Creeping Thistle


Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Monday, 15th October, 2007


THIS CREEPING THISTLE is growing from a crack by the wall. The spiky, empty seed-pods of a small weed of the mustard family stand beside it.

I try to do some writing as I wait for the car to be repaired at Bowett's in Hunslet, Leeds, but I prefer drawing in such situations as I'm more alert as to what is going on around me than I am when I'm writing. The thistle was in a corner of the forecourt, just a few feet from where I was sitting in the showroom. Like the dragonfly which I drew at the weekend, I find that the line seems rather stilted - self-conscious, perhaps - when I start the drawing in the top left but it somehow gets more relaxed and varied as I go along.

I keep Ruskin's advice in mind when I draw that 'any attempt at penmanship is bad'. I'd always rather do an honest drawing than achieve the fanciest of filigrees with my line but I do prefer the slightly more flowing line in the lower half of the drawing.