Thursday, 24 April 2014

The cherry trees are blossoming

But of course not up here, not on my dump.

The feet of the Giant Hogweeds are getting bigger, green leafs spreading out but still very close to the ground, sort of grabbing it. I’ve brought back home some of the dried stems from last year since I want to draw them. They are sturdy but at the same time fragile, a wrong twist and turn and they splinter.

I started today’s excursion with a sketch of a green shed.

The day was absolutely glorious, blue sky and a big sun. But the way I depicted this shed, is how it feels on some parts of the location. Grey and abandoned. Just below the shed in a trench were a population of Butterbur. I brought one back home, and after looking it up in my book I now know that the female flowers are very rare. Lucky me it was not one of them I snatched!
It’s a lonely job to paint sheds, but someone has to do it J

Up on the flat top of the dump there are Common horsetails growing everywhere. In Sweden we call them fox buttocks.
I’m happy with the colours, but not with the flower part. It was difficult to get it right. For the stems I used Raw Sienna and Permanent Rose in different mixes, and for the darker tones I used Perylene Maroon and Burnt Umber mixed with Botanical Grey. For the second one I also mixed in some Prussian Blue to get some variation in the tone. The green is what was on my palette.

I also found what I think is Cuckooflower, but I learned that this one easily mix whit a relative. So – pratensis or paludosa or a mix between them, I can’t tell. I did a rather crappy sketch of the flower.

Around the hill the vegetation is in different stages. Horsetails everywhere, clover is starting to show here and there. At the slope of the west side where several bunches of daffodils. Since it is an old dump they must have been dumped there whit garden disposals at some point and just survived throughout the years.

We had binoculars with us and one of many who passed by wondered if we were birdwatcher. Apparently this hill is a good bird location, the birds is blowing in, as he explained it to us. And later on we actually spotted a falcon, it was hovering for a long time and we had a good look at it. I think I never seen a falcon in the wild before.

The flowers
Butterbur – Petasites hybridus
Common horsetail – Equisetaceae arvense
Cuckooflower – Cardamine pratensis or paludosa

Nearby, there are two big TV pylons. I had to paint them too, in the described greyish manner. When it is windy the wire sings.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Early April

Today I spend some time on my dump in order to start this blogg.

My dump is located a few kilometers away from home and the easiest way to get there is cycling.

It is 2 years since my “Painting in the field” took place here, but the only real difference is that the mountain bike track has evolved to a real downhill mountain bike track with jumps and slopes and standards guiding the path. And brave young people who plunges down the path.

It was a cold day and I started down where the sheds and maintenance area are and did a sketch of the combustion plant. It sounds like it should be big, but the only visible part is a pipe in the ground. A quick pencil sketch and then some colour with the sketchbook resting on the bike seat.  Details where added later at home.

I have a somewhat naïve style when doing pictures like this, and I simply can’t draw trees. The things behind the shed is the Giant Hogweed or what’s left of them at this time of the year.

I took my bike and dragged it along with me my up to the top, it is practical to have the bike so I don’t need to carry all the stuff, like my field chair – a three legged thing.

On the top there is a some big rocks arranged in a funny way, like an old grave from the stone age. And a bench with a trash can beside it. I chose a position so I was looking up on the rocks, it was the picture I wanted to paint this day.

Some day when the weather is warmer I will paint it with the city in the background. The wind was really chilly and after a while my fingers started to go numb, so I did the finishing touches at home. I wasn’t used to paint on this paper either, it is an Arches paper with rough grain and it was a while since I used that kind of paper. My sketchbooks has smooth paper which also dries quickly, this didn’t…

When I had packed up my things I started to look for something growing to take back home for more painting. But, there is no growing going on, yet. The Giant Hogweed is showing something green deep down in the ground, but that was all. I then turned my interest to the few rosebushes that are growing there, and I finally found one well-worn rosehip from last year. Not much colour, but I like it this way. I have a delight in the withered when it comes to rosehips!