Frosty morning Sunrise

I just looked back on my post for New Year 2020, only to discover that I posted a picture of a frosty morning sunrise; a view of our garden down to the little apple tree where the birds feed. This morning, it was just the same, a beautiful sunrise, with the light filtering through the trees and birds feeding beneath the apple tree.

I realized that having gone through a year like no other, filled with changes, many things have stayed the same… it’s winter in Leicestershire and it’s frosty, the birds are hungry and enjoying the seed we put out, and the light through the trees as the sun rises, is still magical.

It made me realize that at this time and having gone through a year like no other, I still have exactly the same feelings as I do at this time every year; I have plans, ideas and hopes for the year ahead which I may – or may not – achieve, but the hope and the optimism are very real.

So today, after this year like no other, but also, just as last year, I wish you and those you love, the very best for the year to come – Have a good one! Maxine x

watercolour, pen and ink, frosty morning sunrise
Frosty morning sunrise

Where the pheasants live

There are many pictures I should be sharing with you just now, all sports inspired, but every now and then a picture comes to me almost by accident – they don’t ‘fit’ with the sports work that I usually make but they do ‘fit’ together -since mostly these oddities are made under the same circumstances – in the early hours before it’s quite light – or even in the dark – and I make them because I have woken early and can’t get back off to sleep.

I work as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb everyone else, and use the daylight table light, which bends and stretches to light exactly what needs to be lit and nothing else – I make a picture or two, half asleep almost, leave whatever I have made to dry and go back to bed – usually to sleep fine after that. Making art is a great cure for my occasional sleeplessness, I have to say.

So, it happened last night, (this morning) and I found a piece that I had started and left, not knowing what to do with it. I put on the daylight lamp and only had a few things to hand, a lovely ink made by Diamine called ‘onyx black’, a couple of Derwent Graphitint pencils, ‘Dark indigo’ and ‘Meadow’ a couple of pastels of mixed origin, probably Schmincke and Sennelier, grey and white and some System 3 white acrylic.

These photos give you an idea but it’s a bit tidier now than at the time – I was half asleep and no camera!

What emerged from my marks and spatters were the trees and hedge at the end of our garden – I look at this view a great deal and the hedgerow is a haven to wildlife, especially pheasants.

Normally, our regular visitors are two males, who we call Philip and Phineas – occasionally there is a third, Felix – (Phelix??) and sometimes one or two females – but lately, there have been lots of them, – (a nye?) – of at least 12 , in the garden finding food to eat – and they are lovely to watch.

Philip and Phineas
Philip and Phineas
The gentlemen and ladies…

The marks that came reminded me of the trees and hedgerow where they come in. I reckon the next step is to draw them during the daytime when we are all awake together!

The hedgerow to the field

So here, from my reverie, is this night time piece, from memory really, showing where the pheasants live…

Where the pheasants live... mixed media art by Maxine Dodd
Where the pheasants live… Mixed media

Drawing August: Especially Espresso

It’s Drawing August time! An online event to celebrate and encourage drawing. Simply post a drawing every day throughout the month using the hashtag #DrawingAugust.

Especially Espresso

This is my first for this year, a mixed media drawing of my gladioli ‘Espresso’ which I made with a combination of watercolour and charcoal.

Happy New Year!

Wishing you the best for the year to come – have fun, health and happiness!

watercolour, pen and ink, frosty morning sunrise

Frosty morning sunrise

Glad all over!

Hello – Welcome to Sunday! I’ve had to pause my Tour de France work for one reason and another – resuming next week all being well, but I have been working on pictures inspired by my garden.

This year, I’ve grown gladioli for the first time. I chose three varieties, Sancerre (white), Espresso (deep wine-black) and Bimbo, (fiery terracotta). The soil is yellow clay, so rather than risk them in the ground, I’ve set them in large tubs which I’ve placed on the patio and on the front border.

The surprise has been amazing! Beautiful flowers that have been going for several weeks now, with more new spikes to come. I’ve had to run around with extra staking as they have grown so tall – this may be due to the heatwave in the UK – not sure but, they’ve been a pleasure. This little study is of a few stalks that flopped with the sheer weight of the flowers they were carrying, so I brought them indoors into a vase.

Have a lovely Sunday! 🙂

Glad all over, watercolour, Pen and ink

Glad all over!

Image size 20 x 20cm (8in x 8in)

For all information about pictures – please see Picture Info

Many thanks! 🙂

Garden Perspectives: JGallery, Moulton, Northamptonshire

Hello! I’m so excited to say that my large oil painting ‘Window on our Garden’ has been accepted into the exhibition,‘Garden Perspectives’ at jGallery in Moulton Northamptonshire. The exhibition runs from 15th May until 15th June, please check the website for opening times. Click on the link for details gardeninviteMD and jGallery’s website www.jgallery.org.uk. Hope to see you there! Here is my painting…

 

Snow into Spring

The winter in Britain this year has been exceptional, one of the worst in recent memory. This week we’ve seen farmers desperately trying to rescue their sheep and cattle, buried deep in snow drifting over the hedges where they sought shelter. Where the sun breaks through there is a slow thaw, but in the hedgerows it hangs on. The nights have been crystal clear and bitter cold with bright moonlight. The clocks change to British Summer Time tonight but the summer seems a very long way off. Last night, the moon called me at 3 o’clock and as always, lured me into getting my paints out. The white snow line under hedge was still bright, like the moon. Here’s my painting:

Maxine_Dodd_TheSnowLine_Low

The Snow Line by Maxine Dodd, Acrylic on board, Good Friday Night

January blues

This week the weather steadied – snow bedded deep and days were cold. The whiteness is wearing and we’re all tired. I ventured out  to meet my friend Sheila who was painting nearby, but mostly continued work in the garden. Along with my usual pen and watercolour, I changed to oil paint on board for the first time in a long while. I felt that I needed paint with substance to convey the scene. I made four small paintings of our trees, birds and hedgerow at the end of the garden next to the field, making wilder marks as I became increasingly cold… Brrr!!! Here are my paintings and drawings:

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Winter white?

Following on from last week, the winter has begun to bite deep into the countryside. We’ve had days of hard frosts and now today, the snow is falling. It was too cold to hang the washing out, so instead, I festooned our garden trees with food for the birds. Colour arrived in the form of one fleeting but spectacular dawn and a fieldfare bossed all the birds. Here are some of my drawings:

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Beautiful, cold January

Winter has arrived in middle England – it’s been cold and foggy, with the exception of one day when the sun came out. I hung washing on the line and couldn’t resist setting up outside to draw. It was wonderful to be outside in the fresh air. The rest of the week has been cold and foggy but just had to go out and draw the branches of trees in the mist. Not for long as it was freezing – Happy New Year! Here are some of my drawings: