I am feeling in a bit of a quandary as part of me is loving the cold quiet season with its fabulous light and beautiful vistas of silhouetted trees and stark hedges, but I am also aware of the preoccupation of ‘what’s going on out there’ beyond my rural existence.

First things first – cleaning my art room:

I went for the most glorious walk in the winter sun this morning, finally getting a decent view of a fieldfare, as well as two female bullfinches. One thing I would like to improve is my ability to draw hedgerows and trees, so I have taken some reference photos in order to practise.

I’ve used willow charcoal, my Blackwing pencil, and my Parker pen to draw these. I enjoy charcoal as there is that sense of not quite being in control of the medium and you get great accidental marks; here, I twirled the broken end of the charcoal stick across the paper to make organic, spindly lines. I love the precision of pencil, and fountain pens are beautiful to use, whatever you are writing or drawing.

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