Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Who will tell the birds and rabbits?

My first words when discovering that the Men in Fluorescent Jackets had started to move further around the hill to hammer in fence posts and dig out a roadway and concrete a crossing over the stream. There's also a heck of a lot of soil being shifted; they're stripping the fields to build a roundabout and road network first, and then houses.

We knew it was going to happen, just maybe not yet. We'd hoped to have the summer. 

Only a couple of weekends ago, I was happily roaming around these fields, coming home with armfuls of different grasses and weeds to draw for a sketchbook course with Helen Hallows

I had an absolute blast painting the pages in my book - even though it meant queuing outside the DIY shop in my mask in order to buy more tester pots of chalk paint! Here's a little video flick through the pages. 

Then I got stuck into some practice sketches, my favourite being the one where we used our non-dominant hand. 

And I've made a start on some of my pages.

But of course, everything's wilted in the jamjars and I need to go and gather more material - it's either that or perch out in the fields, amidst the thistles, and now the Men in Yellow are there I feel even less inclined to do that!

We still trespass, just after hours when they've all gone home for their tea. Yesterday we saw a black bunny, just sitting on the path. We stopped in our tracks and watched it for ages. 

Sorry there's no picture, but if you can imagine a silhouette of a bunny rabbit, sitting upright, with ears up and paws hanging down...that's what we saw. Luckily the whippet didn't...

I can't remember who said it, it might have been Brian Rutenberg, that it's important to experience a little moment of astonishment every day. Well, that was my moment for yesterday. 

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Dorset, Durness, Deadlines and Doing things backwards

Well these are strange times. I'm sure that's been said before!

This week I was supposed to be teaching in Dorset, then heading off up to the far north of Scotland to one of my favourite places, Durness. 

It was on Balnakiel beach at Durness that this photo of my Granny was taken over 30 years ago. Sums her up. Tough, out-doorsy, headscarf, sensible trousers, in one of her favourite places - Scotland. I even swam that day, just around the corner from Balnakiel. I was planning on doing exactly that this time too. And puffins. I was so looking forward to seeing puffins, and we'd planned several jaunts to puffin-rich locations to track them down.

So Dorset isn't happening until 2022, and Durness isn't happening until next year. 

So why not create another deadline for myself instead?

As you may know, I've been working away on my first online course. There's a natural deadline coming up this week that ties in beautifully with an idea I've had for signing up a test group. Say no more say no more, but if you want in on the secret and a chance to be in it, make sure you've signed up to my newsletter. The invitation will be going out tomorrow Monday 8 June - and places will be limited. 

And doing things backwards?

Wouldn't it have been good to have thought through exactly how to film, edit, write, host, market, test, and sign up a course before giving myself a deadline to do it all?

Then again, sleep's overrated, isn't it?!