Tag Archives: Clevedon Marine Lake

Digital Drawing by Nancy Farmer: "A Lake That Was Wetter Than Usual"

A Lake That Was Wetter Than Usual

To get to Clevedon I drive North on the M5, Lucy drives South, which can sometimes give one or other of us the uncanny ability to predict the immanent arrival of Weather. Lucy wonders if she should take her dryrobe. I already have mine on, the sudden biblical shower-burst south of Clevedon having only barely stopped short of raining frogs.
Like the pros we are, we naturally proceed to stand there doing nothing but talking, catching up on the last fortnight until it is well and truly coming down in buckets. We spend some time admiring the transformation of our surroundings from distinct regions of concrete and lake to a single uniform surface of hammered water.
And then we decide to change.
Lucy demonstrates the orthodox use of the Dryrobe, while I go for the more freestyle method of holding on with face and elbows. The Dryrobe is a fine thing in so many ways, but I can never be bothered with the actual zip.
It goes without saying it was lovely once we were in; I shall say it anyway.

Digital Drawing by Nancy Farmer: "A Lake That Was Wetter Than Usual"

Digital Drawing by Nancy Farmer: “A Lake That Was Wetter Than Usual”

The real training plan!

The Training Plan

This drawing is out of season, sorry, it should have appeared in November!
I am currently compiling next year’s calendar (add yourself to my email list – link in the menu – if you want to be amongst the first to know when it’s ready)… and I found that this one from last year had never got onto my blog. So, I’m adding it now, having just spent some tedious minutes scrolling through a lot of Facebook to find the text I wrote for it…

“The Training Plan”
The temperature is dropping, triathletes have retreated to the indoor pool to keep up their training, but some have notched up the effort and refuse to go indoors, wacking out training routines in rapidly cooling water. Welcome to the winter swimming season, when all normal human behaviour is turned on its head, and people who swim for fun all summer get competitive under conditions that would make professionals shudder.
To be fair, Lucy is competing against herself and nobody else, but with awesome dedication. Under these conditions a training plan typed neatly and laminated and propped up at the end of the pool isn’t going to cut it. The pool is a lake, the water is about 5 degrees and she ain’t faffing!
(at least, no more than is strictly necessary…..)

The Training Plan

The Training Plan

The text used in this drawing was Lucy’s actual training plan, extracted from a photo of her arm!

The real training plan!

The real training plan!

Lake Mural by Nancy Farmer

Nature catching up with Art!

Lake Mural by Nancy Farmer

Lake Mural by Nancy Farmer. Photo Joanna Richardson

This isn’t new artwork I just wanted to post this photo, courtesy of Joanna Richardson. This is a panel I designed for Marlens (the charity which maintains the Marine Lake at Clevedon), one of three printed onto tiles and installed at the lake. Usually it’s not underwater, but on Friday it was a very, very high tide. And below is me on a different day, next to it, just for reference!

Me and the Mural!

Me and the Mural! Photo Mary Stanley-duke  (I think!)

The difference between Girls and Boys

The difference between Girls & Boys

I’m an artist: I’m not obliged to be politically correct, or even accurate, but there is a difference between girls and boys when it comes to cold water swimming. There is one thing that girls are so much better at. Faffing.

People ask me why there aren’t many pictures of men in my paintings, there aren’t actually many of the male persuasion in our group, it is true, but another of the reasons for it is they simply aren’t there. We’ve no sooner arrived at our lake, said hello, caught up on the week, the weather, measured the temperature of the water, discussed the possibility of wearing gloves or not wearing gloves, admired a new bobble hat or two, a bikini, somebody’s homemade cake, repeated the water temperature to newcomers, compared the readings on a couple of auxiliary thermometers, discussed the water temperature with those leaving the vicinity and shared a couple of hilarious stories about pants…. and we look up and find that the boys have just got in and started swimming! There they are, half way to the other side of the lake. And we have so far succeeded in removing our bobble hats and locating our cossies. If we are organized.

So now you know. One thing boys aren’t very good at.

This is  Chris on the steps and Andy, already swimming. Andy was last year’s oldest person to swim the English Channel, solo, and he probably didn’t stop to swap stories about pants even then.

The difference between Girls and Boys

The difference between Girls and Boys

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

 

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