Back to the bikes: Women’s Tour

Hello! I’m delighted to be drawing cycling for the first time this year. Even more delighted that it is the first Women’s Tour of Britain. My first drawings are from Stages 1 and 2 which were held in Northamptonshire, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire – not far from where I live, so a real thrill! Here are my drawings:

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La Vuelta 2013: Stage 7 – Almendralejo to Mairena de Aljafare

Hola! Stage 7 of La Vuelta turned south and crossed into the heat of Andalucia. Riders coped with temperatures touching 38 degrees as they left the countryside for the tree-lined town of Mairena de Aljarfare on the outskirts of Seville. The race was a much closer affair than Stage 6, with a nip and tuck race between the two leaders Gilbert and Stybar to the cross the finish. Here are my drawings:

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La Vuelta 2013: Stage 6 – Guijuelo to Caceres

Hola! Stage 6 of La Vuelta explored further inland, into the plains of bull-fighting country. Certainly the theme carried over into the race with an incredible performance by Tony Martin. As the world time-trial champion, he set a blistering pace and led the stage by a great distance for 170km. In spite of huge effort, the peloton could not keep up. The sting came at the finish where the riders finally caught and passed him as they crossed the line itself. Martin finished in seventh place. Cruel sport indeed… Here are my drawings:

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La Vuelta 2013: Stage 5 – Sober, Lago De Sanabria

Hola! Stage 5 of La Vuelta turned away from the sea and travelled inland through rolling countryside, fields and pine trees. Orange roofs gave way to dark grey and for the first time in this race there was rain. Sunshine prevailed by the end as riders came into Lago de Sanabria to a sprinters’ finish! Here are my drawings:

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La Vuelta 2013: Stage 4 – Lalin, Estrada, Finisterre

Hola! Stage 4 of La Vuelta was a rolling course again taking in coastal scenery and pretty red-roofed houses. There was barely a flat road on the route but the test came with the climb to the Mirador de Ézaro. This was a test for everyone’s legs! Here are my drawings:

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La Vuelta 2013: Stage 3 Vigo – Mirador de Lobeira, Vilagarcía de Arousa

Hola! Stage 3 of La Vuelta was a twisting, turning route through the Galician coast and hills. Climbs not as tough as Stage 2, but strong crosswinds off the coast to contend with not to mention narrow roads and tight space over the bridge to the Illa de Arousa. The surprise finish came in the form of 41-year old Chris Horner,  who after 4 hours of riding, sprinted uphill to take the win like a teenager, giving hope to us all! Here are my drawings:

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La Vuelta 2013: Stage 2 Pontevedra – Baiona

Hola! Stage 2 of La Vuelta continued exploring the Atlantic coastline of Galicia with a dramatic climb from the coast road to the finish at Alto de Monte da Groba in Baiona. The day’s racing was led most of the stage by a breakaway of three riders but the stage was eventually won in style by Nicolas Roche. I confess that my eyes were distracted by the sea, with breakers and high hills – even a landlocked boat! Wonderful! Here are my drawings:

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Pretty in pink

My second post that ties in with the Festival of Flowers blog. A great idea and very inspiring. Find out more – and take part, on http://festivalofflowers.wordpress.com/, (or click the logo below). It was one of those perfect late summer days yesterday, so I took my pens and watercolours into the garden and made some drawings. The two I liked best were of the Japanese anemone, which is so delicate. Unlike the hotter-toned flowers that blaze at this time, the anemone gently leads the garden towards Autumn. Gorgeous! Here are my drawings:

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Little African Violet

This is a post that ties in with a blog project based around flowers. Well worth a look and taking part. Find out more on http://festivalofflowers.wordpress.com/ , or click the logo below. This is a little african violet that sits at home with us and quietly goes about its work in a charming way. Here is my drawing:

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Bolero!

Hola! Music and dance are a great source of inspiration. I’m fascinated by orchestras, bands and dancers and the way they work together. There was an exciting development at the Proms, where the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra were joined on stage by the
Antonio Marquez Dance Company. They worked brilliantly together. The climax of the concert was the mesmeric Bolero by Ravel, with added flamenco rhythms. Wonderful! Here are my drawings:

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Giro d’Italia impressions

The Giro d’Italia is a cycling event new to me, but well worth looking at. The riders have had to face challenges with bad rain, mountain stages and slippery conditions, but it is Italy and when the sun shines it’s very beautiful…  Here are some of my drawings:

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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:

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