Monday, 4 August 2014


OK, not sure where July went ... except its been a month of non-stop builders/floorers/plasterers and our home hasn't been 'our home' ....   now its August and things are looking up.

Yesterday (Saturday) we had another 'Catering Duty' day at the Whitstable Bowls Club ... David and I are Team Leaders for one of the catering teams.   Throughout the Lawn Bowls Season we have to fulfil 5 catering duties which includes providing tea/coffee at lunchtime and then a 2 course meal for players from our own and visiting clubs on a competition day - this usually means catering for around 75-90 people on a very tight budget so lots of thought/planning go into the meals.   For us its a busy time (buying ingredients during the 24 hours prior to providing the meal), organising the team to prepare and lay out the meals and then all the clearing up/washing up and laundering of aprons and dishcloths/tea towels. 

Anyway, early morning we shopped for fresh bread/salad ingredients and took them to the Clubhouse as we don't have enough fridge space at home ... and we noticed that there were a lot of Thames Sailing Barges on the sea opposite our clubhouse.     I should mention that our Bowls Club is in a beautiful position overlooked by the 'Whitstable Castle, and across the road from the slope leading down to the beach and seafront.     For the first time in months I didn't have my camera in the car so by the time we drove home, picked up the camera and drove back, the barges had moved on and were just specks on the horizon.    It was a hazy morning - the sun didn't burn through the clouds till mid afternoon so my pictures are very poor.

The tide was quite low and you can see part of 'The Street' here .... this is a long stretch of pebbles and land forming a spit which leads out to sea and provides a temporary natural promenade ... but you have to be careful when  walking on it as the tide comes in very quickly and can easily cut you off from the mainland.    this is just a little section of 'The Street'  if you follow the line between the dark/light blue of the sea that is the path taken by 'The Street' when the tide is fully out .... very interesting to walk to the end of 'The Street' and look back at the slopes/mainland

a couple of beach huts in the foreground ... very fashionable with the DFLs (Down from London's) but cost over £25,000 each with no running water and no permissions to live in them (just visiting use)!!

But especially for Jo (Canada) here are some pics of the Boats.    Yesterday was the  Swale Barge & Smack Match race ... starts somewhere out near Herne Bay I believe, and sails past Tankerton and Whitstable (where these pics were taken) and onto the Swale, ending in Faversham .... I'm probably not 100% correct in this but the route varies every year depending on tides etc .... would have been a magnificent sight but I only saw them once they'd passed Tankerton Slopes and were way out on the horizon (that's the Isle of Sheppey in the background)

This is taken in hazy/foggy conditions on zoom lens so looks a little strange - the sea looks more like farmland than water here   LOL

Very low tide here, photographed from the seawall at Whitstable Harbour around lunchtime yesterday.   It was an amazing sight watching all these beautiful old Thames Barges - and brilliant that so many are being maintained/restored

We spent most of the day getting our furniture back into place now that the flooring has all been replaced.   Its looking a little more like 'home' but until the decorating is done (2-3 weeks time) we can't really get everything tidy ... but its all heading in the right direction.

 OK.    arty stuff now.

I had a lovely email from the owner of the recent horse commission - she was in tears and its a sad fact that we pet-portrait artists know we've done a good job when we get a tearful reaction (but that's how it works).   I was so pleased as the refs weren't good but the horse is deceased and I just had to do the best I could.   I can only draw what I can see but with guidance from the owner it all worked out very well and I'm just so pleased that my client loves the portrait.

I've made a very small start on the King Charles Spaniel tonight.    This will be completed in Coloured Pencil and initially I'm working on drafting film over a white backing sheet.     This is experimental and I may switch to a more traditional watercolour HP paper if it doesn't work out  .... its just that I haven't worked on drafting film for quite a while and just fancied trying it again ...   Drafting Film is a matte polyester translucent drawing surface traditionally used by architects and draftsmen which doesn't take many layers of colour pencil but gives some interesting results (when it goes right) so ..... fingers crossed!

This is the result of 30 mins work (would have taken double that on traditional paper I think)

It looks very yellow here but was photographed in poor light this evening so there's a lot of glare from the film.   Also, the drafting film I'm using is very old and came from the stocks of a retired draftsman - on one very large roll  .... nowadays you can buy the film in nice A4 sized pads and its probably easier to work with methinks!

I've only worked on one side of the film so far but the beauty of this support is that you can draw on the reverse side also to intensify the colours if required .. i'll reserve that option, just trying to do a fairly quick drawing for now working on one side only.

OK that's got the excuses out of the way.      No artwork for a few days now ... back to the drawing board on Thursday so more updates then


Jo said...

Thanks Sue. I am glad they still have such events. It all helps to keep the vessels in good repair. That pic of the barge in full sail actually looks more like a painting.

How come you didn't have your camera? Thought you didn't go anywhere without it.

What you've done of the spaniel looks very good. Glad the horse portrait pleased the recipient too.

Jo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sue Clinker said...

Hi Jo
Your comment came through twice so I've just deleted one.

It is a lovely sight - that's the Isle of Sheppey in the background. See what you mean about the photo looking like a painting but its just the combination of having to use so much zoom in poor, misty conditions. There are a few more of these events scheduled this year so I'll try to organise myself a bit better and get some decent photos.

Well isn't is s*ds law that the day I leave my camera home (charging batteries ready for zoo trip tomorrow) I spot something I need to photograph. As our politicians are fond of saying ... 'lessons have been learned' LOL

Jan said...

What a great newsy post and the start on the CKC spaniel already looks good. So glad the horse portrait was so well received - way to go!