Winter life has developed a pattern in our “shielding”, lockdown, monotonously similar day to day isolation. We are never short of anything to do with chores, the animals, hobbies and interests and keep busy, but social isolation is only relieved by internet and telephone conversations with family and friends. We are lucky in that we have outside space and countryside in which to exercise. It must be dreadful to be shut in a high rise with small children. …..
On the bright and sunny days the evenings are lengthening quite noticeably. The chickens dawdle around at dusk instead of getting to bed, just asking for a visit from the fox! They have to be rounded up and “shushed” in to the coop. The musky aroma of fox permeates certain areas of the farm and the lane, but then it is the height of the mating season. On frosty days as the ground warms it lifts the scent to around human nose height, or so I have been told. We have a few clear days now following snow and hard frosts, but the weather forecasters say we will be getting milder and wet weather again from tomorrow. Back to mud. …. the sheep are hungry in the cold but a least it dry for them underfoot; they and me are not paddling awkwardly through muddy fields at the moment.
My son, who was walking the baby in his sling at sun-up the other morning (to give his wife a sleep-in) sent me rather an ethereal photo of their valley in the early morning mist. I felt the scene deserved a “go” at being captured in watercolour. Although, the picture is quite heavily cropped from son’s original photograph as I thought there was too much countryside to try and cram into a small painting.
I was uncharacteristically very disciplined with this painting and stuck to a limited palette of ultramarine, raw umber, mid yellow and burnt sienna. I flicked a little masking fluid on the bottom of the painting first to give some highlights on the foreground bracken and grasses. The mist clouds were lifted out with a clean brush, tissue and plenty of water. I’m not quite sure if I need to finish to off and give a grey/blue glaze over the sky?…….
Art group is meeting virtually again after a Christmas break and we have a “trees with shadow” project to start our sessions so watch this space …….