caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

Hare, Moth, Candle

hare, moths,candle

The scans for The Midnight Hare have been sent over the Internet to the printer, I shall now have to wait until they have a space to do the proofs. I have over-run considerably the time I originally projected having the scans ready, so now need to fit in with the schedule of the printers. When I have the proofs I shall decide on an official publication day. I have now set myself to tidy my workroom, and my studio, which are in chaos, and look forward to the next batch of work. The small town of Coldstream has been deprived of bread, milk, paper, post and buses, let alone fresh fruit and vegetables, for nearly a week, but nothing like as bad as Alston, where I was once going to live, which has been cut off for five days and has had supplies dropped from a Chinook. I have a fibreglass hare outside my studio, and for days all I could see were the tips of his ears. Gradually he appeared, and the iris that was coming up so early is still flowering, despite being buried under snow for days.

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Midnight Hare: A Boy Called Milo…

A Boy Called Milo

February 21, 2016 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Four Stages of a Painting: Fly-By-Night

fly-by-night 2Fly-By-Night, painting in acrylic, neocolor II and conte, to be shown at The Coldstream Gallery in an exhibition entitled “Imagine”.

October 3, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Fly-By-Night

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October 3, 2014 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

Old Telephone Box With Message

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Telephone Box long out of use. “No Cash, No Problem”. This has not been my experience of life as a whole.

May 31, 2014 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hare Country

Hare Country

Hare Country

This is a painting that is going into an exhibition in Eyemouth that is opening on Thursday,  called “Telling Tales”, so most of the pictures I have put in are framed illustrations for children’s books.  However, I am also a showing a few paintings that stand alone.  This hare is drawn in charcoal and some crayon over an original painting that I took against.

This is the original painting:

The countryside is based on a real place, of which I have taken many photographs, but doesn’t really summon it up.  And the hares themselves, in their small sepia circles, didn’t really inhabit the picture.  Also I disliked the blue blankness of the sky, and the rounded shapes.  Anyway, at the beginning I must have felt Ok about it, but this changed. I had put some oil pastel over the top to try and jazz it up, but it didn’t help at all.  Eventually I took off the oil pastel with turpentine, then drew a hare over the top with charcoal.  I have fixed the charcoal with some nice, expensive Winsor & Newton spray that I ordered specially over the internet.  I suppose that, having done illustration for a long time, and having usually followed the rule of “make sure you rub out the pencil lines” (probably a very old rule that has fallen into dis-use anyway) I thought if I was painting I ought to get rid of the charcoal.

Well, why?

So now, I am leaving some charcol drawing in the painting I am doing; and this hare is just charcoal over the landscape, so the landscape is seen through the hare.

It is much nearer the feeling that I wanted for the original painting.  I didn’t think of the hare at the beginning, I just got rid of the sky with a lot of naples yellow mixed with other colours, so it looked like rain had overtaken the scene (naples yellow rain, but why not?). Then the hare appeared, very fast, and I decided to leave the thing as it is  – unless I make the back legs a tad more muscular, which come to think of it….

July 27, 2013 Posted by | Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Little Path of Flowers

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I was told that at the top of the path that runs from Lennel up to the little cemetary there was an abundance of wild flowers, and since I am on the trail of this abundance this year especially, I took the  walk through the lower wood, across the steep lane, then into the far wood, where in the spring the rooks have their nest in the trees by the river, and make the most stupendous noise.  Today there are only a few desultory caw-caws. The path winds upward quite steeply and comes out beyond the trees, there is a clear spot where you can look down on to the Tweed, and there is the trail of the small path almost vanishing beneath the flowers (I dont think many people can walk this way):

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I don’t know how long this lusciousness of wild flowers will last.  I have noticed that at this time of year the paths are strimmed, so that whilst there is a lining of plants, this lush delicate growth is cut back to the margins.  Of course, if the land was left untended, then nettles and docks and sorrel would take over, as has taken place just beyond the river on the other side of Coldstream Bridge, in Another Country.

I have been trying this year to capture these fleeting moments while I can.  I have also taken pictures of individual plants, so that later in the year I can go through my photographs and recognise the individual species, so as to try and emulate, over a couple of years, the more than 150 different species I had written down as having seen when I must have been about ten years old.  I can’t remember going out looking at flowers at all: if it wasn’t for a list at the back of a book I would hardly, consciously, recall this search at all, though I know it was my grandfather who took me out on Chailey Common in Sussex when I was very young, looking all round, and especially keeping an eye open for autumn gentians, that used to grow there – maybe still do.

I stopped by this bench, with its touching inscription:

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And looked down over the Tweed, and the fields beyond, with the young wheat growing:

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If I sit on the bench where Esme loved to sit I would have problems seeing the water, as the foliage is so dense.  But it would be a lovely spot to sit anyway.  I continue up the path, looking at the flowers on the way:

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Until I come to the cemetary at the top of the path:

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It is very peaceful up here. Some of the gravestones are too sad to photograph, so I took a picture of one celebrating the life of a couple who seemed to have had long lives, for their time, and a handsome gravestone to commemorate it, deep within the long grass:

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And on the way back down the high road, to end on a cheerful note, I see this rose in the hedgerow, starting to fade at the edges here and there, as roses do, but a splash of lovely colour amid the green:

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June 26, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Walking the Oxenrig Path

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It is a long time since I walked up over Oxenrig, which is where I go when I want to feel far away from roads and houses.  Later in the summer, walking up there, one sees hawks and hares, though this time there was little sign of wildlife. except for wood pigeons, which are ubiquitous. Noisy-winged birds,  I can even recognise the sound they make when disturbed, invisible, in a thicket of trees..  Instead of acres of wheat there is a lot of rape crop planted this year.  But the feeling of walking over the hills and far away is still there.

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A chaffinch on a treetop tweeted me up the road, where looking back I saw my husband walking along another route.  I wish I had taken a photograph of him rather than the chaffinch.  He is dressed for walking, in his gear and straw hat, and thinks I am taking a photograph of him. He looks like a French Impressionist out on the prowl for subject matter. He goes down one road, and I go up the hills, past the first poppy of the summer that I have seen, through the piles of stone, and out on to the path, taking a look sideways at the array of yellows, and the gate to the field:

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 Then on up the path. At the top of the hill I look back towards the farm, which no longer is the egg farm, but is still being used, I  heard activity in the sheds as I was passing, and there is a strangely old-fashioned tractor there, like something out of a fifties farm set, rather than the machines like small houses that thunder slowly along the roads round here.

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The road goes up and down, up and down, it is good for the respiration, I don’t notice that I have any asthma at all, inspite of the hills and the rape fields, possibly because it is so peaceful up here, and I am going at my own pace.

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At the bottom of a hill is this rather sinister-looking enclave, where they raise chicks, or maybe where they did raise chicks, I don’t know whether this is chick chicks or other chicks, anyway, I did see a hawk scything through their at low level last year, obviously on the qui vive. Everything is open now and looks a bit derelict, the pine trees make for dead ground cover, it is a bit of a Mr Todd kind of a place.

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So it is nice to see a healthy-looking bee among the plants outside:

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The path goes up and down, up and down, past the pylons which I have always found exciting, even when I was a child:

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Past the stream strengthened with stones caged in wire, this stream I couldn’t cross last summer further down the fields, as I was trying to find a short cut back to the town. Here it is almost dry, and looks more sinister than it is, as I am photographing facing the sun:

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I have walked quite a few miles now, there is no going back the way I came, so at each hill I look forwards to try and spy the gate at the end of the path. There is a small sheltered woody area, and then the path opens out, and there is the gate leading back on to the road, only a small road, which will eventually lead back on to the main Duns road, which will eventually lead me back to Coldstream, stepping into the verge when cars go by at a furious pace. There’s still some way to go:

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On the small road, the buttercups line the roadside, and I walk along the unfamiliar route (I usually turn back and retrace my steps) I am still taking pictures of the roadside as I go:

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And  I say hello to the same stream I saw, in its different guise, on the Oxenrig path, as it now crosses under the main highway . I am nearly home.

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June 19, 2013 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Windows in Old Houses

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The Oval Window

The oval window looks out right along the garden, which is only just beginning to flourish, in this cold Spring that has lasted deep into April.  Snow is forecast for June.  In the meantime, from the outside the oval window shines blue with reflected sky.

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The Oval Window from the Terrace

New windows in an old place hold many memories:

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Looking out on the Wall

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The Picture

TThe dog does like to bark fiercely at passing (safely faraway) dogs, so a barrier is put up:

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The Bark-Preventer

This is taken away when company arrives:

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Nothing to Bark At

The morning is bright behind the nets:

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Morning Window

Later the windows look out over the setting sun:

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Evening

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Meanwhile the little wren still sits tucked into the window square:

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The Wren

And the gnu still rests its head, beside the metal violin:

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The Gnu

And just occasionally, even during this cold Spring, the sun does shine through the old windows:

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Shadows

April 10, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

   

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