Sketching on a Train

Sunday, 26th September 2004
Page 2
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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Wakefield town hall

It's easy enough when you're standing on the platform waiting for the train, you can spend your time drawing - and here on Wakefield station the tower of the town hall is an obvious subject - but what do you draw on the train?

Deciding against drawing my fellow passengers I turn my attention, as I always do, to the view from the window:

Wakefield town hall, Walton Colliery country park, a pipe at Doncaster station, buddleia and Potteric Carr nature reserve.

Poplar with white leaves has a spectral look to it, square-towered church south of Retford

I try to take a mental 'snapshot' of any farm animals or birds as we rush by on the train.

Station lamp, Grantham 10.35 a.m., the Jurassic ridge; creamy exposure of rock south of Grantham. A mosque at Peterborough.

Peterborough 10.19 a.m.

Coming down through the Chilterns. A passing pigeon.

poplarsMix and Match Landscapes

Last autumn on railway journeys to York and Scarborough I developed the idea of drawing composite trees. I'd see an old oak in a hedgerow, start drawing the twisting upper branches, look up again and draw the trunk of a second similar oak and then finish off the drawing with the branches of a third perhaps a mile further on from the first.

Sometimes the oaks got mixed up with sycamores, but at least I was looking.

You can see a birch (centre, left) that didn't get far on this page and a poplar that got a little further.
landscapeWhy not put a 'mix-and-match' landscape together in the same way? The train goes through bands of countryside which share a theme: fens, wooded hills, scarps and so on.

Cows, farm houses and straw bales get incorporated into landscapes a mile or more from their true locations when I'm using this method of constructing landscapes. Next Page

Richard Bell,

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