its art shop, bookshops and tea shops the small Georgian town of
Holt is the perfect place for us to amble about in holiday mood.
I've brought The Art of Botanical Painting with me, so
at the Picturecraft art store I stock up with hot-pressed
paper and a variety of harder grades of pencil, including 'F' which
I've never come across before. I think it's somewhere between 'H'
also invest in a clutch pencil, a Staedtler Mars micro
with 0.3 mm leads. These have the advantage that they never need
sharpening but whenever I've used clutch pencils in the past I've
found that the point gets damaged, probably due to the rough conditions
in my bag, and the pencil goes wobbly.
The hot pressed paper is so much smoother than the cartridge I
normally use and twice the thickness. It's good to have a change
every now and then, which is one of the reasons I'm intending to
follow through the exercises in Botanical Painting.
The Price of our Pleasures
As I sit in the bus shelter drawing the Market Place
(above) I enjoy hearing the Norfolk accents of the people
getting on and off the bus. A school girl sits on the bench beside
me with mobile phone and cigarette, talking with husky voice and
coughing every now and then. It's obviously a great pleasure for
her to come out of school and have a interval to herself with a
cigarette but I lost a friend to tobacco in quite painful circumstances
(a chain smoker, she assured me that the cigarettes had nothing
to do with her lung cancer). She should have been here now, being
creative, doing the garden, enjoying life.
We all pay a price for our pleasures but that seems too high to
me. But I resist the urge to say to the girl 'It's nothing to do
with me, but are you sure you know what you're doing to
yourself?' Because she obviously is an intelligent girl who does
know what she's doing and she's getting a lot of pleasure from it.
won't be a problem,' she's saying to her friend, 'when I get out
there I can live on fruit.'