I'm using this dip pen and glass pen to draw my Somerset Scene. The glass pen was a very special present from my sister - she bought it for me on a trip to Germany. It is extremely precise and doesn't make any mess at all. A real pleasure to draw/paint with. I'm very careful with it though as I wouldn't want to snap it, or let it roll off the table - that would be a travesty to something that itself is a work of art. The dip pen was part of a birthday present from some special friends.
I have a lovely old book; The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady, which I enjoy looking through to compare what Edith Holden (the author) witnessed each month, compared to what I find.
All the photos below were taken yesterday on my walk; Germander Speedwell, Cowslip, Sloe or Blackthorn flowers, the tortoiseshell Butterfly, Peacock Butterfly (as well as a few other flowers). In Edith's book these aren't recorded until April. A sure sign of the changing world we live in - don't you think?
I love my Art teacher, she's great, so encouraging. We are experimenting with pen and ink, and ink washes. At the beginning of the class she spends time talking about the medium and techniques we will be using, then she produces a few photos she has taken. I picked the photo of a cow grazing under the large apple tree. It actually had two cows, but artistic licence allows me to use or lose parts of the picture.
I've completed the foreground and the background, and am now working on the tree. The apple tree is in bloom, and this will dominate the picture. I'm trying to style the tree "after Edward Bawden" whose work I admire. Lastly, I will complete the sky.
When I am in Wells, I often visit the Oxfam shop in town. It has a great selection of second hand books. I found a book called "What is the Truth?" by Ted Hughes, which was a winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Signal Poetry Award. The original cover price was £4.95, however, I was so taken by the illustrations in the book, that I paid the asking price of £9.99. (All in a good cause!)
What is the Truth? by Ted Hughes
There are 116 illustrations in this book - each one brilliant in its composition and drawing skills. All of the drawings are in black and white and feature animals from a farm and the wild.
This is a beautiful book and the poems within the story are pure enchantment.
"There's something eerie about a hare, no matter how stringy and old.
I heard of a hare caught in a snowdrift, brought in under a coat from the cold
Turned by firelight into a tall fine woman who many a strange tale told.
The hare has a powerful whiff with her, even when she's a pet.
Her back as broad and strong as a dog, and her kick like a bull-calf, yet
Into your dreams she waltzes strung with starlight and music, a marionette."
Illustrations by R J Lloyd - for What is the Truth?
I love black and white drawings, for me they have a simplicity which belies the skill and effort that goes into producing them. These illustrations are rich in life and atmosphere. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.