Archives for posts with tag: cycling

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I recently fulfilled a minor ambition which was to go cycling with everything we needed. Over five days we cycled from Ilfracombe to Plymouth which is 100 miles mostly on disused railway lines and quiet Devon lanes. There was something satisfying about taking the bare essentials packed into one set of panniers and two backpacks and taking off on our bikes.

Because we were cycling slowly through the countryside, we watched the land change from seaside to forests to moors and back to the sea again. I loved taking photos of the scenes and textures although my only frustration is that we were travelling so light, the only camera I had was an i-Phone. I especially enjoyed taking photos of the flags and delightful details at Yarde Orchard. We stayed in a yurt there and with its wood burning stove and bunk beds, it looked just like a little hobbit home.

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We have recently returned from a glorious week in Cornwall. It is definitely one of my favourite places with rocky coasts, dramatic scenery, pebbles, sea and quirky shops. This week my mum joined us for a few days at the cottage Mill Farm and created some artworks with my two daughters Izzie (age 8) and Hattie (age 5). I am so impressed with the results and can’t wait to frame them to remember our holiday. Below is my mum’s artistic story from her blog – www.limetreesstudio.com

15-03-14- Izzy & Hattie painting72jpg15-03-14- Izzy's painting4-72 15-03-14- Hattie's painting2-7215-03-14- Hattie painting2-72 Lin Kerr: I arrived for the long weekend in Cornwall with two sheets of sturdy paper which had been rollered with gesso. 2-3 layers on the front and 2 on the back is ideal. Izzy helped gesso them and this gave her some enthusiasm for the idea of painting the cottage before we left. The sheets are masking-taped to boards and acrylics are at hand.

First we talked about all the details, counted the windows, kept running up to look behind the wall etc. Then they were each given a waterproof marker and began to draw. I left them alone for this although now and again we chatted about what we could see. Hattie asked me to draw the lock on the green door on the far right.
We used really diluted acrylic for the roof and wall. (I mixed all the colours as it wasn’t practical to let them loose with my artist quality acrylics.)

15-03-14- Izzy's painting3-72The girls cut up a gardening magazine for the grass and flowers. Izzy insisted on no flowers. We discovered that if you glue sideways with the PVA against the grain it gets wrinkled. I painted more glue over all the magazine bits to waterproof them. That evening I stuck masking tape over all the windows and doors and around the house for the next stage. I used my scalpel and the paper is so strong that you can cut and peel off the excess masking tape in situ.
15-03-14- Izzy's painting2stage 3-72We added some salt and a touch of colour to the white and painted the walls, going over the marking tape edges. We carefully peeled the masking tape off together. Then the girls helped mask the roof and edges to paint the sky. The sky was done with a cut-off bit of kitchen sponge with very watery acrylic. Dabbing it with kitchen roll created clouds. Izzy needed to add a bit of hedge on the left. We did the paintings in stages over three days.
15-03-14- Izzy's painting1-7215-03-14- Hattie's painting1-72Hattie added the yellow lichen to the roof and painted the doors green.

Some thoughts about children’s art:

  • A lot of the ‘teaching’ is talking about the subject and observing details, differences in colour etc.
  • The other major aspect is providing fabulous materials and interesting techniques as the work progresses.
  • I always start with drawing using a tool that can’t be erased. Then they just have to get on with it and can’t rub out, ending up with a sad child, and a grubby, otherwise blank sheet with a hole in it!
  • It’s important to snatch it away before it gets overworked (in the nicest possible way of course).
  • Artwork can also be made to look beautiful by taking care and being creative with the display, or by framing it at home.
  • Children really respond to having their work appreciated.

bluebellOn Saturday mornings I go cycling with a few friends in our local hills – nothing too strenuous and not so fast that we can’t chat – but it is so invigorating. Getting out in the morning away from the children and seeing skies and glorious views invigorates and inspires mes. I love our cycle rides so much and I have just discovered a whole new route. My friends have often spoken about the ‘Bluebell Woods’ which sounds mysterious in itself (or something out of Enid Blyton) but it is at the top of a particularly steep hill. However seeing it is May, we decided to explore it and the deep blues against sparkling greens with hints of caustic yellow oil seed rape in the background was food for the soul.bluebell2

When I read the new topic, my heart sunk – how would I get an exciting photo? But then I realised that what may seem mundane to me will be extraordinary to someone on the other side of the world. So here is the photo taken today that represents everyday life for me.

I feel so privileged to live in the countryside and daily be able to cycle my children half a mile across the fields to school. Many of my neighbours cycle their children too and the furlong is abuzz with bikes as we beetle along. We are a hardy bunch and children from the age of three are cycling confidently without stabilisers.

I love my walk and enjoy the changing seasons so much that for one year I captured the essence of each month and recorded my daily journey to school. I designed it as a book consisting of photos, recipes and emotions that make the months unique. It is a short walk but a rich and rewarding journey. You can read more about this project by going to the category ‘Seasons Journal’ (at the bottom of this blog) or by clicking this link.Weekly Photo challenge: Each week WordPress provides a new photographic theme for creative inspiration. We take photographs based on our interpretation of the theme, and post them on our blogs anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme is announced.