Sketches from Devon and Cornwall

Joel and I spent two weeks in the Devon and Cornwall area of England recently. We had excellent weather for plein air sketching. Words can’t describe how inspiring I find the landscape in those parts. Lovely! That’s all I can say. I especially love Dartmoor National Park.

These sketches are available as prints in my Etsy shop.

This is a view of Dittisham, in the south of Devon. We took a tiny “ferry” boat to go over to Greenway from here (Agatha Christie’s summer home). I highly recommend the experience to everyone. It was a beautiful day, ideal for sketching. I was sitting in the churchyard while sketching this.

While in Devon, we stayed in Dartmoor National Park near Dunsford. We sketched this house, name the Olde Court Farm in Dunsford. The owners informed us the house is over 700 years old! That is madness to my Canadian ears. The owners were such lovely people, they served us mint tea (from her garden) and delicious cake while we were sketching! It does not get better than that.

Our AirBnB was across from the Teign River and these old stepping stones (the Old Stables on AirBnB, check it out). We decided to paint them one day. It was very relaxing to wake up to the sounds of running water. You could cross the stones to get to a network of walking paths on the other side.

This was sketched on a drizzly day in Lustleigh, in the Dartmoor Park. I like how much the cottage is leaning (not an exaggeration, I measured). I like what the rain did to the sky and pavement part of the sketch. There is a fantastic tea room next door, The Primrose Tea Room, where I had one of the best afternoon teas of my life.

This is a view from the harbour of Porthoustock in Cornwall. We started drawing this at around 7pm so it was pretty quiet there. Of all my sketches with boats in them, this is the only one that turned out. I’ve since given up drawing boats and put them in the same category as drawing cars, i.e. unpleasant things to draw.

Ah, the Tin Coast in Cornwall. Another great day for sketching. If you’ve watched Poldark like I have (and are mildly obsessed with it) then you will recognize these chimneys. They are all over the coast in this area of Cornwall. This was at the Levant Mine complex, an old tin mine ruin.

 

 

Birds on the feeder

I have a birdfeeder outside the window where I work and it attracts all manner of little songbirds, mostly finches. I have a handy copy of Birds of North America on my desk so I’ve managed to identify most of them.

Here are 3 birds I see regularly on the feeder: slate juncos, white-breasted nuthatches, pine grosbeak (red finch). I used to see them more often, but my neighbour cut down a bunch of foliage on his side of the fence and so the birds have less cover now and don’t frequent my feeder as much 🙁

Travel Sketches from Holland

Joel and I have spent the last 3 weeks touring the Netherlands sketching, painting and sightseeing. There is a lot to see. The Dutch and Flemish Old Masters are probably some of my favourites in art history. We were fortunate to see famous paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and van Gogh, as well as lesser known painters (but equally amazing, in my opinion) Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens, Jan Brueghel, Hans Holbein and originals by illustrators Rien Poortvliet (more on this in another post), Jan Voerman Jr. and Anton Pieck. Joel and I are saturated with art history and I can honestly report: it is a good thing.

The weather was fantastic for plein air sketching and so Joel and I did a fair bit of it on this trip. We even painted a straight-up landscape, which is something we normally don’t do. I was very distracted by ducks and geese while sketching on this trip. There are tons of them because of the canals everywhere and they would often come really close and quack at you!

Most of these sketches are available as prints in my shop.

 

 

 

Spread for Avenue Magazine

I had the opportunity to work with AD Venessa Brewer on Avenue’s  holiday gift guide spread. It features my portraits as well as several line drawings that were incorporated with the product photos.

I had so much fun working on these drawings!

 

Plein air sketches – around Westport

This past summer was the hottest summer on record in Westport (and everywhere else by what I gather). As much as I love plein air drawing with Joel, we really are at the mercy of the weather. I’m very intolerant of heat, so as a result I only have two sketches to show from the summer, one of which was drawn in September.

perthroadvillage_sketch_web

Seemingly abandoned storefront in Perth Road Village, ON.

athens_sketch_web

Stedmans was a longstanding general store in Athens, ON until fairly recently when it closed.