Arrival of Spring – April 8

Also emerging from under the melting snow is litter. Sadly, there are many cans and bottles in the roadside ditches near me. On my walk yesterday, I took my sketchbook not knowing what I might sketch. This was the result: a sampling of the garbage tossed out of vehicles using these backroads. Next time I’ll bring a garbage bag.

Also spotted, apart from many beer and cooler cans, deer tracks and a honey bee inspecting a Radler can.

AoSA – April 5

I have some wonderful raised garden beds that cascade down a slope in my yard. In a couple of months they will be abundant with herbs and greens. The view in this sketch makes sense to me, but may appear a bit wonky to anyone else. Well, everything is a bit wonky these days…


AoSA – April 4

I scouted around the garden yesterday for a little scene to sketch. This was it, and quite appropriate for these times, with the “peace” and “love” symbolism. The garden fork may look sinister, but in fact it survived a fire at one time.


I’ve started a new sketchbook for the Arrival of Spring series and I hope I’ll have a better grasp how to paint this paper before long.

AoSA – April 3

AoSA – Arrival of Spring, Auchentoshan

On a dreary, wet day a little colour was needed. This Christmas Cactus decided to wait till spring to burst into bloom.

Arrival of Spring, Auchentoshan (AoSA) – April 2

T is for tulips, which are coming up! and this is the last bit of snow!

Again I bundled up and sat outside to sketch these. It is quite calming to sit and stare at this small wonder emerging. When it started to rain (providing some nice splotches in my sketch) I had to finish indoors.

“T” marks the spot. I leave these markers in the garden so I know where all the tulip bulbs are buried.

Arrival of Spring, Auchentoshan – April 1, 2020

Inspired by David Hockney’s masterwork, Arrival of Spring in Woldgate East Yorkshire 2011 (twenty eleven) I decided to draw something each day of April to mark the arrival of spring here in my yard. Meanwhile, David Hockney is doing the same in Normandy (not inspired by me!). Read about it and see some of his iPad drawings here.

Late yesterday afternoon I got bundled up and went outside to try and sketch the one green thing in my yard, poking up from the manure and mulch. Not a great result, so I tried again indoors, referring to the first sketch and making up a scene. It’s a start.

Squash from the cellar

Before sending these Buttercup squash to the roasting pan I felt they deserved to be drawn. To try and convey the unusual markings on the skin I used watercolour paint combined with Caron d’aché Neo-colour II water soluble wax pastels, which look and feel like the crayons from childhood. So that was fun!