down at the bottom of the garden

fisherboy statue

Here are the last ones from the Garden Tour last week. Just to clarify I didn’t do any actual touring, I was in the one garden all day. The first thing I was attracted to was the row of birdhouses, and below was a little statue of a fisherboy. He didn’t mind me drawing him, and stayed still the entire time. This was a very peaceful part of the garden, though at one point I was distracted by a massive bee the size of a small bird who had no interest in me, but I kept my distance all the same. I’m very pro-bee (but rather anti-wasp) and wish they weren’t disappearing at the rate that they are, because they basically help keep us in existence. This thing was like the Mountain that Buzzes. I spent a bit more time looking around at the various yard ornaments and garden furniture, sketching them below on one page. Along the lawn where metal silhouettes of fairies, reminding me of the Cottingley fairies. Sketching that garden was fun.

garden objects

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uncage the colours, unfurl the flag

garden with red bridge

Here is another of the drawings I did for the Garden Tour last week. There were already two other artists in the garden painting this part of it, so I joined them after a while to draw this colourful section. The garden I was in at the home of a well travelled lady – Ms. Gilardi – originally from Middlesex, which was nice, as so am I. The little red bridge had been freshly painted, and the pond had a fake bird next to it, presumably to ward off real birds who may try to swipe the fish. I don’t really know my plants – I can tell a daffodil from a cactus but that’s about it – but there were lots of many different plants. Ms. Gilardi has only lived there for five years, but in that time has produced an incredible garden. Along the outside fence is a row of gaily painted bicycles, one of which I had drawn before (this one, back in January). Most visible, and popular among local Davisites, is her tall flagpole, which sports a different flag each day. She keeps all of her flags hanging on hooks beside her house, diligently labelled. On this day the flag was of particualr meaning to her, being of the place where her family originally came. Can you guess the flag? (I’ve always wanted to go there!)

I drew this on the Strathmore hor press watercolour paper, with a pigma micron and watercolours.

for the birds

birdhouse

Last Sunday, I took part in the Pence Gallery’s annual ‘Garden Tour’, as one of the artists placed into one of the artistic gardens to make art while people looked at all the interesting garden features. The garden I was in was a particularly interesting garden – many very interesting plants (including an actual banana tree!), but also lots of architectural features that begged to be sketched. This one was my favourite, however, the wooden birdhouse. I actually sketched it twice (and will probably draw it a third time for good measure!).

I hope this terrace of bird houses is well used by our local feathered friends. I have noticed since moving to north Davis that there are different birds up here than in our neck of south Davis (which by the way was the only place in Davis where I’ve seen pigeons, hiding away). I’m not a bird watcher; I can tell a magpie from a pelican, but that’s about it. I know someone in Davis who is though, Pica over at Bird by Bird, check out her excellent (and mighty quick) bird sketches. I do like bird houses; when I was a kid we had one on a big pole in our garden that my grandad had made, but it had long been overtaken by wasps. Bloody wasps. Speaking of bird houses, you may be interested in seeing/buying one of these lovely hand-made unique wooden bird houses designed and built by my cousin Dawn. I was reminded of her when I was drawing this. Check out her other delicious work available on her Etsy store, ‘London Clay Birds’.

This was my last drawing of the day, I’ll post the rest of my drawings soon. It took about half an hour, and I drew it in uniball signo um-151 brown-black pen on the Stillman & Birn ‘delta’ paper. That is nice paper, very thick, sturdy.

pence gallery garden tour

This Sunday, the Pence Gallery in Davis is organizing the 21st annual Garden Tour, in which people can visit eight artistic private gardens in Davis. In each garden there will also be a local artist, painting or drawing away, and I am honoured to be one of those artists. I will be drawing pictures in a garden on 8th street. The other artists are Andrew Dorn, Debbie Gualco, Deborah Hill, Milton Kalish, Michael Mikolon, Patris, Marti Walker and Beth Winfield. tickets are $28 on the day ($20 for Pence members). The paintings made and drawings drawn will later be displayed for sale at the Pence. It should be fun! (If my allergies dont make me sneeze all afternoon…)
For more information, please visit: http://www.pencegallery.org/gardentour.html