Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Landscape Drawing

An illustration made whilst playing around with pencil-like brushes on the iPad - it is just an imaginary place. I have always liked the work of the Shropshire artist Brigid Wright (1939-2000) and this is influenced by her drawings. I will try and develop this style for illustrating the stories I am writing. Doing people is the difficult part!

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Cotehele, Cornwall

Two sketches made a couple of days ago at the National Trust property of Cotehele in Cornwall. The first is The Edgcumbe tea room on Cotehele Quay and the second is a view of some garden trees, crocuses and snowdrops. 

Boar's Bridge, Cotehele, Cornwall

A torrent passes of seemingly boiling water:
tumbling, bubbling and pounding;
white-peaked unstoppable turbulence
below a hovering pale steam-like mist.
Yet to touch: a sharp, penetrating cold,
beneath a crisp icy blue sky.
Clamouring over pebble and stone,
down from the rain soaked hills
through the frost encrusted valley,
alongside hibernating woodland
and through rich pastured fields.
Bankside alders, oak, sycamore
hazel: with soft lamb tails of gold,
silhouetted against the bright sun
with sparkling fingers of condensation.
Their tall shadows carve paths
in eddies of delicate swirling vapour.
Bright laser-like lines of light
burn brilliant translucent greens
on bank-side frozen brambles.

Soon, the warming spring-like sun
and encroaching hillside shadows
dissipates the etherial light show
and the magic of the morning fades.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Old Skool Pantry, Luton

Spent a couple of hours at this new local cafe/restaurant in Luton. Really like it here, food looks tasty and it is a good place for me to sit, write and draw. Owner really liked this iPad sketch.

@oldskoolpantry on Facebook.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Teapot Tales No. 9: Pibbles, Endings and Where Next?

A series of short pieces of writing forming different perspectives
around a common theme.

Teapot Tales No. 9: Pibbles

The barn echoed with the loud chirping of sparrows. For most of the day they would hop around the floor of the old barn, picking up grains of wheat and anything else vaguely edible from the dusty floor. They would frequently fly up to the wooden rafters and sit there, cheeping incessantly away.
 At one end of the barn, high up on stack of hay bales, Pibbles eyed the scene. She had long given up any attempt to chase after them and preferred to bide her time and catch the occasional one unawares. One advantage of being up here was that it was the one place she could escape to when being chased by that annoying dog.
Twice recently whilst enjoying a peaceful hunting trip in the walled garden, she had been spotted and had to make a run for it. She had to dash to the wooden gates and squeeze underneath them. Then, run up the drive, over the compost bins, past the horse yard, through a gap between two barns, over the woodpile and then leap up the hay bales to safety. The little dog would be left yapping away beneath her until it got fed up and trotted off. She would then spent the next few minutes carefully washing her fur - more than that scruffy dog could do, it would be totally covered in mud, leaves, twigs and grass.


This completes my initial foray into exploring something new. I appreciate the stories may have been a little disjointed, but that was the intention. They were just an exercise to see what would happen when I put pen to paper.

Where Next?

I have now decided to completely re-edit all the stories into a more cohesive form of text. This I hope to do in the next week or two, then I will publish the result.

After that I will move on to other writing projects. There are several I am thinking about.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Teapot Tales No. 8: Ann

A series of short pieces of writing forming different perspectives
around a common theme.

Teapot Tales No. 8: Ann

A walking stick thrashed away at the cabbage plant.
‘Shooo, go away, you naughty butterfly.’ Ann hit out at the cabbage white. More leaves flew up in the air and a rather spindly shredded stalk was left looking rather forlorn.
‘Ah, there you are. I wondered if I might find you here.’ Peter approached Ann who was still waving her stick wildly around.
‘Why did you let the butterflies out today, Peter? I keep telling you not to let them out. They will eat all your cabbages.’
‘Yes, I…,’ started Peter.
‘I’ve made a pot of tea. Here, let me pour you a cup,’ Ann continued.
‘Thanks, but…,’ Peter tried to cut in.
‘Excellent, here you go. Milk? Good. I’m going to the seaside today, Gina says that Morris will pick me up at eleven’. Ann continued as she poured something a pale yellowish hue into a china cup from a small watering can on the garden table.
Peter took the cup of tea. It was warm but it certainly wasn’t tea. He sniffed it. He thought he knew what it was. How the hell did she find that watering can? The seaside? No, she was not going to the seaside and anyway Morris, her husband, had died eight years ago…
‘Perhaps we should go back now, Ann. Morris will be wondering where you are.’ Peter suggested gently.
As Ann began take aim at another butterfly Peter carefully caught her stick in mid swipe and held her arm to guide her back to the house.
‘Do you remember when you fell into the pond?’ Ann continued. ‘Gina had to pull you out and you were very ill. Morris wants a coffee cake for his birthday. Gina will make one. I have given her a recipe and your flies are undone.’
‘Yes, dear,’ Peter sighed.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Teapot Tales Review

I have been writing these short stories for just over a week now and have no firm idea from one to the next what is going to happen. My aim in writing has been to get some practice in preparation for a bigger project. So I set myself the challenge of creating a theme, the teapot, and then writing very short stories around that. The stories must be less that 300 words or so and all have to link together in some way. I am intrigued by how a subject or object can be viewed from so many perspectives by different people or things. I am not trying to create a single continuous narrative, rather snippets of prose that could exist at anytime in the overall context. 

Before I sit down and write I may have no idea what will appear. Usually I will pick the character and then begin writing. I may have a vague inkling of what will happen. For example, in Peter’s story I knew he was going to use the teapot as a watering can but other than that I just go with the flow of writing in the moment. 

Although I could continue writing these short pieces I may well bring them to a halt shortly and just dip in and out occasionally. I have written a few more to post, then there are other things I would like to do and I want to add variety to this site.

I would hugely appreciate any feedback on these Teapot Tales. Were they readable? Who do you think would enjoy them? Did you follow them? How could they be improved? Should I give up and stick to drawing?