In the eight months since then, I think I myself have travelled further down my personal path as a sketcher. This is the drawing I made that day in early spring, done in the little side room that the staff give to groups:
and below is the drawing I made yesterday, done in the main café itself. I left the pens in my pencil case and took my 3B pencil for a meandering walk around the lines of these old ladies' forms. I know it doesn't have the same "pow!" as a drawing rendered in ink, but it felt really good to not have to think about mistakes (even though I didn't remove any lines). It was the fact that I knew I could have removed lines that made the difference.
The tearoom is a great place. The food is seasonal, really excellent, cooked with care by the tall, patrician Claire and her staff, and the atmosphere is always just right. The staff will accommodate you if you're in a group - memoir-writing class, sketching class, they don't mind - and they don't charge you a penny more than you spend on your tea and coffee (and maybe a nice slice of cake). Other venues will charge the teacher €25 for an hour, to cover electricity and things, but perhaps in Claire's they have confidence that you'll succumb to their goodies. (They're usually right.)
Whatever the reason, there are always lots of punters in Claire's. These two ladies looked so comfortable at their table against the wall, a glass of red for the lady on the left, a glass of white for her friend. They chinked their glasses as they drank a toast to something.
Meanwhile I've been inspired by some of the lovely seasonal sketches posted by other urban sketchers over the last few weeks, and I'm surrounded by glorious autumnal scenery. I don't know when the trees have been so colourful - I think it's something to do with the dry summer. I struggle with painting things without lots of definition: I can do indistinct distant things, and big, bold close things, but the middle distance gives me trouble. At the same time, I've been taunted by the beauty around at the moment and I've been dying to try to capture it. Yesterday I ventured out into the wind and sunshine to try again.
It's the combination of puddles reflecting telegraph poles, the bright sunlight, and all those orange, yellow and brown crispy leaves blowing about, that gets me going. I have unfinished business with puddles and I mean to draw more.
I'm trying to stick with my own rule about drawing - getting each point in the correct place relative to its neighbour. That doesn't work for leaves, really, so I just scribble like mad instead. Doesn't really work either. At least I was okay with the car - there were myriad little points that told me where each next one should be.
This is the road that leads down to Killeenaran Quay, which I've talked about on this forum many times. There are two horses in the field to the right of the car, and they are quite sweet, sticking their noses over the wall, curious about my activity (it was too boring for them, so they went). Two of the horses in the field are really close, forever nuzzling each other and grooming each other, but seem wary of anyone else. I'll draw them.
I was nearly blown away but I had 7 layers on, as well as two hats, and I beat the cold (apart from my fingers, as usual).