I’m pleased to say I’ve got my drawing hand back in since I’ve been up here. So many interesting lines to navigate, from determined hawthorns and oaks bracing against the wind, to wild mushrooms, curious livestock and dramatic rocky outcrops.
So when I was commissioned for a few more designs for Christmas cards earlier in the winter, my usual humbug mentality about the season was dispelled. This client is an avid gardener and likes unique botanical compositions. I seek out an appropriate specimen, and then set it on a board, rearranging it until some pleasing rhythm is revealed.
Then I can employ one of my favourite mediums, the classic dip pen and black ink, usually on a heavy watercolour paper. This detailed work is an almost meditative experience, and I love the excitement of feeling the right course of the line first time. Obviously it isn’t always plain sailing and sometimes your attention will drift, or the intensity of the practice has you chewing your left hand off. Still, the discipline is something I still relish, and I’m glad that the output is well received.
By now I expected to be trudging through snow, charcoal and ink in hand with armfuls of chilly scenes to share. And yet, there is the small matter of climate change that now makes such expectations unreasonable. Thank you for following my Northern Progress these past months; I will have some more wintry offerings in the New Year. In the meantime I do hope that you too are fortunate enough to enjoy a Merry Christmas..