Sunday, 4 July 2010

The Wanderer Returns

Took off a week ago Wednesday and headed south to what is called the Lake District in England - a very good place to go to enjoy the English football fans’
humiliation at first hand!
And also a very good place to go hill-walking and to savour the delights of their pubs and ale-houses.
The initial concept was to camp for four days next to a lovely wee village called Hawkshead where we have spent many’s a holiday, and experience life in the rough (literally). Ah, the fresh air of a force-ten gale, dining al fresco wi‘ bugs in yer soup, waking up during the night with your lilo flat and the racket of the crows at five in the morning, then staggering to the communal showers hung-over from over-indulgence and carousing the night before - sheer delight :o{
But at least it didnae rain!

I’ve drawn and painted Hawkshead and the surrounding area many, many, times and if I can dig out those sketches and paintings sometime and I’ll post them to let you see how nice a place it is.

But this visit there wasn’t any time between the all the camping activities, walking in the countryside around Esthwaite Water, watching football and tennis in the Red Lion. The first time I produced my sketchpad was on the second night in the Kings Head where we had the great fortune to hear this local singer/songwriter, Pete Lashley. A great mixture of songs he sung to his own accompaniment, some of which I knew and could join in, like “Island in the Stream”:

Pencil in sketchbook, A6.

Two nights, however, was more than enough of that camping malarky so next morning we struck camp and set off for home.

On the way we stopped in at another lovely village, Grasmere, which we have often passed through but never stayed. That was when we spied a sign “Self-Catering Apartments: VACANCIES”. This was more like it - home from home, a comfortable bed, fully functioning kitchen, a bed, and a clean shower cabinet for one person. And a telly, yay!:

Beck Allan's Guest House

Pencil in sketchbook, A4.

Not cheap but available for a whole week. Unplanned vacations are the best. No time to think about making all the arrangements before hand just do it there and then.
And what a week it was: walter-wall sunshine and balmy hot like Italy nel’estate.

And this is where I hope it gets interesting.

After all the days, weeks, months, nay, years spent cooped up in a studio burning my brains out over semi-abstract figurations here I was in the most beautiful countryside with time on my hands. This is what I was born to do. This is probably where I am happiest - walking in the country with sketchpads, pencils, pens, brushes, and my wee travellers watercolour box, drawing and painting 'en plein air'…sheer heaven:

St. Oswalds Church

Pencil and watercolour in sketchbook, A4.
In the graveyard associated with this church lies the romantic poet William Wordsworth (of daffodils fame) and his wife, Mary.

Old Pine Tree

Pencil and watercolour in sketchbook, A4.
A very strange lop-sided pine tree standing alone in a field.

Grasmere and Heron Pike

Watercolour pencils and watercolour washes in sketchpad, A5x2.
Half-way on a four mile walk looking back across the mere to Heron Pike in the distance. This was my first attempt at drawing with watercolour pencils with the hope of blending-in washes and blurring the edges. Didn't work that way...needs more practice.

Heron Pike

Watercolour pencils and watercolour washes in sketchpad, A5x2.
Another attempt with the watercolour pencils and much closer up to the Pike.

More sketches to follow another day.

Hope you have all been nice while I've been away!


AKJapan said...

Great sketches and a wonderful holiday by the sounds of it. Woe for old England, they made a right muck of it.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Just deserts, Andrea, believing their own hype.
I should know since Scotland did the same in 1978 in Argentina!
Poor Japan didn't last too long either, and neither did Australia.
It's still a beautiful game.
Pleased to get your comments :o)

Celeste Bergin said...

exquisite drawings and is like I am there. Keep them coming!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Your wish is my command, Celeste!

Melinda said...

Oooh, oooh, St. Oswald's Church is particularly wonderful!

Your camping story is great, too. Oh, the stories we can all share about our crazy ideas of bonding with nature...!

Say, how 'bout them soccer games?! Whoo-hoo. I'm hoping I can watch some of it on Sunday.

Sorry...not nice, curmudgeonly and prima donna-like.

daviddrawsandpaints said...
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daviddrawsandpaints said...

Ha ha ha, aye yer right the whole idea of gawn campin' was somehow to get closer to nature...except I have found it a bit too close for comfort!
Yeah, the footie is coming to it's climax on Sunday with the starting favourites, Spain, meeting the Netherlands. Some of the games have been brilliant!
and no need to apologise...I love your dual aspect (curmudgenly and prima donna) reminds me of myself :o)))
And have I got some stuff to show you!
I'm so laid back just now, and watching so much sport on telly (and now the Tour de France has just started) I can hardly get around my friends to comment on what you are all doing.
I went to see a local production of A Midsummer Night's Dream while on holiday and made many sketches which I hope you might like.

It's great to get your comments and I'm pleased you like St Oswalds. I am happy just now drawing and painting directly from the subject found while walking about without trying to impose anything extra onto it, just seeing it as it is.
Speak to you soon through another avenue.
ps: having a lot of trouble with my computer atm.

daviddrawsandpaints said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melinda said...

I'm on the edge of my chair...and looking forward to your post and photos!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

And I'm pulling out what little hair I have left, Melinda!!!
This computer is acting the goat and driving me nuts!
I have just spent the last hour writing up the most hilarious blog ever in the history of blogging and it is all lost!
Well, maybe the gods of Bloggerland didnae think it was quite so funny and just saved my blushes.
I'll have to write it up again tomorrow for now I totally scunnered and going off to bed.
See ya tomorrow, sista.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

And another thing...I am not able to load up your homepage so unable to comment as promised.
Don't worry, it's just another challenge and I'll get it sorted sometime.

my croft said...

oh god. camping. what a loathesome idea. the great outdoors does not have indoor plumbing and a tent is a raincoat with an ego problem. I'm happy to leave it to the bears and badgers. and ticks. and biting flies. and suchlike. I do have a yearning to walk the full length of Hadrian's Wall . . . someday . . . but I understand that in these modern times the path is dotted with comfy inns.

glad you're back at the keyboard -- and the sketchbook! how lovely these are! -- however balky the systems are.

Melinda said...

Eeeks! I go apoplectic when that happens to a post. Yet, I know what a funny and brilliant artist you are, and know that you will have found new words to add to the ones you remember from yesterday.

I'll be here.

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Well, Melanie, you will just have to walk the West Highland Way from Glasgow to Fort William instead. Even if you do come across hotels which are "comfy", you might not find the most delightful and endearing landladies. You will be wishing you had gone camping after all!
Did I ever tell you the story of coming home from a sorte into the countryside with a tic stuck in my bum? Don't know how the hell it got there! The doctor who extracted it was delighted to have this on her CV.
Lovely to see you here again :o)

daviddrawsandpaints said...

As you can see, Melinda, the "problem" is now sorted. I was beginning to think it was terminal but turned out just to be a summer cold :o)
As for remembering all the excruciatingly funny words I previously used on the piece you will see that everything went right oot ma heid :o{