Summer Journal project

Yay! The grass has been cut and out come the animals and birds. While turning on my computer, I caught sight of a green woodpecker and two squirrels playing tag across the lawn, spiralling up the trunks and sidewinding while I watched. One stood on its hind legs as if to say ‘draw me!’ I took notice … real notice of how small their ears are and now thin and wirey their tails actually are. They danced and skittered, too far away to hear against the whirr of my computer cooling fan, but their twitches and jerky movements corresponded with the ticking clock above my desk and reminded me of the awkward gestures of a robot.

The window to the right of my desk was ajar. Wide enough to let in adequate breeze and enabled me to listen to the squawks of gulls overhead; cooing of wood pigeons and chugging diggers from a nearby building site.

A discussion with staff ensued. Everyone passing by wanted to comment on the different types of wildlife they’ve seen on site: a partridge, jays, pigeons, squirrels, green woodpeckers and of course the usual starlings and blackbirds. Once a month a hawk is brought onto the site and flies overhead to banish the gulls who like to nest in the huge grey mountain warehouses. The gulls make a racket, arguing for their right to be there and it quietens down for a bit … until the next day, when they seem to read that the hawk has gone away.

Journalling has begun. I filled a page and a bit in my summer journal as a participant in Myfanwy’s facebook group and on WordPress.

I added rapid sketches of the pirouetting squirrels and the odd bird or two happening to make an appearance then fly off at the sound a lorry.

The plan for this journal is to discover suitable illustrations for a children’s picture book and to become more accustomed to sketching quickly, from memory, direct observation – at speed, in order to capture that essence of freedom and movement. Life itself πŸ™‚


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