Sunday, 6 March 2011

Signs of Spring

There should be a sub heading for this post, 'How not to sketch out doors'.

I've been getting back into sketching every where I can to get loads of practice and build up my confidence. I also thought it would be fun to try and capture nature through the year on my 'patch'.

As it was such a beautiful afternoon I headed off with my sketching kit and camera; and my trusty flask of tea, as it's rather chilly! I had, however, forgotten one thing. I have a small, (rather uncomfortable) fold up, three legged sketching stool. Unfortunately, one of the leg caps has come off, and we have had an awful lot of rain. When I settled down to sketch a lovely old tree, I sat on my stool - but the world went up, and I went down! I sank right into the soft earth!

Luckily no one was there to see. I pulled the legs out and tried to re - position the stool, but the only 'safe' place was perched precariously on the side of the hill. So, after about 10 minutes, shifting about and making some rather odd marks, I decided to cut my losses, have a cup of tea and finish off at home. I think I may be investing in a new stool or a proper sketching chair.....

Anyway, here are a few photos, of what are, seemingly, rather ordinary things, but when you look more closely, how beautiful and fascinating they become....

The buds are breaking. They look wonderful outlined against the blue spring sky.

Just a patch of arum lily leaves ( one of my most favourite plants), but what a beautiful shape they are; the patterns of light playing across them really caught my attention. That wealth of green shades and tones surrounding them is amazing.

A few early celandines are peeping through last year's dried and crumpled leaves, like little stars in the evening sky.
This wood pigeon was happily eating his supper and let me get quite close.

At the edge of the wood, hundreds of daffodils are just beginning to open and will look spectacular in a week or so.

Tiny violets are scattered in drifts alongside the path.

Here is the tree I was attempting to sketch! It's a lovely old woodpecker haunt, and covered in bracket fungi. I'll try again when I have a new seat, but at least I have a good reference photo.

I hope you enjoyed looking at my signs of spring, but if you would like to see some really stunning pictures of nature, then do visit the blog of the amazingly talented Tammie Lee 'Spirithelpers'. Exquisite photography and poetry (and she paints too!)

Finally, some art. Not my usual style at all, but I had great fun with it. This is a watercolour I designed for a birthday card for my friend Helen, who is a wonderful quilter and dressmaker. It's an 'homage' to those stunning Vogue patterns/models of the 1950's.

Have a wonderful week.x


  1. Nice pics! I love seeing the spring photos......this week we've had over 18" of snow!!
    I love the Birthday Card you created.

  2. You are getting spring we are just into Autumn Trees are starting to change but it is still 35 degrees here today. Really love your photos

  3. Signs of spring are here to,and it has cheered me up no end. Lovely way to spend some time being in a pretty wood sketching, its too cold here or I might have followed your example.

    Like the card, you paint so well.

  4. Lovely photos. Hope you will show us your sketches soon.

  5. I love that card! I enjoy any number of creative pursuits but drawing and painting have always been a bit beyond my abilities, so I have huge admiration for those who can :)

  6. Thank you for sharing the pictures! We aren't quite that far along into spring here, but I know it is coming! Love you watercolor and nothing is better than a homemade card!

  7. Oh dear.... the 'sinking stool' ... so relieved to read that you too have shared in this predicament!!!! But, wow, what a wonderful collection of Spring photographs... always soooo beautiful seeing fresh new growth emerging, unfurling and bursting forth. Thank you for sharing, my dear friend!
    Hugs xxxx

  8. Hi Jules,
    your sketching stool story was funny - I'm glad you didn't do yourself an injury! Love the fact you see the special things in nature.

  9. Jules, that stool episode sounds like something that would happen to me! LOL! Spring is finally showing up around here too. I'm so glad.
    That card is gorgeous! You are so talented my friend.

  10. Laughed right out loud about your legs in the air fall! - in a nice way though Jules! Isn't spring devine? (I'm a spring baby and it's my favourite time of year!) I imagine it's even more of a contrast from winter in your climes... Love your Vogue girl............ Sandi xo

  11. Hello Jules,

    Yes I enjoyed your glimpses of spring, you are sooo far ahead of us! I still have two feet of melting snow in my yard/forest!

    imagine my surprise when you shared my blog! So kind of you, thank you!

    and the not very like you card for your friend is fabulous!! She has to love it, how special. You have so many talents. It is not always easy to do things that are not much like us.

    again, thank you~

  12. Hi Jules,
    It looks like Spring is really appearing where you are. Thanks for sharing these lovely photos.
    I enjoy visiting people's blogs at the moment and seeing all the images of springtime.
    I hope you got to visit Avebury and saw the magical stones.
    I bet Helen loved the Vogue birthday card, it is a beautiful design!
    Have a wonderful week my friend.
    Jo. xxx


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