Friday, 2 July 2010

Wild Poppy and Ice Cold in Alex


Approx. 7" x 7"  Coloured Pencil on Aubergine Colourfix sanded paper.  Work in Progress.


My friend, Maggie and I took advantage of the gloriously hot weather we've been having lately and went for a walk in the lovely countryside we have around our way.  Needless to say, we did get lost despite being armed with a carefully planned route and a decent map.  We were trekking happily down the side of a field admiring the wild flora when Maggie turned and ventured to suggest that the row of trees on our left wasn't supposed to be on our left, according to the map she was holding, but on our right.  I said, in a moment of logical clarity (I get those sometimes!), that perhaps we should retrace our steps, find a path along the other side of the trees and follow that.  We then decided that whichever side of the trees we walked we would end up in the same place (!) so we decided to continue along the original path.


Maggie the Map Reader


So there we were, tripping happily down the path, admiring the views, merrily quipping that we were glad to be well away from the noisy drone of traffic and other humans.  The mood changed pretty rapidly, however, when we were ....how shall I put this?... overcome by a pungent and extremely unpleasant smell.  We had arrived at a large sewerage works, surrounded on all sides by a high fence, with no further pathway around, or away from, the area.  Just more fields and an almighty stench. 

Our only option was to go back up the steep, long path in the direction we came from across more fields....and some woodland.....and yet more fields in a pathetic attempt to get back onto the circular walk we were supposed to be doing.  The map was next to useless by now because it gave us no indication as to where we actually were since nothing we saw matched anything illustrated on the map (Lol).  What you need in these circumstances is a brain which can cope with spatial awareness and tell you, at least roughly, in which direction to head for in order to get you back to where you started from.  Either that or a compass!  We had neither of these handy things.

All we could do was to head towards the distant sound of traffic which would take us back to civilisation.  How ironic that the very sound we had initially wanted to get away from suddenly became very welcome and comforting!  By the time we got back to my little car sitting in the village pub car park, we were hot, tuckered out, blistered and very thirsty.  It was a bit like that old film called "Ice Cold In Alex" with John Mills and Sylvia Sims....you know the one?  Only not quite so hot and exotic, just li'l ol' England.  Oh and yes, we did go into the pub and have a very long, cold drink!

This wild poppy, the drawing shown way back up top here, is from a photo I took on our walk.  It was one of a few growing wild in a field.  Poppies look so fragile with their papery petals blowing in the breeze.  I want to try and capture the feel of that.  I'm using a mixture of pencil brands here, chosen purely on colour - pale lavendars and lilacs, aubergine, pale greens, yellow and whites.  I want to add some greens as a background, if I'm brave enough!

NB.  My PC is still in dock being repaired, she said optimistically.  And this laptop I'm using would try the patience of a saint!  
        

10 comments:

alison staite said...

Wow! No other word for it - this is going to be a real cracker!

Pauline said...

Wow from me too Janet, don't do anymore I think it is fantastic just like this. I opened the email and it blew me away.

Daryl said...

I agree too Janet. Its beautiful. I love the way you use colour on these dark papers and use strong dark / light contrasts to show the sunlight. Stunning!

Katherine Thomas said...

Oh my goodness, Janet, you captured the fragility of that poppy so beautifully! It's exquisite. Those colors are among my favorites lately, too!
That IS funny that you wanted to escape the sounds of civilization, but later they became your beacon of salvation, so to speak!

Bev said...

Wow from me too Janet....it's beautiful. I love the colours. I have these poppies in my garden and I am always on the lookout for different colours...hoping to find some ripe seed pods, they grow so easily once you have them in the garden they will seed themselves...and the bees just love them. Lol love your story, made me smile...what happened to technology, google maps on your phone??? Sat nav??? No, me neither.

Janet Pantry said...

Oh thanks everyone! I quite like this one too. I'd better not do too much more to it, just a bit of tweaking I think.

Bev - technology? Me and technology is not a good match! lol.

Felicity said...

Can I add to the wow's please?! ;) Abslutely super and I do hope you'll be brave enough to do the background, I think green would work beautifully. The texture is amazing and so delicate!

Dors said...

This is such a beautiful piece Janet...even worth getting lost I would say. Glad you found home again.
The poppy is so delicate and I love the colors.

Great job.

Hope you get your PC fixed soon.

Sjamesportraiture said...

So delicate, lovely work Janet

Paula Pertile said...

Oh what a funny story! I'm so glad you were able to find a pub. :~)
I love the finished poppy above (I'm commenting out of turn here). Very brave working on that color of sanded paper. It turned out lovely!

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