Archive | Inspiration

A foggy day

I went out this morning for my monthly reeds photo session.  I loved walking through the fog and gloom and I’ve just worked out why.  I think it is because it captures some of the magic of the early morning dawn without having to get up specially early!   The darkness and murk seemed to have fooled the birds into thinking that it was still safe for them to linger, and I heard a lot of birdsong that I don’t normally notice.

poplar trees in the mist

I couldn’t see very far in front of me.  It was magical.

November reeds

The reeds were dripping.

November reeds

There was still quite a lot of colour, however…

November reeds

Especially contrasted with the surroundings.

reed branch lying amongst the brown autumn leaves

Still that downwards diagonal movement…

November reeds

I think I’ll be sad when this monthly photoshoot is over at the end of the year.  I’ll have to find another theme for 2011!

path through park

A few angels

On the way to Belle Vue Park, I walked through St Woollos Cemetery, which has some gorgeous Victorian angels on tombstones.  I decided to take photos of a few of them with a view to using them as inspiration.  And, of course, being a family historian, I have to post photos of the memorial inscriptions too, in case someone should be searching for their long lost ancestor and happen to google their name.

angel in St Woollos cemetery, Newport

I do love some of the sweet, pensive expressions on their faces.  I forgot to take a photo of this one’s inscription.

Victorian angel

memorial inscription, St Woollos Cemetery, Newport, Monmouthshire, UK

This one says ‘In loving memory of Jacob, the beloved husband of Jane BUTLIN who departed this life at Pontnewydd, Mon, July 20th 1913 aged 57 years.’

angel on tombstone

This one says ‘In loving memory of John Davies, Amusement Caterer, who died March 30th 1915, aged 30 years ‘while yet in love with life and raptured with the world: he passed to silence and pathetic dust’’.

angel with cross

memorial inscription

This is ‘In loving remembrance of Henry C Clark, of ‘Royston’, Bassaleg Road, Newport, late of Hughesofka, South Russia, who departed this life May 9th 1910 aged 73 years, also of Maria, wife of the above, died July 2nd 1915 aged 81 years. 

angel relief

This one below isn’t Newport: it is an angel on the wall of the new Coventry Cathedral.  Last week my eldest son started as a student at Warwick University and we spent time in Coventry in the afternoon.

angel on side of Coventry Cathedral

September Reeds

More diagonals:


The flowers are in full bloom if you can call it that.


The colours remind me of my old school uniform: bottle green and purple.  That was based on a thistle.  These ones are much more subtle.


There were several distractions too – I stopped to pick elderberries and hawthorns…

hawthorn berries

There were these rosehips too, though I didn’t pick them.


Sketchbook inspirations

My Sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project is coming on apace.  I haven’t photographed many of the pages recently but here are a few photos I’ve taken as inspiration – keeping to a ‘lines and grids’ theme, with a focus on shadows and light, especially shadows of fences and bridges.

palms in Eden Project

I took this photo of palm leaves in the tropical biome at the Eden Project, which we visited when we were on our recent holiday in Cornwall.

shadows over footbridge in Newport 

Shadows over the railway footbridge.

fence shadows

I adapted this photo and just sketched the fence.  I love where the shadows criss-cross over each other.

railway line through fence

This is the railway line looking through a rusty fence. 

fence shadow

And this is the shadow of that same fence, but looking across the bridge. 

None of my sketches look at all realistic, but they are my interpretation and I’m having great fun with them.  Still quite a few pages to go though!!

wisteria leaves through bedroom curtains

I haven’t done this one yet but I think I’m going to use it as one page.  It’s a photo of shadows of wisteria through our bedroom curtains taken one morning.  I think it’s amazing how the leaves are all lined up like that.

August Reeds

August reeds

August reeds


Lots of diagonal movement this month…


And the reed heads had these purple flowers which will become the seed heads.


More sketchbook stuff….

My sketchbook is progressing.  I have gessoed a lot of pages in preparation for painting and have also glued several together to make them thicker. Continuing my theme of shadows over bridges,  I inadvertently drew on one upside down so decided to turn it to my advantage. 


I cut out the offending page (the one shown on the left here) and glued down just the left hand side so that it opens up…


…. to reveal the other side of the page.  The page on the right is an inkjet transfer of the page I’ve sketched – I transferred it over a thermofax screened page.  I don’t think it is finished yet though….  Like a lot of the pages in my sketchbook, I’m sure I will keep adding to them.

This evening, I just added a layer to this page:

sketchbook page 

It is a railway line viewed through a chain link fence.  I have been wondering how to portray the fence for a while and tried to rust dye the grid from a disposable barbecue on to some polyester organza.  It rusted fine, but I got the negative pattern of diamonds rather than the positive one of a diagonal grid.  So I cut a stamp and stamped this.  I quite like the uneven look it gives.  I decided to continue it across the other side of the page as well and I might doodle a bit on this side.

I’m really enjoying this sketchbook and having a theme to stick to.  I think I work much better with parameters and a deadline.

And just up the road I saw this tree with the remains of an ivy stem around it, forming a grid.  I think that will be working its way into the sketchbook and maybe into a piece of art cloth eventually.  I’m starting to see grids and lines everywhere!

tree with old ivy

July Reeds

Oops, it’s August and I forgot to post pics of the July reeds, but I did take these photos in July, honest gov!

They had got much greener.

reeds in July

reeds in July

Strong diagonals:

july reeds

Less of the wave like effect.  Or maybe I had to stand on tiptoe to see it…

green reeds

This month I noticed the plants that grew next to (and above) the reeds much more:

reeds and rose bay willow herb

Like this rose bay willow herb.

sorrel in flower

And sorrel.

yellow snail on reed leaf

And what was living on them!

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