You know that familiar three-year tingle? Its a Kuijper thing… we just can’t seem to live in one place for more than three years. So I guess its time to move on, but this time I’m going solo. I have an apartment sorted in Aberdeen… and in a month I’ll be there.
Pale grey misty clouds lay over the sleeping city. They formed layers interspersed with rosy-pink sky, like the tiers of an elaborate wedding cake. The sun emerged from this canvas, rising slowly, enjoying its moment in the spotlight as cameras clicked all around. The sky was soon filled with bright blue; the temperature already rising, the sunrise show over, for today at least.
Birthdays, Christmas, now Father’s Day. The dates don’t matter anymore. We are all rarely ever in one place at the same time, so we make do and celebrate when we can. I learned at a young age that Christmas on the 26th or 18th of December, or even the 10th of January was just as special as celebrating on the 25th. What’s Christmas without dad anyway?
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.
I doubt I was the only one who was relieved after the results of the French election. France has got to be one of my favourite countries. There’s the acres of rolling countryside, miles of winding roads, almost empty. Forests where wild boar roam, rivers and lakes framed by fields of sunflowers. There’s the long stretches of caramel coloured sand, washed by waves reflecting the blindingly-blue sky. There’s the food; wine flows like water, crispy baguettes are eaten copiously, fresh produce is found in every village square. There’s the weather; mild springs and falls, golden summers, cosy winters. Not to forget the unexpected chateaux one stumbles upon, in all their architectural grandeur.
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.
Nothing. No planes, no cars, no machinery. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been surrounded by such peace, alone with my thoughts. Not quite alone though; there was the sweet song of the blackbird, the mooing of cows from a distant farm, the breeze through the apple blossom trees. I shared the quiet evening with a bird of prey, far overhead, surveying the resting valley. What a view she must have; a patchwork of fields of green and yellow, dotted with plump white sheep, cows and horses like daisies in a meadow. It was one thing to drive through this bucolic landscape, it must be incredible to see it from above.
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.