Sometimes…

sometimes-art-journal-page

Art journal page using coloured ink, wax crayon, biro, watercolour pencil, and words from ‘Sometimes’ by Sheenagh Pugh. My mum’s had this poem pinned up at home for about 20 years, but it never stops feeling relevant, and hopeful. Every time it says “man”, feel free to add “or woman”, if that’s what’s happening in your part of the world!

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Hello September

Autumn days

Sketchbook page inspired by the approach of my favourite season. A favourite song from my school days, ‘Autumn Days’ by Estelle White, has been playing on a loop in my head this week. Some of the lyrics are so evocative that I can’t resist including it here:

Autumn days when the grass is jewelled
And the silk inside a chestnut shell.
Jetplanes meeting in the air to be refuelled.
All these thing I love so well

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget.
To say a great big
Thank You
I mustn’t forget

Clouds that look like familiar faces
And the winters moon with frosted rings.
Smell of bacon as I fasten up my laces
And the song the milkman sings

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget.
To say a great big
Thank You
I mustn’t forget

Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and they’re battered
And the taste of apple pie.

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget.

Scent of gardens when the rain’s been falling
And a minnow darting down a stream
Picked-up engine that’s been stuttering and stalling
And a win for my home team.

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget.

Page created using Seawhite ink and Derwent Watercolour and Inktense pencils. Wasn’t sure about the Inktense when I first got them, but now I like using them alongside watercolour pencils to create stronger outlines.

Happy Autumn!

Reach out

World quote page

“The world is not respectable, it is mortal, tormented, confused, deluded for ever, but it is shot through with beauty, with love, with glints of courage and laughter.”  – George Santayana

Sketchbook page, watercolour and coloured pencil with collaged text.

 

Knowledge is Power

Books

“How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.”

                                                                                                                   Henry David Thoreau

Mixed-media sketchbook page incorporating titles of the books I think have most shaped my outlook. Inevitably, as soon as I’d finished it I remembered two more books which were important to me: E M Forster’s A Room with a View, which sparked my (distance) love affair with Italy; and Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner, which I read after seeing it on a list of novels about happy single women (yes, it was a short list). Which books have changed your life?

“Fall, leaves, fall…”

Autumn art journal pages:

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

Emily Brontë

Autumn is my favourite season, and this poem perfectly sums up my feeling of elation as the leaves turn. Art journal pages using collage and mixed media, and coloured biro.

© Dark and Bright Art 2015

Team Fox

foxyGood news for foxes, and for animal lovers like me – the UK government has just postponed the vote to weaken the Hunting Act. Animal welfare organisations believe this amendment would have made it harder than ever to prosecute people for deliberate acts of cruelty. Until I heard that the amendment had been shelved, I’d been channeling my anger into this drawing. I think Steve Bell’s job is safe!

I realised as I was drawing this picture that I hadn’t drawn a fox since an anti-foxhunting leaflet for a school project in the mid 90s. It’s depressing that our government wants to undo so many years of progress.

It’s unlikely this issue is going to go away. If you feel as I do, League Against Cruel Sports has more information and does excellent work. You can also sign this petition.

Pastel, pencil, collage on paper.

Ode to Autumn

Autumn sketchbook page 4

I adore Autumn, “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” – the colour, the weather, the light, the scent, the mood. Other seasons just don’t compare. Here are some sketchbook collages inspired by the last few months.

Autumn sketchbook page 1

Autumn sketchbook page 2

Autumn sketchbook page 3

I love the seasonal poems that sound like a prayer or a spell:

“O Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being” (Shelley)

“Glory be to God for dappled things” (Gerard Manley Hopkins)

“O western wind, when wilt thou blow/That the small rain down can rain?” (Anon.)

I’ve just finished reading the excellent ‘Lolly Willowes’ by Sylvia Townsend Warner, a novel about a woman who finally gives in to the restlessness she feels every Autumn, moves to the countryside, and becomes a witch. Maybe I’ll do that one day.

© Dark and Bright Art 2013

Seaside Rock

Some pages from my sketchbook plus photos of  rocks at Oxwich bay, South Wales. I plan a few paintings based on these amazing colours and textures. I hope I can do it justice! Materials used here: pencil, terracotta pencil, chalk pastel, watercolour pencil, ink (applied with a matchstick), biro.  Apologies if post is not displaying properly for no apparent reason!