Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Frensham Pond - Sept 2013 (and autumn colours)

I think I can cancel my order for an iron lung - woke up this morning and, apart from still being bunged up, I'm actually starting to feel a bit more human.  I actually got up at 6.15am and joined The Lovely Husband at breakfast as I felt wide awake enough to do so.  The last week I've slept in until about 9am because I've been bone-tired but today I wanted to get out of bed.  The coughing seems a lot better too, so I think, all in all, I'm probably going to survive!

This means I can finally start thinking about getting on with stuff I've had to put on the back burner although seeing as how it's chucking it down outside, I don't think it'll be doing stuff in the garden OR getting my running shoes back on (I'll have to be careful with that and take it slowly and short distances to start with so as not to alarm my lungs too much!).

Talking of the garden, though, the autumn colours are going into overdrive, and I must just show you a few photographs that I took from my garden this week while standing on the bridge to get a breath of fresh air.  I'm extremely fond of Japanese Maples and have one at the end of the bridge which goes the most extraordinary orange colour, which it suddenly did earlier this week:

Isn't that just the most gorgeous thing?  It's a lovely plant - the leaves are very finely cut and lacy, and a lovely pale green in the spring, darker green in the summer and then this riotous firework in the autumn.  I have a red Acer as well but that hasn't turned yet.

Then I wandered a bit further into the garden and realised that the blueberry plants that I had brought back from the allotment have also turned vivid red:

Beautiful.  They didn't give me much fruit this year (unlike last year) but when they look so gorgeous in the autumn, I'll forgive them.

And finally I have a Boston Ivy that I weave through the upright struts of the bridge to provide colour at this time of year:
Anyway, it'll be interesting to see how the woodlands have changed colour when I manage to get back into running again.

So, back to the drawing - not too far from where I live is an area of 992 acres of heathland owned by the National Trust called Frensham Pond(s).  There's a Great Pond and a Little Pond.  Originally dating from the 13th century when they were freshwater fishponds for the Bishops of Winchester, they're now wildlife habitats and areas for swimming and sailing.  There's also a sandy 'beach'.  The Great Pond is shallow and has a roped off swimming area, free parking during the week, showers, loos and a shop selling food, ice cream, buckets & spades, that sort of thing.  It's fab.

This summer's heatwave was drawing to a close by the beginning of September and on 4 September I decided I'd pop along to enjoy a lie on the sand and a swim in the pond, and to take my sketching pad along with me for some incognito life drawing.

I did a quickish sketch of the pond from where I was sitting, but left all the people out:

And then did some line sketches of my fellow sunbathers.  I had to work rapidly as these people weren't sitting still so I had to be quick to get the 'lines' right:

It was good practice but brought up an interesting quandary.  I posted this sketches on my Facebook page and one of my contacts immediately asked me if I had asked these peoples' permission to draw them.  Well, of course I hadn't.  Would I have asked permission of everyone there if I'd been taking photographs?  Of course not, that would be ridiculous.  Plus it's not exactly as if any of my drawings would be recognisable to anyone else.  The question made me feel really quite defensive and as if I was being told off but, then again, the questioner is pretty judgemental at the best of times and generally finds what I do 'amusing' so I'm trying not to let it bother me.  But it's quite an interesting moral dilemma.

It did make me think a bit and I did a bit of research on Google to see what the laws were, and there doesn't seem to be any - if you're in the public domain (i.e., outside), then you're fair game, but there were a lot of people who weren't happy with the thought of their photos being taken.  Other artists commented that only very rarely have they had a 'model' complain and insist they stop sketching; some 'models' ask to see the drawings and others ignore the artist but try and sit still.

Drawing people in public is not something I do a lot of but I don't think I should stop because someone else - not even someone I've drawn - disapproves....

PS.  It would appear maybe I spoke a bit too soon, as I now appear to be suffering Montezuma's Revenge.  No idea what's going on but possibly too many painkillers...

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