As April draws to a close…

….so I continue to draw our dog, she still inspires me, she’s so energetic and full of life I want to capture her energy and sense of fun. Gypsy is besotted by her red ball, whenever we walk her we have to take it with us, and we have to have ball sessions in the garden several times a day. My shoulder is suffering from repetitive strain injury but it’s worth it to see the joy on her face! She even sleeps with it, sometimes in her mouth, sometimes just touching her paw on it, content in her sleep that her ball is safe.

All these images are drawn on 65×45 paper. Using crumbled charcoal ( from the barbecue as it’s cheaper) and using my hands to “wipe” the shapes on to the paper, which helps describe movement. Then occasionally refining the shapes by making a few marks with a fine stick of artist charcoal ). I added the red colour digitally as I haven’t decided whether to tint the ball on the paper or not.

A bit of colour now, it is Spring after all, this is acrylic on paper, the canal at Ste Capraise:

The first swallows arrived here yesterday, cheeping and darting through the air, and I heard the hoopoe for the first time this morning. The cicadas have been happily chirrupping away for a couple of weeks now, despite the cool nights and mornings. The cuckoo arrived in mid March with his/her distinctive double cuck-cuckoo; the cranes flew North over a period of several weeks from early February, I never cease feeling joy swell up and course through me on hearing their soulful cries, especially in the Spring. Wild marguerites, orchids, buttercups, clover, sorrel, speedwell, ragwort and campion are all flowering in the meadows, no wonder the great poets feel the urge to describe Springtime, it’s my favourite season.

Which leads me to showing a couple of pics of our wisteria and irises. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the irises in full sun, however the contre jour in Nº 2 seems to show the depth of colour more, and I love the colour against the shutters.

The wisteria’s perfume is intensely rich and heady, if it had a voice it would sound like Kathleen Ferrier, if it were an instrument it would be a cello.

I apologise to my photographer friends as the photo isn’t very professional, but it does show off the colours well!


24 thoughts on “As April draws to a close…

  1. Liz, is there ANYTHING you can’t draw or paint? These are perfect examples of how to capture movement and energy on a page! Brava! On another note, I was recently visiting in Saumur, and for the first time in my life heard a cuckoo! It was enchanting! AM

    • Hi Anita, thanks for your positive comments as always, although there are certainly lots of things I can’t draw, I won’t list them now but instead I content myself with not being slick, I’ve decided slick is not good!
      I was amazed when I learned from American friends that you don’t have cuckoos there, and such a huge continent too. Having said that I couldn’t resist looking that up , and apparently there are cuckoos in N. America, but as I say none of my American friends have heard them.
      And isn’t Saumur wonderful, and the Châteaux on the Loire, maybe you visited Clos de Lucé where Da Vinci died? Hope you had a good time there? L

      • Apparently, there are three main varieties of cuckoos in North America. They are most often seen \ heard in southern Canada, southern Florida, and New Mexico. So, those North Americans have a treat… and the rest of us… oh, well. Saumur is a delightful place! Of course, because of all the equestrian activity there, Andrea said, “I could see us living here in our retirement.” Easy for her to say, she speaks French, while I can barely muddle through. But, such are day dreams!

      • Ah that explains it, the only Americans I know DON’t live in cloud cuckoo-land!! Glad you liked Saumur, funny how we always dream of living somewhere we visit on holiday. We’ve done it once and 30 years later we’re still here!

  2. Wonderful as
    Ever Liz You always capture the essence of all around you,and I’m always overwhelmed by your incredible talent. And as for Gypse what a joy!

    • Hey, hello Donna! Nice to hear from you, thanks for the kind words. Yes as you know, she is a joy, although I still miss Meggie terribly, I keep thinking “this time last year”……. Meggie and I had a lovely companionable Spring together when Graham was away. XxL

  3. Liz, these drawings of Gypsy are very special, the movement and life, the exuberance, her expressions. They are brilliant. ND xxx

  4. wonderful post Liz, feel transported to your corner of the world! I love the drawings of Gypsy, don’t know how you manage to capture all that playfulness and movement, what a lovely life she has with you! xx

  5. Oh those charcoal drawings… sublime. Full of movement and speed. Love ’em. Beautifully done. We too have iris out, though our mature wisteria climbing the barn wall got ‘ring-barked’ by the wretched rabbits, and is now having to start from scratch again from the root system. Sending love from west Wales.

    • Thanks Lily, it’s good of you to say. I’m now wrestling with how or whether to do paintings from these, which is not enjoyable, so maybe I’ll just stick with continuing to draw which is immensely so. Your blogs inspire me to think of doing lino prints, but that would be a huge leap into the unkown for me, there’s never enough time to do everything one wants!

  6. I was so inspired by these drawings, and other of your paintings, that I featured your work on the Facebook page I curate, “Woman Artist A Day.” xoxo AM

    • Wow what an honour, thanks Anita! I still haven’t joined Facebook, so not sure if I will be able to access it, this may spur me on to do so after all these years of resisting!

      • Yes, Facebook is a double-edged sword. So much of it is drivel, or displays of spiteful ignorance. However, when it’s good, it’s very, very good. Andrea and I had a love/hate relationship with FB until we decided it was like the modern “village square,” where we go to catch up with friends, near and far. And, I have seen artists use it to greatly expand the audiences for their work. Now, however, I have detached from most of the FB pages that are political in nature because NO ONE can endure that much online vitriol without despairing consequences. I have a personal page where I post re: kids, pets, garden, travel; a page called Anita Mills Design, where I post things about my own work or design-related things that interest me; and the Woman Artist A Day page, where I try to bring the work of women artists to broader attention. The main thing for caution, FB can be a total time suck. It’s best to set a daily limit for oneself. My 2¢ worth of advice… 😉

      • Thanks for confirming my fears, I think the negatives outweigh the positives for me, every minute spent online is a minute lost, I get distracted very easily, as you can see, I should be painting and instead I decided to read my emails and answer them!! It looks as though you’re more disciplined than I……..

      • Hi Liz,
        I am on and of FB, love hate relation that goes on for years, sometimes too much clutter, sometimes great stuff. I visited and really like the Women’s Artist a Day page, those initiatives are the reason for me to come back and stay on FB :-] thank you Anita Mills!
        Another similar, but completely different platform is Instagram, where you can only post images like I do with my 1 drawing a day since this January:
        kisskiss marie

      • Wow you are prolific! I hope Anita sees this, I’ll make sure she does….these are beautifull and compositionally good, I really like the man with dog over his shoulders, and do I see Paul there too? I only just scanned over them, I’ll be looking at them again more slowly when I have more time. Brilliant!!xxL

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