Witches' Knickers and Knickerless Witches - sketch 1

Progress interrupted by Witches Knickers!

Yesterday somebody told me the about “Witches’ Knickers”… a wonderful term for plastic bags caught in teees and bushes. It appears to be Irish in origin, and, living as I do in pretty unspoilt, knickerless rural Somerset, it’s not greatly fitting into my scheme of a “Westcountry Bestiary”. Still, I am not really convinced about my Silver Street drawings of my previous post, and now I am throughly distracted by drawing witches’ knickers… and knickerless witches. I think the idea might fly. The first three drawings also vaguely conform to the very witchy tripple-goddess Hecate as maiden, mother and crone….

Silver Street scribble 2

Every Street has a Silver Lining

Is it only me who has a bit of a thing over the name ‘Silver Street’? Ever since we moved to Somerset I have been noticing them. Actually I know it’s not just me, I cam across a rather exhaustive essay on the possible derivations of the name, several possibilities including Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian names, no conclusions were drawn. One website for South Petherton claims the origin of its street name was because there was a mint situated on the street, but that in no way explains the other 36 Silver Streets in my Somerset Atlas. The author Lindsey Davis…

Flying Pig 2

How Pigs Fly

‘If pigs could fly’ is of course the standard declaration of scepticism, however in my quest to document some of our local Somerset magical creatures, it has come to my attention that the little village of High Ham, a mere 3 miles from here as the pig flies, cannot have got its name for no reason. This being the case, how is it that we refuse to believe that pigs can fly? The confusion may lie in a misunderstanding of pigs’ wings, always shown in fanciful drawings as exactly like birds’ wings, stuck on a pig. This is of course…

Sketch: Pollarded dryads

Pollarded Dryads, and the Secret to Eternal Youth

How many limbs would you sacrifice for eternal youth? None? not even a few fingers, some little toes? Very wise, this only works with trees, but I bet some out there would be prepared to donate a digit or two… I am pondering some of our local Westcountry creatures – the ones you don’t usually see. The rhyne mermaids, ditch dragons, hedge trolls – more investigation is needed. However, one collection of creatures that I am sure are out there are the Pollarded Dryads. Dryads of course are tree spirits. And willows, like all trees, must have their dryads –…

Cat-and-dead-rat sketch 3

Memento Mori

Not-so-cute cats (mostly). Do not fear, there are no dead cats in this post, but perhaps rat-owners might be advised to look away and to skip this one. Continuing with my little series of cat mezzotint prints, I felt it was important that I didn’t end up with a series entirely comprising nice cute cat pictures. Cats are lovely, but lets have the Compleat Cat. Therefore, I thought at the very least there should be the classic cat-washing-bum pose, and at lease one dead rat. We have chickens and where they live has become so badly undermined with rats we…

Thoughts on Winter - in pencil

Thoughts on Winter

These are a few very much work-in-progress (or even work-barely-started) sketches as I think on a picture for en exhibition entitled ‘Winter’. I wouldn’t have posted these so early, but if I don’t post something else soon, this blog is going to look as if all I do nowadays is Spelling Animals! (There are more of those to come…) I am thinking around naked winter twigs with just a few red berries hanging on after the leaves have gone and, because I like people-things, translating them into the idea of a gathering of Dryads. Stark black against a winter white…

The Pilkington Shield

Mock Heraldry

The Spelling Animals have been popping up with a nice frequency for commissions, but here’s a new idea. I was asked to do this by a friend: a mock heraldic shield as the image on a Kindle cover, as a present for the man who has everything (except for his own family crest!). Suddenly the phone I have been using for the Cat-of-the-Day sketches came into its own, because all that was needed was a .jpg file, not an original painting on actual paper. So I had a go. This had to be done almost instantly, so it has a…

The Spelling Animals do 'Kate'

The Spelling Animals: ‘Kate’ in cats

Happened upon this drawing yesterday, which never made it onto the blog at the time of creation on account of being a surprise present. I have since discovered the letter ‘t’ can be achieved with a single cat, but the cats like a variation in their tasks anyway, so letters are not always spelled the same way. I liked the ‘K’ in this one, it reminds me of how cats are frequently cuddly and nice to each other, shortly before a game of ‘oh did I accidentally bite you?’ commences… The Spelling Animals will spell any name for money, see…

Drypoint Print: The Tor at Night

The beginning of 2015…

Time and tide wait for no man… nor for a busy woman who has yet to start on next year’s calendar. So here we are, I have begun the 2015 calendar. In fact I have rather more than begun it, I have been working on it since the start of the year and I have a sketch for every month now, and two images printed, but all in good time: the blog has suffered while I have been busy and I have some catching up to do. Next year’s calendar will be “Twelve Views of the Tor”… Glastonbury Tor of…

Life Drawing 16/10/13 h

Naked people in Pawlett…

Spent yesterday life-drawing… Even though I can hardly ever get to the life drawing classes, I still seem to have quite a few drawings around now. Occasionally I frame up a collection of them, but have a lot of framed stuff at the moment. So as an experiment, I have just spent some time putting these up for sale on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/nancyfarmer?section_id=5955658 They are all in pencil, and except for the sketch above they also have a little tone added in pastel, applied on a cotton bud. This, to date, is the best medium I have found that will just…