Monday, 23rd May 2005, Norfolk

navigation bar
navigation bar


Chapel Yard
People Tree shop from the café in Chapel Yard

roofWith 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' and 'HB'.


grades of pencilI 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.

Mars micro pencil

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.

coffee mill'That won't be a problem,' she's saying to her friend, 'when I get out there I can live on fruit.' Next Page

Window in Byfords (veg.lasagne for lunch)

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk

navigation bar
navigation bar