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“Time in a Field in England” June 12, 2010

This morning was sunny so I headed up the country lane to walk above the little village of Edlingham in Northumberland, England. Here’s a watercolor painting I did while sitting in a field, see the pictures following it and ‘come along with me’ on my walk. Enjoy!

"Fields above Edlingham"

"Fields above Edlingham"

After walking as far as I thought I had time for, I picked a corner of a nice field, not far from the road to work. The painting above is almost all done sitting in the field, I added details to the house and changed a few little things on the hills once I got home. There’s a picture later showing how it looked when I came home, before details were added.

Rock from Romans

Rock possibly from Roman times

This is the very interesting rock I sat on, I keep a pad in my bag from an old diaper bag; it’s great to sit on cold damp rocks or ground. I’d like to learn more about this rock, there is an old Roman fort right at the top of a nearby hill; we feel this looks Roman made.

my sketchbook with 3 page layout

my sketchbook with 3 page layout

Here’s a picture to show you how I worked, my sketchbook is on my lap clipped to a small board with watercolor pan handy. I had a small container of water on the ground within easy reach and I’m holding the only two brushes I used to create the painting. One round and one flat, it’s the first time I ever used a flat with watercolors and I’m very happy with what I could do. It was great for making the bush and tree lines on hills.

As you see I was also wearing gloves because it gets very chilly when you just sit still for one plus hours; these are thin kidskin I think, a dress pair that I decided would serve better on my sketch hikes. They’re thin so I can feel what I’m doing still and the leather helps me with grip.

writing on clouds

writing on clouds

Please click to read better, these are the thoughts I wrote before I started to paint.

Close up- left side of painting

Close up- left side of painting

Here’s a close up of the left side of the painting, just to show you more of the details. I touched up the house, posts some of the road and if you notice the tops of the clouds I softened them up. I’ve also totally removed a treeline somewhere…can you find it? (compare to the pic below)

Fields above Edlingham watercolor unsigned

Fields above Edlingham watercolor unsigned

Here’s the painting just as it looked when I left the field to go home.

country cat

country cat

A friendly cat I met while walking up the hill, I caught her with her tongue out! I LOVE the note cards, mugs and stickers I made from some cats I’ve met…including this one and a gorgeous black cat on the castle wall. (Go here to see their pictures!)

country lane

country lane

The beautiful lane I wandered along…it was great.

Sheep resting

Sheep resting

There are many different breeds of sheep here in England, this one I still have to learn. My favorites are the black faced sheep. These moms and lambs are really enjoying the sun. (Go here to see more photos of sheep in fields I’ve seen in England, you can order note cards if you like.)

country lane

country lane

The hedges here are of Hawthorn, when they’re in bloom not only are the pretty but they smell great.

Field view

Field view

The riding lesson

The riding lesson

Here’s a girl getting a riding lesson, walking on a long line then sometimes off.( Here’s some note cards and gifts with my horse paintings, drawings and photos I’ve taken.)

I hope you enjoyed taking this stroll with me and seeing my painting. Please visit my shop on Zazzle to see many of these photographs as note cards and more, here’s Landscape Photos and Landscape Paintings.

“The Carriage Drive” 9-20-09

On Sunday, September 20th, I went on a carriage drive with eight different buggy’s and all kinds of horses, through Coquetdale (or the Coquet river Valley) all around Rothbury.

Grahm's Boys

Graham's Boys

This is a drawing I did after the drive while looking at one of my photos on the computer screen. It was WAY too bumpy to even consider sketching while on the drive. This was done with a permanent ink pen with no preliminary pencil sketch, so I had to plan as I sketched because you can’t erase.

View above Coquetdale 2

View above Coquetdale

A bit about the carriage drive. It’s hard to pick out just a few pictures. As you can imagine on an 8 mile pony trek through some of the most beautiful English countryside while in the back of a 4 wheeled horse cart, left me with lots of photos. The day was perfect, a bit breezy but no rain and no dark clouds!

Sheep above Coquetdale

Sheep above Coquetdale

Through a farmers field with gorgeous views of Coquetdale below.

I got to ride in a 4 wheel buggy as I said, pulled by a team of two, half-brother horses. They were perfectly matched though, both dark brown. They were only 4 years old so young by standards of experience and the owner, Graham, was thrilled at how well they did.

Butterknowes Mare

Butterknowes Mare

This is a water color pencil sketch I did once again after the drive. I used one black pencil and a waterbrush to do it.  It was a mare in the field we passed, the gate read, “Butterknowes”, that’s the farm name. Any time we passed a field with horses they all galloped around and bucked, you could feel their excitement! This mare had a foal and they did the same thing, running along the fence as we passed, it was really exciting.

Driving a buggy can be dangerous stuff though, all in the cart had riding helmets on in case of a tip over, me…well I didn’t have one. I had to just hope the horses and terrain would cooperate! There were some parts where we had to duck from tree branches over an old railway line, where the steep bank was just a step away; and parts where the road was so bumpy I held myself up off the seat by partial standing and using my arms. I just couldn’t take the bumps with my back. But other than that it was relaxing and fun.

On the highway

On the highway

This is the buggy that was just behind us in the first part, then we switched positions so our horses could feel secure and follow.

We went through farmers fields, on a two lane paved ‘highway’, on old railroad lines, on country dirt roads (complete with pot holes!), through many field gates, up past the Simonside Hills and moors covered with bracken and heather, to swing down through gorgeous mature pine forests and then into Rothbury, a quiet little town in Coquetdale (the River Coquet valley).

Pausing at the parking area

Pausing at the parking area of Simonside

We had a brief pause at the parking area  near Simonside in the open moorland areas. We were trying to let the others catch up. It was windy and cold up here, but we couldn’t stand long or the horses would chill.

Tower at Rothbury

Tower at Rothbury

This is the old tower just outside of Rothbury, I’m not sure if it was used to look out for invading Scots or not? I have to find out.

Coming home

Coming home

Everyone filed in after the drive to June’s farm at East Raw, June’s the shepherdess who hosted the drive. The buggy in the back with the gorgeous chestnut horse is June with her groomswoman (or gate opener!) Becky. The cart in front is a lady from Scotland who came down just for the drive, with her Shetland Pony.

Chester sweated

Chester sweated

What can I say? Is this not a perfect looking horse?! (June’s horse Chester)

After the drive

After the drive

I’ll leave you with this picture of the buggy I rode in, with these two chaps having a talk over it, under a huge ancient tree. Sigh…a perfect day. I feel some horse paintings coming soon.