Sorry... I just can’t help myself can I??? Big day planned but I was getting distracted this morning. As I recently found a brand new new ochre watercolour pencil on my desk I decided that I wanted to use for the outlines. Was very much fun.
On the left – trip prep idea... To take notes on loose sheets of paper beforehand and then collage these in when on location. Will post more on this idea soon.
I always see things to draw when I am rushing to somewhere else... When I have time, I seem to lack inspiration! Quick sketch of Sydney hospital on the way to morning tea... Once again under 5 min sketch with my Pentel Pocket Brush Pen. Sadly, all my plans for sketch today (the first day out I have had in weeks and weeks) did not happen as it rained and rained. Did a little bit of shopping instead.
Morning at the Tea Cosy with Alissa, Wendy and Annie. Obviously trying my recent inkless adventures on location and with friends (quite a different thing than in the comfort of my own home ‘studio’ environment)
We sat upstairs and on the balcony today... Perfect to try a vertical format. This is the first time that I have done this and considering I was talking / involved in a conversation at the time, I found it a little hard to get things in the right place. I do not that an invisible view finder in my brain for this orientation (does that make any sense?)
Another big day of trying to do too much and sketching it all!This day I did 8 double spreads as well as 2.5 hours driving!!!?! Crazy! And more castles.... In this combo are the Harlech Castle pages – wow! What an impressive castle!!The third spread is an example of how sometimes you should think before you start adding the shadows exactly as they are on location. The effort of sitting on a railing on the rampart in the extremely strong wind and not losing my sketchbook or paint tin was a mild achievement for me in itself. Pity that I am not at all happy with the end result... But still I had fun! More about the tearoom.... (Once again - Don’t forget to see the combos in a larger size – click on photo which will take you to flickr – then hit the all sizes and look at in the original size)
In the afternoon, ice cream and then another castle...really wasn’t at Caernarfon Castle long enough to remotely get my moneys worth...but enough time to do some ultra quick sketches... Next time.... Hard not to sketch when breakfast is so good - another quick castle plan and aerial sketch.
Ok... About time for a tearoom ... A few months ago my flickr friend Making Marks told me about this article on the best 50 tearoom in the UK. Of course I did my best to plan my itinerary around it... But only was able to make it to one of the 2 Welsh tearooms. But it was worth it! I kinda regretted that I didn’t have Earl Grey and cream tea at every location so that I could do a true comparison and rating system... Still have plans of doing a rating chart sometime. This one was GREAT! Sometimes you do a page SO quickly – outrageously careless and it seems to work.I was so impressed by the towers and corridors and walls of Caernarfon Castle. I was annoyed that I had to buy the book in order to draw a plan but at least I can read up on the history a bit more down the track. After the gates where closed I wandered out to find the classic view – it was a cold grey afternoon but often the sun does come out at the end of the day below the clouds – what I was hoping for happened!
Tuesday was my big driving day which I was a little anxious about... But it turned out to be perhaps the very best solo day in the trip. Certainly the best weather – stunning. A very special breakfast – my first cooked breakfast in a gorgeous private B&B with amazing hosts and lovely fellow guests. Morning tea could have been better but was nice sitting in the sun. More about Mary Jones in the detail.... (Once again - Don’t forget to see the combos in a larger size – click on photo which will take you to flickr – then hit the all sizes and look at in the original size) The afternoon was special – amazing castle that I just HAD to draw, light bulb moment realising that I can draw a plan from a signboard on location in rapid pace plus it increases my knowledge and appreciation of the place (especially if it is a ruin).
As an architect achieving this type of discovery of a place is as important as understanding all the history - unfortunately I often don’t feel like reading at the time and it is only when I get home and am in the process of putting together my photo album that I properly read up on a place and regret that I missed something special....but if I reach this architectural appreciation I am satisfied and have a suitable buzz at the time. Of course, sketching is the best way for getting that travel buzz that we all expect to experience at every sight! I am rambling – not sure if I am making sense!
The day end in style – the most stylish (and expensive) accommodation of the trip and also I had dinner with a wonderful English who actually shouted me! Wow!!!! How nice!! Thankfully I had a spare copy of my Blurb book so I was able to give them a thankyou gift! I think that I should post my first sketch of the full cooked breakfast... More cake and tea with a architectural sketch. I could do this every day!?! (stay tuned to see if I did in fact do this every day on my trip!?!?) The story of Mary Jones and how she saved up for years and then walked 25 miles for a bible was something I grew up with. I had no idea that the valley in which she lived or the route she walked was so spectacular. It was also incredibly quiet. The village church was deserted and I felt a little weird going into it on my own and then I walked from the church to the remains of my home without seeing a soul. Really quick loose and wet landscape sketch and then a more careful one at the monument – was fun to write out the Welsh as well. Special historic moment for the trip! Looking forward to re-reading the book this weekend (I read it the Sunday before I left) A quick stop at a ruined castle on the way (for a few photos... Was what I told myself) turned out to be a ‘I must sketch this’ moment. This certainly didn’t do it justice – totally spectacular! i really wished I had more time to spend sketching... every sketch in my Welsh week seemed rushed -" maybe when I get to Scotland I can slow down" I was saying to myself....
By the way this is still on the Mary Jones route – would love to come back with some friends and walk this! Cadair Idris is a majestic shaped mountain from this angle.