We’ve spent a couple of winters in the Beaulieu River, tied to the piles off the tiny tourist attraction of Buckler’s Hard. There’s a range of interesting things to sketch in the area and the wider surrounds of the New Forest offer a jewel-case of colours and textures to the creatively inclined. You may remember this post and the pencil sketch of the dovecot; that charming avian dwelling stands in the ancient apple orchard at Buckler’s Hard, the scene now captured in watercolour. More paintings of Buckler’s Hard are underway: part of our ‘Places We’ve Been, Places We’ve Seen’ series.
Does this look like a boat to you? It could be a huge houseboat but it’s not! You’re right … it’s certainly not a structure on the water. What it is, in fact, is … if I was an LBC presenter I’d be saying that I’ll tell you after the news. Well, this is the news and the news is that we have our very own, gigantic (to us, anyway) studio! Yes, folks, Miles and Pippa go out to work every day. Now, instead of having to clear up the mess in the evening so we can cook and eat and have somewhere to sleep we just close and lock that door and go home to our boat where we cook and eat and have our warm and cosy bunk to sleep in. And the next day the mess is exactly where we left it so it’s easy to pick up the paintbrush and continue on with the work.
The good news doesn’t stop there either because attached to the studio is a small office. We’ve turned this into a shop and are selling our work directly. The photo of our shop shows a view through the door of the upstairs room of a lovely little coffee shop and that’s how you would find us when you come looking. We’re in the 17th century village of Alverstoke in Hampshire, UK, a charming hamlet with touches of ruination by one council or another. Our neighbour, Darcey, allows us to open our shop door into her tea room which is very fortuitous as she has the most scrumptious eats in the south of England, in our opinion, anyway!
Come and visit; you’ll find Studio Blues Sea upstairs at Darcey’s, 47 Village Road, Alverstoke, PO12 2LD, UK. And as Darcey needs to be open when you come round her hours are 09h00 to 17h00 Tuesday to Saturday.
These marbled-cover, Coptic-bound notebooks were snapped up by buyers at a Christmas market last month. Let’s hope they help their new owners to keep their New Year resolutions, never forget what to buy at the shops, remember dreams, and give joy each time they are handled.
We saw this rather attractive but vacant dovecot and wondered whether Health’nSafety had put a demolition order on the old place as it did have a roof shingle missing. We imagined the Dove family carted off to some bleak high-rise with dank, urine-scented stairwells while the local council allocates this bit of Greenbelt land for a large housing estate in order to meet latest government targets.
Our fanciful musings segued into memories of bird meetings at sea. Our first close encounter was with a booby that took refuge on the mizzen boom as we sailed in the south Atlantic towards Brazil. Our cat crouched immobile below the spar, his tail lashing. After an hour he came below for his dinner and as the moonless night drew in he curled up on our bunk and we thought he’d lost interest. At midnight unearthly shrieks and squawks had us fumbling for the spotlight to find the cat trying to push the large bird through the small cockpit porthole to the cabin below. We rescued the unfortunate creature, checked that it was quite unhurt and encouraged it to fly off into the night. It declined and returned to the boom and no amount of shooing would remove it from its perch. We closed the cat below and resumed our watch keeping. That darn bird stayed with us for 3 days, returning from its fishing forays to the boom to preen and scratch and drop foul deposits on the deck below until the sun sank and it settled its head under its wing to slumber. The cat watched it obsessively, distracted occasionally by flying fish on the deck and we monitored him closely and closed him below at night. We well understood how this stupid bird had got its name!
To be continued …
An enthusiastic group gathered in Michele’s Pilates studio for our drawing workshop in February. The perfect space has long-ranging views across the valley and scents of rosemary and lavender waft in through the line of picture windows. The room crackled with creative energy and here is some of the work produced that day:
We have uploaded drawings to the STUDENT’S WORK page.
We are very proud to be able to update that page with some portraits by Mick from our Spanish group. Here’s a preview:
If there is anything positive to the flooded English countryside it is the interesting flows of water that can be so appealing to the artist’s eye. In this sketch, an overflow under a fence looks like a benign stream rather than the destructive channel that is washing away the soil around the tree roots. Reflected in its rushing momentum, the dark and lowering clouds are ready to release a further deluge on the soaking earth.