Author Archives: Nancy Farmer

About Nancy Farmer

Self-employed artist & year-round outdoor swimmer

Bude Sea Pool in the Summer - Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

An Unseasonal Bude

I’m not sure how it happened but this picture never made it onto my blog. It’s been on my Facebook page, because I donated it to the Friends of Bude Sea Pool to sell as prints (and also perhaps cards, t-shirts or whatever they want to use it for)… but somehow in the excitement it missed the blog.

If you’d like a print, which are lovely gallery-quality prints like my others, it is available from the Friends of Bude Sea Pool website: https://www.budeseapool.org/shop/ and available from the shop in the Summerleaze Car Park. Prints: £25, £35, £60 for print alone, mounted, or framed respectively.

So if you are longing for a glimpse of summer, this is the print for you!

Bude Sea Pool in the Summer - Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

Bude Sea Pool in the Summer – Digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

….the text is from this year’s calendar:

“Bude Sea Pool”
With the temperature in the high twenties and no air con in the car, Lucy and I drive down to Bude to visit the Sea Pool there. It’s a year in which we actually seem to be having Summer, and of course it’s too hot, because this is England, we are not used to this sort of weather and we weren’t expecting it.
Now we can watch the antics and faffing of the great British Public, who haven’t had the opportunity to practice their waterside faffing skills since last summer. Some jump straight in it’s so hot. But we are pros at this: there is much talking, there are local swimmers to meet, there is the history of the rescuing of Bude Sea Pool from threatened demolition: it takes us nearly an hour to get into the water. It’s so, so lovely once you’re in!

Polar Bear Plunge! 2019 at Bude Sea Pool

Welcome to the Silly Season

In truth the Silly Season has been going on since about December if you are a cold water swimmer. If you are not, you may well have considered it to be silly to swim outside since September, if not earlier. The actual swimming, however, is not the silly part. Welcome to the season of Winter Events, where wetsuits are often banned, but chicken costumes considered perfectly appropriate attire.
This is the Polar Bear Plunge! 2019, at Bude Sea Pool

Polar Bear Plunge! 2019 at Bude Sea Pool

Polar Bear Plunge! 2019 at Bude Sea Pool

(note: this is all one pic – since they updated the software and I updated the hardware I seem to have a load more pixels to play with, so I thought you might like to see some close-ups since I spent ages putting all this in….)

Close-up detail 1

Close-up detail – the chickens and the tiger

Close-up detail 2

Close-up detail – medals for everyone!

Close-up detail 3

Close-up detail – Lucy, Neptune and the unimpressed dog.

"How to get into a River" - digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

How to get into a River

"How to get into a River" - digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

“How to get into a River” – digital drawing by Nancy Farmer

*sploosh*
“oops… drops off suddenly here!”

…repeat until everyone is merrily splashing about in the river. In January. As you do.
And, before someone points it out: the trick of course is not in the getting in but in the making sure you have done so at a point where you can also get out again, because it would be a shame to miss the cake…

On Sunday the South West Seals swam with the Wiltshire Wild Swimmers at Tellisford Weir. I have somehow omitted the weir so there may be another drawing if I can find the time. Thank you Wiltshire Swimmers, it was a fabulous away day for the SW Seals and you are very welcome for a re-match on our home ground. Speaking personally: a gentle 10 minutes of swimming was followed by about 6 pieces of cake. We may need to get into some serious training for the re-match!
(I should add that they also cooked hot dogs on a fire, I’m just more a cake person and there’s only so much a girl can eat: one of everything was not physically possible…)

Row Clarke is centre stage here: her fabulous Deakin & Blue cossie teamed with an equally fabulous retro flowery swimming cap.

 

Ilminster Arts Centre poster

Prizewinners’ Exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre 2nd – 19th Jan 2019

Some months back I entered a couple of paintings into Ilminster Arts Centre’s Open Exhibition, and was delighted to win the exhibition first prize. So I’m now also pleased also to be able to tell you that several of my swimmer paintings are back in the Arts Centre now  – they are part of the Prizewinners Exhibition – an exhibition of work from the several artists who won prizes at the Open Exhibition. And it so happens that Ilminster Arts Centre is my favourite place to have an exhibition in anyway – it’s a large airy hall, with a cafe and excellent cake at one end of the gallery. All run by very lovely people, and a lot of them volunteers. Pop in if you are nearby – here are the details:

Prizewinners’ Exhibition: 2nd – 19th January
At: Ilminster Arts Centre at the Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster, Somerset, TA19 0AN
Gallery Open: Mon-Fri 9.30am-4.30pm; Sat 9.30am-2.30pm.
Admission Free.
Please note the exhibition will close at 12noon on Sat 19 January

Ilminster Arts Centre poster

Ilminster Arts Centre poster

learning to sail

Learning to Sail – 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