Recently I’ve been working on a collection of sketches of Prune and Suzi, and I thought it would be interesting to collate them all here. I’ve been putting off drawing those two for some time; they’re such individuals and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to capture their personalities on paper. I finally decided to have a go anyway and ended up doing 14 sketches of the monkeys.
Have you ever tried moving something you do inside all the time outside? You should try it, its fun shaking things up a bit. In my case, I thought I’d make the most of a beautiful July morning and brought my yoga routine to the great outdoors. Perhaps you’re feeling sore from the extra gardening you’ve been doing, or the heat has sapped your energy. Whatever the reason, there are no excuses for not trying these simple, relaxing poses, inside or outside.
I’ve been obsessed with drawing horses since I was small. I found one of my old sketchbooks the other day and its filled with attempts of horses and ponies of all sizes, especially Shetlands since they were my favourite back then. Horses don’t make easy subjects; its hard to get their proportions right and I always struggle with their eyes. The weather of late inspired me to get outside with my sketch book and give the challenge of drawing horses another go- I figured a blackbird soundtrack and being able to spread myself out on the freshly mowed lawn would help the creative process.
I know we all lead busy, stressful lives and barely have five minutes to breathe, leave alone pick up a pencil and paper and start sketching. But for me, art is a form of relaxation and taking some time out to draw helps me wind-down and gather my thoughts. Not to mention the satisfaction that comes from looking at finished drawing. So, I thought I’d share a few posts on how to draw different things, starting with one of my favourite subjects… dolphins.
The first baby pink petals started to emerge a few weeks ago. Tentatively at first, drawn out by the sun and warmer days, until each tree was covered in a shock of feather-soft pastel petals. Bubblegum, flamingo, candy floss. You’d exhaust your adjectives to describe the hues of rose that fill every garden, every drive.
“This is Prune. She’s no good for me”. A scraggly dog with a scar under her eye and jet black fur bounded over to us, tail wagging, brown eyes friendly. Minutes before, we’d pulled up outside a suburban bungalow in the middle of a quiet Belgian neighbourhood. This surely couldn’t be the place, we thought. But it was, and that little house was to see a lot of us over the years.
The fields were full of poppies, blood-red against the wheat, slowly bronzing in the sun. Pale winged butterflies danced across the sky, full of puffy clouds, unthreatening, for now at least. Hardly anything stirred, a heaviness lay in the air, like everything was too much effort. A breeze rustled the reeds, a duck slipped into the water, the only action of the afternoon. Everywhere still, everywhere resting, summer slipping slowly away on that breeze, dying like the day was.
Its been almost a year since I first started doing yoga. I never thought I’d become a yoga-convert; I used to scoff at the thought of leggings and downward-dogs, painful stretches and pretentious instructors. I first tried yoga in the Bahamas, and fell in love. Sure, the yoga studio, where we met each morning, with ocean views and tropical sunlight filtering through might have helped, but there was something so relaxing about it, something spiritual. Since then, I’ve joined a weekly yoga class, and tried it alongside surfing in Portugal and even had a private instructor when I stayed in India.
I was thinking about our trip to Thailand recently. We had a great week- so many amazing memories. So I thought it would be fun to bring some of those tropical vibes to grey ‘ol Norfolk the next time I made a smoothie. I’m quite into my smoothies lately- I love their slurpableness (what a cool word). Instead of my usual strawberries or kiwi ingredients, here is a Thailand inspired smoothie recipe that tastes almost as good as being there.