Sunday, 16 October 2011

Back from holiday

Scarborough - South Bay
First of all, I must apologise to all you bloggers I follow regularly for not keeping up with your posts. I have been away on holiday and although I had some limited internet capability with me, there was not enough online time to get round the blogs. Anyway, I'm back now and I'll be catching up just as quickly as I can.

It had been my intention to do lots of drawing and painting especially to push myself to do some more plein aire work. Regrettably, it was so damp and windy that sitting outside for any length of time was not enjoyable. However, needs must, and although I didn't do any plein aire painting, I did manage a few quick sketches. The one of Scarborough was sketched looking through the rain splattered windscreen of my car as we sat on the harbour wall beside the Fishery.

I spent the week near Robin Hoods Bay on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. As a 'towney' wanting to appreciate the countryside, I decided to stay on a working farm for the week would be a relaxing experience. That said, there were no animals and I don't know what the buildings and machinery were all about but it looked more like a factory than a farm.

One of the things I'd looked forward to was a trip on the old steam railway. When the day came, it was a disaster. Having parked the car I went to buy the tickets and was very disappointed to be told that the steam engine had broken down so the train was being pulled by a Diesel. That's just NOT the same. Still, I couldn't do the trip on another day so decided to do the trip regardless. After a short wait we were finally in the carriage and pulling out of the station.

I was looking forward to seeing the best of the moors from the train and had my camera ready but the worsening rain and reducing visibility were making photo's less likely. Suddenly the train screeched to a halt and the guard ran through the carriage looking most concerned. Long story short, the engine had broken down in the middle of nowhere and we had to wait over an hour for another engine to come and tow us on to the next station. That was actually good news as I was already having visions of us all walking along the railway track to the nearest station. Thankfully I had my sketchpad with me and used the time to attempt a drawing of my camera. Eventually we were pulled to a station where we were told no more trains would be running and a bus would take us back to where we started. Cold, damp and disappointed we arrived back at our starting point several hours later.

Robin Hoods Bay
The highlight of the week was a visit to Robin Hoods Bay itself. The village is built into the cliff face and is a maze of narrow winding alleyway's between the quaint old smugglers cottages. It was fascinating to see how one persons roof was on the same level as another persons garden. An artists paradise as every step I took revealed an ancient doorway, steps worn by centuries of use, crooked windows and cottages built to abnormal shapes in order to fit them in, like 3-dimensional jigsaw pieces. Had I been on my own I would have loved to have sat and sketched all day long but as it was I contented myself with taking scores of photo's. I didn't manage to get as much drawing done as I'd hoped during the week but I have enough reference material to last me a very long time. Can't wait to get started. ;-)


  1. Welcome back! Sorry you didn't get as much sketching and painting done while on Holiday, but sounds like you may have some lovely memories to work off of!

  2. Great sketches, as usual John, and some nice reminders of your experiences, good and bad!

  3. Welcome back!
    Love the sketches you made - and bravo for using the time on the broken train to sketch your camera.
    Look forward to seeing how you use the material you gained whilst away :) xx

  4. Welcome back, John. Glad you got some time to sketch and what great sketches they all are too. It IS difficult to get time, especially when it's a family outing or holiday. I just used time in the morning before everyone got up or when the rest of the clam went 'shopping' lol:) Look forward to seeing you using those reference photos too :)

  5. Samantha, thank you so much for visiting and yes, I've bought back lots of nice memories.

    Thanks Keith. I like how even the bad experiences eventually turn into nice reminders.

    Hi Pat and thank you. While sitting on the stranded train I also sketched some of my fellow passengers ... but my sketching isn't THAT good so those efforts aren't getting published. LOL.

    Thanks Michael. Regrettably, when I get up, everyone gets up ... and they won't go shopping without me. LOL. I can't wait to get started on the reference photos.

  6. Well, despite all the set backs, at least you used the time to your advantage and got lots of sketching done! I love seeing your sketches. I just can't get enough of them. But I have to say that regardless of how good your sketches are, my favorite sketch and in fact favorite post ever, just has to be the one with the dead pigeon, lol!

  7. Sandra, you're not supposed to laugh at my dead pigeon post. I was so angry when I wrote that but looking back at it now, it does make me smile. LOL. You're great for my self-belief ... thank you. ;-)

  8. Oh poor you. Still I always think if nothing goes wrong you have no stories to tell, so in that respect you had a great holiday. The drawings you did are great, well done in doing some under trying circumstances.

  9. Thanks Sue. You're right that things going wrong make for better stories. I could write more about those few hours in the train than I could about the rest of the week. It makes me chuckle just to think about the discussion over whether or not the toilet should be used when the train wasn't moving. A memorable day indeed.