Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sketchbook Project Completed (At Last)

Sorry about the length of this post but I was too busy to blog last week so this is a bit of a combination. We have emerged from our Christmas snow now but I think we may still get some more before the end of winter. I cannot believe we have reached the second decade of 2000. Where has the past ten years gone? It passed in the blink of an eye. Anyway I hope you all had a great Christmas and are brimming over with creativity and inspiration for 2011.

I have not had a lot of time for art recently but I did manage to do the image below in ink and watercolour. I will probably do another version as I am not too pleased with how the trees have turned out.

Finally, after months of drawing I have completed my moleskine for the Sketchbook Project. Below is the painted front cover just waiting for the title and my name to be put in and then I can post it off to Brooklyn. My theme was "If you lived here" and while some of my drawings have only been loosely related to this, I have enjoyed them all. I am glad to have finished it though as it has taken a huge amount of my time. I have completed thirty four in all. A lot of my "sketches" are actually quite detailed because I don't do sketches. For anyone who hasn't finished their books yet, I have read on the website that you should post them off by the 15th of this month anyway.

On Boxing Day we decided to do a bit of snowbound geocache maintaining our own caches. Once you have placed those little treasures you have to make sure they remain in good condition where they are supposed to be and there are log books for people to write their names in. On our return journey in the late afternoon we were alerted to a sheep in distress by a rather pathetic bleating. The photo below shows what we discovered.

A youngster with her (his) head firmly fixed in a very small section of wire fencing. Goodness knows what she was doing but then she was a sheep so probably enough said. She was a very friendly sheep who seemed to sense we were trying to help so she remained quiescent throughout the tricky operation. I was on this side of the fence holding her head still while the other two unwound the wire with a pair of tweezers. Not an easy thing to do either.

It took a good 10 minutes to achieve but finally she was free.

A brief check over to see if she was wounded. Luckily she had only snagged her ear tag and caused a bit of bleeding; otherwise she was in good fettle.

Off to freedom...

Here are a couple of shots of her colleagues who ignored her cries for help and carried on feeding.

She needs to choose her grazing companions more carefully in future and we need to remember to take wire cutters with us on our next walk.

I am a huge fan (along with everyone else) of Orla Kiely. She strikes me as always having her finger on the up to the minute design pulse. Her new book Pattern is a delight. Full of gorgeous images of her creations and lots of information about how she started out and how she gains inspiration for her work. I bought this book way back in October but have been saving it to savour when I had more time i.e. after I finished my sketchbook. That time is now and I am really enjoying it.

Mary Tempest is a artist with a wonderful sense of colour. All her paintings are full of vivid colour and life and contemporary style and if you need cheering up, a visit to her website here will definitely fit the bill.


Adam And Eve

The Kiss

A few photos from my recent folders. Mist is very atmospheric and really creates interesting photos. The three landscapes were all taken locally and below is a wonderful concoction of red berries and some dewy webs. I take much longer to walk anywhere when there are views like these to appreciate.

Berries and Webs

Pink Sky

Misty Woodland

Misty Morning Sunlight

Howard Phipps is an English artist who very well known for producing exquisite wood engravings. He draws the landscapes of Wiltshire and Dorset and produces amazing black and white artwork which is full of interest and detail. He has also illustrated books and produced his own. I have a book of his wood engravings and it is one of my favourites. You can find lots more images of his work here at the Rowley Gallery and also here at Bircham Gallery. A Google search for his name will turn up more.

Clearbury Ring From Homington Down

Win Green From Berwick Down

Ambling Hare

A Corner Of The Garden

Ox Drove In Winter


Kat Mortensen said...

You know, Cathy, I loved your blog from the first moment I saw it, but after your sheep-rescue tale, I love it and you even more!
God bless you for rescuing that poor creature. I laughed at your comment about her companions though.

Your artwork is gorgeous as always and I adore the "If you lived here" series - oh, if only I did!

P.S. The word verification is "stabl"!!!

Jennifer Tetlow said...

Your sketch book looks wonderful and many thanks for the Howard Phipps link. Inspiring blog!

tammykingdon said...

I love your interpretations of your brief, Cathy and I know what you mean, I don't really do sketches either. We rescued a lamb last year in a similar predicament with wire fencing, I'm not sure that it would,ve survived as it seemed very weak- your sheep looks quite resilient though and it's a great feeling rescuing something in distress isn't it.

Cathy said...

Hi Kat, thanks very much. No-one could have walked past that sweet little face and not done something to help. She was so patient while we were freeing her. I am glad we found her because the weather was icy and I expect the foxes were hungry! Doesn't bear thinking about.

Cathy said...

Thank you Jennifer. Howard Phipps is a wonder, isn't he? I would like a row of his engravings on one white wall for maximum impact.

Cathy said...

Hi Tammy, glad you like what I have done with my sketchbook. It was a real labour of love and half the size it should have been. I changed the paper to sketching paper and rebound it but also reduced the number of pages by half. I know my limits..haha.

The sheep was strong, young and healthy by the looks of it and we don't think it had been there too long. A couple of years ago I rescued another sheep in Cornwall in a similar situation but the fence was wooden. It was a huge animal and I was alone and it took all my strength to free the devil. He bounded away as if the hell hounds were after him.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Poor sheep, or rather lucky sheep, thank heavens you happened along! Congrats on finishing your sketchbook project Cathy.

Orla Kiely - not a name I recognized, but the patterns and bags, of course, they're very familiar and pleasing, no wonder everyone likes them!

Love your photos too, especially 'pink sky'. Have a good week. Lesley x

bunnits said...

I love the new header art.

Delightful photos of sheep. I'm a spinner, so sheep are among my favorite animals.

Cathy said...

Hi Lesley. Yes, the sheep was luckier than it knew. We only went that direction because it was suggested as an alternative to the route we would have chosen which would have been nowhere near the sheep. It was obviously meant to be.

Yes, Orla Kiely is immensely popular. I would like a few of those items myself.

Cathy said...

I agree with you regarding the sheep Melissa. There is something about them. I cannot resist photographing them and must have hundreds in my archives over the years. Jacobs are one of my favourite breeds.

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh I'm so glad you managed to free the sheep, glad it let you help!

I love your misty photos!

Cathy said...

Thanks Juliet. I was very pleased we were successful too. You have to love the little beasts.

Sandy Mastroni said...

Cathy ...I only got as far as the sheep , and I have to stop and comment
I must have A.D.D. or something ....Your posts are so great and there's too much for me all at once ... ha ha
first I found the stuck in the fence sheep so touching ,
I don't know why it makes me cry . I'm so glad you
helped him. great great photos
also I love your drawing of the lady and the tree and the deer . it's wonderful
you have a lovely blog Cathy
God bless you is what that big dopey sweet sheep would have said to you if he could talk

Cathy said...

I like to think it would have too Sandy. I am happy that people are moved by animal stories with nice endings. I am very much the same way. I love them all to bits. I even worry about the Red Kites circling overhead having enough food during the winter. Crazy I know. Thanks very much for your lovely comments and have a great weekend.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

Congratulations on finishing your sketchbook, Cathy.
I'm so glad you were there to rescue the sheep. I am also glad that she remained calm during the procedure.
Your photographs are amazing as usual. Your photography is certainly an inspiration to me.
Stay warm.

Cathy said...

Thanks Phyllis. It took a very long time and a lot of work but I am very pleased I got there in the end. I have scanned all the pictures in case it is never seen again...haha. I hope the sheep is still bouncing around the fields with its (so called) friends. I am sure it is.

Have a great week. We are wet and windy here at the moment but that could change.

Mackenzie said...

I love your illustrations. So beautiful, whimsical and real.
keep it up!

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Mackenzie. Nice to be appreciated.

ArtPropelled said...

Loving your treescapes throughout your blog..... Making me nostalgic. Beautiful photos! Also enjoying your etchings and moleskin pages.

Cathy said...

Thanks very much Robyn. The sketchbook is safely in the USA now. I was worried it might disappear in the postal service, never to be seen again.