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Day 2: Artist Residency at The Hide

Day 2

Tuesday 26th March

Above: Easel with sketchbook overlooking Pinfarthing with Nailsworth in the distance.

Below: Watercolour painting of foraged blackthorn blossom from life.

The day is bright and windy so I head up to the common after some yoga and a quick breakfast. I intended to paint the tree-dwellings that had caught my interest the day before, but am stopped by a view overlooking the roof of a house and a party of trees. One tree in particular reminds me of a calligraphy stroke. 

I set up my new easel and paint. I’m enjoying a new technique which involves holding my brush at a distance, inviting less control - something I seem to be seeking. A dog-walker approaches me, sharing he too had been sketching on the common. While I wait for my painting to dry, we chat companionably. Richard compliments my setup, showing me his compact satchel with homemade velcro appendages to hold his water pots and paints in place. I share how my easel and tripod works, happy to spotlight last-week’s DIY creation. He gives me a tour of his colourful sketchbook featuring local sites and some portraits of live musicians, recommending places to visit and that I must treat myself to lunch at The Olive Tree in town.

I sketch a line of elder trees standing watch at the side of the common before the clouds turn grey. I scoop up a feather to add to my curated windowsill back in the studio. When I return, I realise the roots of the tree I’d painted that morning belong to Alice’s garden of all places.

Sheets of rain fall in the afternoon so I carry on painting still lifes. I start a puzzle (‘The Raven Addresses the Animals’) until the light gets dim. Chinese vegetable rice for dinner and an episode of the new series of Gardeners’ World.


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