Monday, 1 June 2015

Reeds and wind

The gusts of wind played a part in creating this image
I've been down to the canal often enough now to almost guarantee I'll have a chat with someone before I get to work on the next drawing. I was strolling along the tow path earlier today and bumped into my new friend whose boat I had sketched the week before. He was busy chatting with someone else when I bowled up and I was soon drawn into the conversation. I remarked that I had fully expected him to have left on his travels by now which he agreed he would have done except for a technical hitch which would soon be put right.

I was wondering what might strike me as interesting and almost immediately spied this view above of reeds growing by the side of the canal. I found them very intriguing so decided to concentrate on them and ignore the boat that was moored behind them. I used Indian ink and dip pen again and managed to splatter my paper in an impressive sized blob that I decided to incorporate into the composition. I did this just as my other new friend, the car mechanic, strolled past with his boss's dog, Rizla on a lead. We had a brief chat and he told me the dog had taken himself off on a walk by himself earlier on in the day. He does this when he gets the opportunity but apparently he always finds his way back to the garage eventually.

I sat on my sketching stool and munched on a banana before I put pen to paper and while it was sunny it was also quite windy. The wind decided to get involved with the creation of this image and I quite enjoyed letting the watery ink travel in different directions by holding the paper vertical and letting the ink run. Last weekend I bought a small glass bottle from Muji with a diffuser attached. I don't know if it is meant to be a beauty aid but I filled it with water and enjoyed spraying a fine mist over parts of the paper and watching the ink react to it.

While I was letting the paper dry an elderly gent walked past using sticks to aid his progress. He stopped for a natter and told me that he'd had one hip replacement operation which had been a great success but now needed another one on his other hip. He told me he has in the past walked along a lot of the canal network when building materials were still being hauled around the country. He indicated, by pointing one of his sticks, to where Hackney Dogs Track used to be until they began developing 'that thing' meaning the Olympic Park. I've just read that it was called Hackney Wick Stadium and opened in 1932. It was mainly used for greyhound racing and motorcycle speedway. The company that owned it went out of business in 1997 having invested a lot of money in building a new stand and restaurant just a few years before.

What I found quite poignant was that this elderly gent became nostalgic about the times he used to walk the canals after they had become derelict, which lasted for many years, and he would get to see the birds fledge in spring which he said was lovely.

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