For the last year, my Mum has been doing a watercolour class each week and I have been so impressed with what she has been producing. In the course of conversation, it came up that I had been to art college (many, many moons ago) and so her tutor kindly asked if I would like to join them on their annual outdoor workshop with a view to joining the class in September.
This morning I packed up my tin of sketching pencils, found a new sketch book and set off to a nature reserve that I didn't even know existed just a couple of miles from home.
Everyone looked very confident and excited to be given such a large space to explore and choosing the subject was, I think, the hardest part of the day. I have never had any tuition in watercolours, although I used to love using them for illustrative purposes and so I chose the safe route of finding a thistle head to sketch. As long as there is something (usually nature-related) in front of me, I am fairly confident of my sketching skills and so putting the first marks on my paper wasn't too daunting.
Soon, though, the lure of adding colour became too much and I crept over to where Mum was drawing and decided to give it a go. Having raided her art box, and with some encouragement from the teacher, I started out sketching the view in front of me with a drawing pen.
I couldn't wait to add some colour.
The day flew by and my sketchbook now has something in it! I think it's ok for a first attempt but I am definitely going to join the group in September and learn a new skill. The less is more concept of watercolour is something that I am going to find challenging, but I am also hoping to be able to develop my own style of painting, especially combined with the ink.
I also had the chance to walk around the reserve and was delighted to find a tiny little pond where dragonflies were emerging from their nymph stage. I don't know if you can just about spot the dragonfly in this photo, drying out its wings. It is just above that brown leaf in the middle of the picture. I wish I'd taken my other lens'. There are a couple of other nymphs hanging off the leaves.
I then found an empty nymph moult. The child in me still loves this kind of discovery.
Back to the kitchen tomorrow and Saturday for the rest of the christening preparations. Keep your fingers crossed for a fine day, I really can't face the house full of people. I'm expecting about 48 and am hoping to keep them all entertained in the garden.
I'll leave you with a quick photo of one of the red admiral butterflies that were in abundance today. I love butterflies too...