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Nancy Farmer 2019 Swimming calendar

2019 calendars are here!

Nancy Farmer 2019 Swimming calendar

Nancy Farmer 2019 Swimming calendar

“Getting into Cold Water”
a calendar for 2019 with illustrations by Nancy Farmer

I wanted to let you know that I have 2019 calendars for sale. In truth I’ve been waiting patiently for a while to tell you this, so you may have seen that I have snuck them up in my etsy shop some while ago… But I always think that people don’t want to be reminded that the year is ending too early. So I hope you’ve had a good year so far, and there is still plenty of it to go. The water is getting colder though, at least where I live, so you may appreciate a glimpse of the new, appropriately named calendar.
you can buy them here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/waterdrawnart
As usual it features 12 new drawings which I’ve done over the course of the past year, with appropriate captions of course. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed drawing the pictures!

2019 Calendar - a few pages

2019 Calendar – a few pages

learning to sail

Learning to sale – a commission

A commission I finished a while ago – this is Jeremy Storr’s father learning to sail. He was the only one in the class, so he had all his lessons in the boat! I wanted to show his face – I had a photo where he had a lovely smile – but I thought it would be a shame if you didn’t see the whole boat, so he and his instructor are in the foreground, and at the same time sailing past in the background. Art is useful like that…

learning to sail

Digital drawing – “Learning to Sail”

Winter Sun - watercolour and metal leaf by Nancy Farmer

Winter Sun

As the lake temperature plummets, it seems appropriate that I am adding this painting to the blog. This is one I finished a couple of months ago, back when a brisk swim in 3 degrees was a distant thing, but this is Row Clarke getting out of Clevedon Marine Lake last January, and it was indeed that cold, but gloriously sunny.

Everything that is not water is painted in watercolour (ironically) in a mix of pigments that looks like black but in fact is a transparent magenta, yellow and blue, which is more interesting for being not quite black and having subtle shades in it, and nicer to paint with. And all the water is done in a mix of aluminium, gold and palladium leaf. The first photo is taken with very flat lighting that shows the painting at its best overall, but a couple of images below this are snaps I took in different lighting, which show the effect of the metal leaf and the way the picture changes when half of it is metallic and half not.

Winter Sun - watercolour and metal leaf by Nancy Farmer

Winter Sun – Row emerging from Clevedon Marine Lake – watercolour and metal leaf by Nancy Farmer

Water done in metal leaf

Water done in metal leaf

Metal leaf - same picture, different lighting

Metal leaf – same picture, different lighting

source photo for Winter Sun

source photo for Winter Sun

Two-colour sea monster hat in Clevedon Marine Lake

New swimming hats for sale

Two-colour sea monster hat in Clevedon Marine Lake

Two-colour sea monster hat in Clevedon Marine Lake

Apologies for not featuring these on the blog before! Anyone who stalks me on Facebook will have already seen these but I’ve not properly updated here yet.

Where to buy the hats? You can see, and buy, the hats I currently have in the Swimming Hats section of my Etsy shop.

If that’s all you were looking for, read no further, follow the links! The rest is mostly pretty pictures. I am very pleased with this new one – one of my two-colour Sea Monsters hats – a twist on last year. I can be very particular about colours, as you might expect from an artist, and I wanted a really nicely balanced colour combination. I mixed an orange and turquoise from my watercolour paints, put them in the post and sent them to the lovely hat-printing people Swimhatco.com, who carefully matched my samples. Turquoise in particular does not print true from a computer screen, so this was the only way to do it. I was delighted that they got them just like my samples.

Matching the Sea Monster paint samples

Matching the Sea Monster paint samples

Then I got into Clevedon Marine Lake last Wednesday with a camera and a hat on my head. It was a lovely morning. It was Brass Monkeys in the water mind you, at only 5.5 degrees, so I’m pretty pleased with the selfies considering everything. No, the water is not always this clear in Clevedon Marine Lake, but in the Autumn in particular it can be, once the silt has had a chance to settle.

Sea Monsters rising

Sea Monsters rising…

Still the Marine Lake - yes, that see through water is a little unusual

Still the Marine Lake – yes, that see through water is a little unusual!

I’ve also had some plain purple sea monsters printed, and the Swimflakes return for a 3rd year….

Purple Sea Monsters

Purple Sea Monsters

New Swimflake hats

New Swimflake hats

And one last new addition to the hats – I have more Clevedon Pier hats too, in some colours that have never existed before…

New Clevedon Hats

New Clevedon Hats

Aaaand I want to show you just one more pretty picture, because I still have a few of these mermaid hats. Many thanks to Pat Goding and Jeanine Lehmann Palmieri for this photo:

Pat Goding by Jeanine Lehmann Palmieri

Pat Goding by Jeanine Lehmann Palmieri

 

White Horses in the Bristol Channel, said Radio 3

White Horses in the Bristol Channel, said Radio 3

White Horses in the Bristol Channel, said Radio 3

White Horses in the Bristol Channel, said Radio 3 – pencil drawing with digitally added colour

Friday. The morning, following so many beautiful dawns this week, dawned wet and windy. However, driving up the M5 to Clevedon I was still surprised to be informed by Radio 3 that there were white horses in the Bristol Channel*. This oldly specific announcement, out of character for a for a national radio station whose main qualities are its eighteenth century selections and lack of current affairs, was disconcerting. This wasn’t even a news bulletin, merely a comment about the state of the Bristol Channel. They explained, as if this explained anything, that they were watching the web cam at Watchet. Then they played Beethoven.

So it was in a slightly surreal and thoughtful mood that I stood taking photographs on the sea front. There were indeed (modest) white horses, there was also a spring tide and much splooshing of water up onto the walkway below the sea wall. And I was the only one there. I even wondered, if I continued to be the only one there, would I go in anyway?

This is Clevedon. There has to be more than little white horses to deter everybody. I pattered along to the big cave and found two of the regulars eyeing the sea speculatively. In the end we were four, and of course we swam. And as the sun rose above Clevedon Hill – in the instant that my camera battery died – and despite the dire warnings of Radio 3, it turned out lovely!

*White horses: I had to explain this to a friend, so in case anyone else is confused – the white caps on the top of waves. Other than actually breaking on the shore I think this begins to happen (sailing friends will correct me) at about a force 5 wind.

If you like my drawings you might like to know that I now have calendars for 2019 for sale in my etsy shop: www.waterdrawnart.etsy.com.

Clevedon Pier: now you see it, now you don't

Clevedon Pier: now you see it, now you don’t

Swim Serpentine, 22nd September 2018

Swim Serpentine, 22nd September, 2018

…or, how to draw an elephant in the room without making a fuss.

It loomed: vastly, hugely, enormously: The 20 metre high, ¬† monster sculpture of 7000+ barrels, painted bright pink, red and blue, (in case a 20 metre high floating sculpture wasn’t already sufficiently visible already in the middle of the Serpentine). The work of artist Christo was precisely what I had not come here to depict.

The Swim Serpentine event was a lovely bunch of swimmers – nearly as many as the barrels – swimming their way around the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London, supported by a very hard working group of organizers, volunteers, lifeguards… that is what I had come to draw. The swimmers are centre stage but if you peer behind them you can see the yellow T-shirted lifeguards on hand to assist wobbly swimmers getting out. They were much appreciated.

And I have to hand it to the sculpture, it marks this event as this location, in this year. It drizzled for the afternoon so I battled the sculpture with a big yellow imaginary umbrella. I think the umbrella won. Useful things, umbrellas, especially imaginary ones.

(prints available from my etsy shop: www.waterdrawnart.etsy.com)

Swim Serpentine, 22nd September 2018

Swim Serpentine, 22nd September 2018

Swim Serpentine, detail of lifeguards

Swim Serpentine, detail of lifeguards

Swim Serpentine - details of swimmers starting and finishing

Swim Serpentine – details of swimmers starting and finishing

Clevedon Marine Lake on a very high tide

First check your Tide Tables…

Last week there was a high spring tide. We would have known, had we actually looked¬† in the tide tables that we both have, which might have been sensible especially with Lucy’s balance just nearly restored. But we hadn’t, and for a while we swam in a hypothetical Clevedon Marine lake, or rather, we swam a couple of feet above the lake, until normality was restored.

NEW: If you like my drawings, you might like to know I’ve just put next year’s calendars up in my Etsy shop – more on this in the next post….

Clevedon Marine Lake on a very high tide

Clevedon Marine Lake on a very high tide