Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Derwent Water Marina" 9-13-09

Today I'll take you to the Marina at Derwent water where I stayed overnight at The Derwent Hotel. It's a gorgeous place to stay all newly refinished, the bedroom was just sumptuous! And oh yes, I really liked that they had internet so I could catch up with the folks at home and let them know I wasn't lost somewhere in the English countryside!
This is the front lobby, coming down in the early morning to have my oatmeal made with cream and oh boy was it rich!
Then I made my way across the street and just down a driveway and there you are...the marina. A small, uncomplicated, peaceful place so early in the morning. http://www.derwentwatermarina.co.uk/Walking toward the water...I took note of birds I saw, almost all were new to me, how exciting!
I love when the mist is lower than the mountains around it, the puffs were making their way up each 'valley' from the lake. Small coots were chugging across the still water looking for fish...I did some small sketches of birds and wrote my bird list on the sketch page shown below.

Click the page to read my notes.
These are simple sketches done while walking around, this is typically how I draw birds in the field. Not much to them, just identification notes, and I had my Altoids watercolor kit with me and did some simple coloring. I think one of my favorite birds was the wood pidgeon; with a flash of white on his wings when he flew from the deep trees where hidden. They are quite big compared to 'our' rock doves or pidgeons.
Later in the day I walked up the hill behind the hotel. It was very chilly and damp as I sat and worked. I did a small sketch of the lake view over the hotel, trying to get some color notes on it so I'd remember how it looked. I think my friend Gary arrived just in time though as my fingers were getting quite stiff! Time for hot tea!
I just finished the sketch,(back home in the states) working from a dull photo because it was a dull day. I sat in a coffee/lunch area in the grocery store on a nasty snowy day and worked on it...then finished it in the comfort of my studio. I perked up the color a little trying to keep in mind the original colors I had on the paper. I signed it Lake Derwent before I learned that it's called Derwent Water. By the way, I did the entire painting using one waterbrush and my travel palette. I'm trying to practice using the waterbrush so it'll come naturally in the field.
I think it's a nice little painting!

I think the painting will always mean something different to the artist who painted it in the field. As I sat and sketched, then painted...I absorbed all around me. My eyes studied the colors, my ears heard wrens and thrushes singing, the wind blowing through the pines, my fingers felt the cool rain drops and mist, my face felt the breeze and my nose smelled the wet leaves and mosses in the undergrowth behind me...and the smells of the kitchen below. As I look at that little painting...I can remember it all! THIS is what makes painting outside in nature so rewarding, and it's why I do it. I hope you'll join me someday in experiencing this feeling.

4 comments:

Tracy Hall: said...

hey, mary, you're in GB! Thought you were coming over later. Great sketches, and a lovely part of the country.

Mary McAndrew said...

oh NO Tracy! I'm not there yet! I'm still going through my sketches and pictures and posted about my trip. I'm doing that as I also post stuff I'm doing here. I PROMISE to let you know when I come over! I think you live pretty far north, but wouldn't it be cool to meet? Hey, you never know.

Mary McAndrew said...

PS. I'm coming in early May as far as planned, I just can't wait~

Carly said...

Hi Mary, just found your blog while searching for lake district holidays for some reason! Anyway, thought I'd share a picture a friend of mine took which you can see here http://www.fotoviva.co.uk/link.asp?StockNo=771-0459 it shows Derwent Water at dusk. Fantastic isn't it? He has it as a canvas print in his lounge and it brings the wall to life :)