Tuesday at the canal
Last night’s informal time with some Urban Sketchers energized and motivated me to do some solitary landscape work. This morning I walked up Oxford Street toward the city center. After repeatedly passing over a tiny bridge adorned with lovers padlocks, I decided to investigate the rather diark, narrow canal that passes underneath the bridge. The Rochdale Canal that is 200 years old is part of the extensive English canal system that was used to transport goods and products over water throughout the Industrial Revolution before the advent of railroads. Many of the canals have been restored and are used today for pleasure, rather than commercial purposes. This morning it was a joy to sit on my sketching stool by the water for a little more than an hour while the city moved all around me. My Pisces sign was affirmed and I was strengthened by this water.
Eating on Day 4 in Manchester
In a big city, traveling solo does not have to feel lonely. Yesterday It afforded me luxury of time for errand-keeping, slow, deliberate walking and watching, and a little sketching. I have been collecting design patterns that are embedded everywhere in the “real” Victorian architecture that is the prevalent building style in Manchester. Like the day before, I made sketch notes of some of the more interesting patterns that attracted me as I moved about.
After a wonderful Lebanese roasted lamb dinner around the corner from the hotel, II joined some other Urban Sketchers at a old tavern called Peveril of the Peak that will provide an informal gathering place for some of us at the end of the day. There, I was happy to meet old friends and meet new ones.
Forty-eight hours ago I arrived at the Manchester Airport where I collected my luggage that had survived the three-flight trip from Tampa. With the help of two friendly locals, I negotiated the train trip from the airport to the Oxford Street station in Manchester and then the ten minute walk to my hotel. I spent Saturday, Day 1, adjusting to my new home for this week; although I made time at night to sketch over dinner at a neighborhood Indian restaurant. So far, I have been thrilled to experience both youthful social life and contemporary UK design, some of which I have written about and shown in the following journey Daybook pages.
Yesterday, I challenged myself to a long walk down Oxford Road to a large, architecturally significant Jesuit Cathiolic Church. Afterward, I sat at a neighborhood bar/cafe where I sketched Holy Name Church. I finished this page at dinner where I enjoyed another wonderful meal with some of the freshest garden ingredients I have ever eaten.
Although the weather has been cloudy, sometimes complicated by showers, I have not been deterred by the elements, getting out and about with the correct wearing apparel. I have found that drawing is seductive and I easy to do it whenever I have time to sit and rest. Yesterday, there was an Urban Sketcher “sketch crawl” that I missed but I bumped into Shari Blaukopf on the street. Shari is a USk participant from Montreal with whom several of us studied in 2013. Being alone has its benefits: I create and honor my own slow pace, I read lots, I contemplate, and I make time to work.
Manchester, Day 1
Manchester, Day 2
On a hot July 9th, three of us headed to The Treasure Camp, an old timely restaurant/ general store/ and boat rental dock about 15 miles upriver from the Gulf and a short drive from Cedar Key. We were hoping for coolness near the river but we couldn’t really find it. Lois and I ate inside, enjoying the pleasant air conditioning. Milli and Sophia stayed outside in the shade where Sophia took advantage of the cool, 72 degree water, splashing around in retriever fashion. We all worked in silence outside for an hour or so. I hope that you can soon view Lois and Milli’s beautiful pages on the JDB site. My page, a merged drawing made from two different views is posted below. Touch the image to blow it up.
We are planning a return trip this coming Sunday, July 16. If you want to come along, call or write me for details.
In advance of my upcoming trip to England, I have been practicing and have advanced somewhat in my rudimentary blogging technology. I made this post completely on my iPad using a photo of my journey Daybook page made on my iPhone. Please tell me how it all looks!
Yesterday I left Cedar Key in mid morning for a journey to a quaint undiscovered (for me) fish house (Shelly’s Seafood) and a food trailer (Wild Sassa) where commercial fishermen dock their boats along the Homosassa River. I first discovered these establishments last Wednesday after I had my car serviced at the nearby Toyota dealership in Homosassa. Then, I stopped at Shelly’s, bought some wonderfully fresh fish, and was thrilled by the colorful, charming, authentic atmosphere of this relatively unchanged stretch of the riverbank. I remembered that 30 years ago, my friend, Fred Rigley, used to rave about the outdoor painting opportunities in Old Homosassa but, unfortunately, I had never visited this place until this week. Yesterday, I spent 5 hours sitting in several shady spots drawing and sketching and was joined later by my friend and Journey Daybook alum, Milli. I am pleased to post three of yesterday’s journey daybook pages here. As I watched the river and its modern busyness, with boats moving in tight lines both up and down the river, I saw a strong contrast with the long history of commercial fishing at Shelly’s. The day was particularly happy and festive for me as I stopped several times to remember with love and reverence my older Cedar Key painting friend, Fred, who is now buried in Brown County, Indiana. Thank you, Fred!
Today, I am celebrating this feast that is very important to me because I am distantly related to this saint. The following account and the image of the icon by Father Lawrence Lew, OP appears for sharing on Flickr –
St John Southworth came from a Lancashire family that chose to pay heavy fines rather than give up the Catholic faith. He studied at the English College in Douai, and was ordained priest before he returned to England where he ministered for a number of years in and around London. In 1627 he was imprisoned and sentenced to death for professing the Catholic faith, but was later reprieved and imprisoned in Lancaster Castle. After three years in prison he was with a number of other priests deported. Once more he returned to England and lived for a considerable time in Clerkenwell in London where he tended the sick during an epidemic of the plague. He was arrested again in Westminster (partly because king and Parliament were in the conflict that led ultimately to the king’s execution), was tried at the Old Bailey, pleaded guilty to exercising the priesthood and was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. At his execution at Tyburn, on 27 June 1654, he was hanged but spared the drawing and quartering. The Spanish ambassador returned his body to Douai for burial. Following the French Revolution, his body was buried in an unmarked grave which was discovered in 1927, his relics being then returned to England. They are now in the Chapel of St George and the English Martyrs in Westminster Cathedral in London.
As I explained in an earlier post, I look forward to visiting the Southworth ancestral home at Samlesbury and also the crypt of St John Southworth at Westminster Cathedral in London next month. I look on this saint is a special spiritual guardian.
Several weeks ago, a small group of Journey Daybook alums began gathering at my house on Sundays at 3 PM. We have painted at two restaurants on the dock in Cedar Key where we have bathed in the air conditioning and drawn for a few hours. 43 Degrees West is a new establishment that has especially welcomed us. The food is wonderfully fresh and the service is friendly and professional. On Sunday, July 3 we plan to drive south on US Route 19 near Gulf Hammock where the Waccasassa Rivier flows under the highway at Buck Island Road, north of Gulf Hammock. There is charming an old store by the river. An old caboose sits in a grove of trees there that should provide comfortable shade for us to work. All Journey Daybook alums are invited to join us. Bring something to drink, insect repellant, and a snack if you want one. As usual, we will meet at my house and drive to our destination.
As I receive pages from my friends,, I will post them on Journey Daybook site. If you want to receive regular updates of JDB news, be sure to subscribe to this site. I am including a few more of my own pages here.