The Routemaster London bus was a big part of my life growing up. It took me to school, it took me to work, out to see friends, concerts, cinemas and pubs. I even drove one once. A friend was a bus mechanic and he let me drive one round the roads when I visited him at work one Sunday, I did have an HGV licence and drove removal vans so he wasn’t being totally irresponsible especially as my 4 year old son was a passenger!
Today’s outing with PEDAS was to Highcliffe Castle near Christchurch in Dorset. It is built on the cliff top so the car park was full up with beach goers. The castle is now a wedding venue and exhibition space so it is currently closed but the grounds are lovely and the cafe was serving coffee from a van outside so we had a pleasant morning sitting in the shade and painting this beautiful building.
This week’s challenge in the Purely Watercolour group I belong to is to copy a famous painting so I chose Renoir’s Luncheon. Of the boating party. It has always been one of my favourites and copying it in my own style made me study it closely.
Today’s plain air outing with Broadstone Art Society was to Badbury Rings the ancient hill fort in Dorset. It was really hot and there wasn’t much shade so the washes were drying really quickly. There were quite a lot of people walking dogs and children so it wasn’t too had to find a figure to give it a bit of scale.
When I was queuing in the supermarket last week the girl in front of me struck a pose with her umbrella. I happened to have my phone handy so I took a quick photo to paint later.
Today’s Sky portrait is Dame Mary Beard painted by Selena Mowat. Mowat, winner of the 2013 portrait artist of the year. Dame Mary is a classicist and fascinating to listen to. I did a watercolour and probably didn’t spend enough time over it.
I wonder if Alec Issigonis ever suspected that his design for the Morris Minor would become a motoring classic. This is the later version when glass technology improved enough to put in a one piece curved windscreen and and engines moved from the original side valve to the 1098cc A series that powered so many British cars. I had three of these, all Morris Travellers, they taught me a lot about cars, mainly how to mend them!
Painting without a brush has created a lot of interest so I have decided to do a series of classic vehicles in the same style. Today’s classic is a Land Rover series 3. I have owned a couple of these, the first was a long wheelbase pick up with a straight six engine that came from my sister’s farm and needed lots of work to make it roadworthy, the second was a short wheelbase with a canvas roof which was great in the summer but a bit chilly in the winter. Oh and when I first joined the Coastguard in 1988 we had a Land Rover with blue lights and two tone sirens. It was not the fastest response vehicle on the coast! If you have a suggestion for a classic vehicle I could paint in this style please let me know. I have a few lined up to try.
This morning I went to Walford Mill in Wimborne with the Poole art group. I managed to do a quick watercolour before the rain started. The mill cafe are interested in buying it to display in their newly renovated cafe when they are able to open again so it was a very successful morning.
This weeks portrait is from a photo I took of Pete. I joined the Coastguard with Pete in 1988 and served with him for twenty years. He was the auxiliary in charge of Poole team and did a great job of leading a very busy and efficient team. Pete went on to become DLA of Poole lifeboat station until he retired a couple of years ago.