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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Visiting Northern England: The Seven Bridges

One Of The Seven Bridges
5 1/2 x 3 1/2", (sketch book) Ink Pen
Rita Salazar Dickerson
I loved this walk through part of Deer Park near Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden. Many of the giant, wide old trees are gnarled, twisted and so full of character I wanted to hug them! The walk was enchanting and mysterious as we strolled along and eventually crossed over seven handmade bridges. With the air being still the only sounds we heard (besides our footsteps) were of birds calling out to each other and the stream as it flowed over the stones. (I think the pheasant were having a convention there. The bushes and tall grasses were full of them.) 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Visiting Northern England: Royal Pump Room, Harrogate

Everything fell in to place this morning, I visited Harrogate and had decided on sketching the Royal Pump Room, a beautiful building with lots of shapes and angles. Although it wasn't raining I imagined myself shivering in the cool, damp air. (I packed rain gear.) My daughter Emily dropped me off in front of the historical building and we made plans for her to pick me up in an hour and a half. There were two benches nearby but what I spotted next was perfect. A coffee shop, Cafe at Rasmus. (It is part of a contemporary furniture store that just recently turned some of their space into the coffee shop.) It is located across the street from the museum with a perfect view of it. There was an available table at the window, it couldn't have been more ideal. I ordered a mocha and settled in.
The Royal Pump Room, Harrogate
5 1/2 x 3 1/2" (sketch book) Ink Pen
Rita Salazar Dickerson

As usual, I chose something much more complicated than I thought it would be. I could have spent the entire time on the "crown" alone that rests so prettily at the top of the main building. As it turned out, it was a good drawing exercise on many levels and I enjoyed every moment.

Underneath the "crown", above the door, is an engraved sign that says, ARX CELEBRIS FONTIBUS which means "a citadel famous for its springs". (I must admit I was hoping it would translate into something a little more dramatic than that. But still, its good.)

I love England.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Visiting Northern England: The Back Gate

The rain continues. My boots are still wet from yesterday's adventure and so I've stayed inside to read and draw. Mostly draw.

The Back Gate
3 1/2 x 5 1/2, (sketch book) Graphite
Rita Salazar Dickerson
This scene from the kitchen window has always entertained me. The curious little 21st century version of a weather vain that is perched on top of the trellis looks deceptively simple. As its little arms spin and turn in the wind and rain it is able to read the weather at all levels: temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure, future forecast, dew point and even the moon phase. Regardless of all that, I just wanted to draw it. I like the way it sits at an angle adding contrast to everything else that seems so timeless and traditional.

P.S. The little specks you see on the distant hills are sheep. And the grounds where I went to the Nidderdale Show yesterday are completely flooded today.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Visiting Northern England: The Old Granary Tea Shop

The Old Granary Tea Shop
5 1/2 x 3 1/2 (sketch book) ink sketch
Rita Salazar Dickerson
Today was a rainy day and as I write about it this evening, it still continues to pour down. It was also the day for the yearly Nidderdale Show. Regardless of the weather, the agricultural show in Pateley Bridge went on as planned and I was determined to see it. I dressed in layers and put on every bit of rain gear I could gather. I packed my little sketch book in the outer pocket of my backpack along with pens and pencils. Even though my backpack had a rain cover, I was still paranoid about the risk of rain water reaching my sketch book so I dressed it in layers also: two small sandwich bags and then one quart size outer layer just for good measure. I was excited about walking in the rain. For added protection I took my red umbrella. In the end, regardless of all the layers, I still managed to get wet. The wind blew the rain at an unmerciful angle and puddles, resembling small ponds, were so deep at times I had to find new routes around them.

Once I arrived my desire to draw something of interest faded when I realized how impractical it would be to even think about setting my backpack down to retrieve my sketch book. The rain continued to soak the ground inside and outside of the tents. My boots could not escape the soft, deep mud or the puddles; the earth was saturated.

At this point I decided to walk around and just enjoy all that the show had to offer. Even on this rain soaked day the well groomed animals were a pleasure to see and the numerous competitions in various categories was impressive.

As I walked back through Pateley Bridge I passed The Old Granary Tea Shop. It looked warm and inviting. A few minutes later I turned around and  headed back to its front door. A table at the left front window was available, waiting for me. At last, the backpack came off, the sketch book came out and as I ordered hot tea and a walnut date scone I looked around for something to draw. As the waitress placed my order in front of me I decided not to think too hard and settled on the pot of tea, the creamer and my cup and saucer. I was going to draw the delicious scone but it was warm and I was hungry.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Visiting Northern England: Glasshouses Methodist Church

When I visited Northern England for the first time last winter, each day was treasured. I was in awe of the breathtaking scenery, the seemingly endless rolling green hills dotted by such an interesting variety of sheep, and then there were the wonderful foot paths. I couldn't get enough of it all. And when the opportunity came to visit a second time this year, I took it. So here I am, back again, and loving every minute of my precious time here.

Glasshouses Methodist Church
3 1/5 x 5 1/2" (sketch book), ink pen
Rita Salazar Dickerson

 I have been admiring this little church in the village of Glasshouses for quite some time now. All the different angles of the roof  inspired me to draw it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Visiting Northern England: Final Painting # 7

Oil on canvas, 24x12"
Rita Salazar Dickerson
It felt good to work in my studio tonight. Other painting obligations pulled me away from this painting and I was beginning to wonder when I would get back to this little trio of ewes. Their shaggy wool coats covering such well rounded expectant bellies was entertaining to me especially when the sun enhanced them so brilliantly.
Stage 1: Painting in the drawing

Stage 2: Blocking in the colors.

Stage 3: Blocking in completed

Stage 4: Adding texture.

Stage 5: Completed painting with the 10x8" color study. I cropped the final composition. This visually pulls in the viewer and adds a more interesting design.