bed. The dog was too restless for that, maybe next time.



Cool inviting shade,


and gnarly tree roots will definitely feature in future paintings.


Back home for a cuddle with two of my fur babies :D

Monday, 16 May 2011

Growing.

The little plastic greenhouse (otherwise known as the Incident Tent!) is yielding lots of goodies again this year. Far more tomatoes than I can accommodate!


The luxury of flowers this year, Cosmos, Poppies and Hollyhocks :D

and underneath a couple of cucumbers and a courgette, bought from the village jumble sale as mine were a no-show!

In my home made raised bed lots of lovely strawberries with green beans behind and a few onions in between as I was running out of space!


Inside the greenhouse all is ready for the tomatoes, and the herbs I planted between the paving slabs are all coming along nicely.


Today's work, a rough little sketch of Toffee and Manchee. The first of many I think :D


Toffee had a visit from the farrier and I was told that he's in great shape and his feet are perfect. More than able to have a go at going barefoot, although the farrier wasn't convinced about the hoofboots when I asked him. More research needed I think!

Sunday, 15 May 2011

About ponies.

When was the last time I got out and rode our family pony, Toffee??? Do you know, I honestly can't remember. It must have been over a year ago as this time last year I was preparing Merlin for a very important show and didn't have the time to ride at all.

Merlin has been taking the limelight for a very long time. This paid off last year, when an important member of the Eriskay Society came to inspect him for his stallion licence. It was a nailbiting day with decisions to be discussed and made at the next Committee meeting and so more waiting for me! However, I think his sterling performance in the Handy Pony class and winning the unridden section is what swung the balance in his favour and he has since sired a foal which is due to be born in August :D


However, a challenging life has put the ponies firmly on the back burner since last year and they've been living the life of Riley in their field, getting a little fat and really quite bored. I've not known what to do with them and simply haven't had the energy to ride, until a few days ago! I've been following this blog, this amazing blog Ride around Britain , do take a look and a moment to say 'hi' to Lisa as I'm sure she'd love to hear from you all. She's supporting some worthy charities on her ride, one of which is the Lluest Horse and pony Trust, who coincidentally I've done some work for in the past, and I love the idea of packing up and taking off on the road. As I'm still not in a position to buy a varda (and I don't think Toffee could pull one if I did!) I got to thinking that I need to look at a smaller picture.



I'm still not sure where this is taking me, but I've begun getting Toffee and Manchee working together with a view to taking them on some long rides together. I'd love to take Merlin out too, but being a stallion, this is more problematical and will need a lot more thought!


Manchee will benefit from the discipline so that he can tell the difference between a pony that likes to be chased and those (ie all others) that don't! Merlin seems to relish these slightly dangerous games, but Toffee really can't be bothered and so has a calmer relationship with them both.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Fighting.

I didn't drift at all yesterday! I fought with tooth and claw to stay put until the effort drove me to run away to the woods.


There was peace and time to stand and think and of course admire my beautiful dog :D


He scrabbled about in the streams, small though they are after so many weeks without rain. I must visit this stream again when her body will be swollen and full. I will watch the skies and know the perfect time.


For now, there is just enough to give a thirsty dog a drink.




This woodland is very wild, with fallen tangled trees. The perfect place to find forgetfulness!

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Paddling.

Today I feel like one of those swans you see sitting peacefully on the lake, while below the surface her feet are frantically paddling just to remain in the same place. I'm wondering what would happen if I just let go and see where the current takes me!

A day of reflection today I think.

Monday, 9 May 2011

A few days off.

A think a few days rest is definitely on the cards after the Fair on Sunday. I'm totally worn out and not used to being on my feet all day!
I made some very nice new friends yesterday and hello to you all if you find your way here :D

I nearly didn't make it the Fair though as on Saturday night the Moomin fell off her roller blades and we spent over 3hours in casualty having her arm x-rayed and then plastered. It was a bit of a traumatic time but she was determined to come along yesterday and I was so proud of her. Thankfully her wrist is only fractured and so should heal cleanly! I was also very thankful for the help of my darling son as he gave up his Sunday to sit with me in a tent in a field :D

The silver lining to this disaster was that a dear friend has just set up a business importing the most amazingly beautiful tents and gave me the use of a gorgeous mediaeval structure. Hopefully I'll have some photos to share with you later, but for today I'll just be packing away prints and doing some much needed housework. It looks like the Trolls have had a heck of a party while we were out :D

Thursday, 5 May 2011

I've been a bit of a wreck this week as I prepare the final details for the Green Fair on Sunday. My practice table looks really bare at the moment, but I know how I want it to look for the show, and I'm nearly finished with some last minute pieces, so that should help. Taking pictures of the table at various stages helps with the final planning, I find.



During a break from work, I made this delicious raw, vegan chocolate cheesecake. The base is made from chopped soaked nuts and dates and the top is, wait for it...... Avocado and cacao powder with a little syrup or honey for sweetness! It's amazingly delicious and so healthy especially served with some chopped strawberries :D


Back to the painting, a few miniatures painted on the applewood slices that I prepared months ago.


A much larger piece now. This is Dipstick, a Jack Russell terrier that belongs to my dear friend the Woodelf. Dipstick is getting on a bit in years and can be a bit cranky sometimes, but she's mostly a little poppet :D This was the halfway mark, with all the underpainting completed.


And this is the almost finished piece, just some final fiddling and maybe a bit of glazing. I have to say I'm very pleased with this one and especially love the abstract background, which is a technique I feel very comfortable with.


Today I have some more miniatures to paint, some hawthorn I picked up on my walk with the dog, and then maybe another large painting for the show!!!

(As I'm typing, I have Cotton purring on my lap and Piper is biting the poor, worn out dog's feet! He's gone off her I think!)