The cork oak, stripped

stripped cork

The cork oaks have recently been harvested, or stripped of their cork. This always, to my eye, leaves them looking rather naked and vulnerable…. I imagined dressing them again. What would they wear? This cheeky cork oak tree has managed to get laced into a rather lovely red basque. The knickers wouldn’t go on and have been discarded on the woodland floor in disgust.

If you are interested in the whole (real!) process of the cork harvesting in Andalucia, my good friend and eloquent writer, Grandolfo, wrote about it here:

A2 canvas board. Acrylic and ink pen.

Tree detail…. and I’m still here!

tree detail

I am still here but a bit busy to be blogging and reading lots of blogs. But thanks to those of you who are still stopping by! This is an old cork oak tree that lives down by the river. It is a line drawing of the bark detail that I did for an exercise the other day. Happy summertime to you all!

The way into the woods


At the north end of Jimena de la Frontera is a lovely wooded area, with some wooden platforms/viewing points that afford amazing  views down into the river valley or back over the town. I snapped a photo of the stone steps leading up into the woods and worked from that using a pot of black ink and a couple of brushes. New year, new things to try! 🙂

Sketches in a bikini

It’s very hot here in Spain at the moment. VERY hot. Therefore, and I am making excuses ‘tiz true, been spending a lot of time at the beach and by the pool and it’s not easy trying to finish a sketch properly when the cool water is calling and the next chapter of my book needs reading. So I am trying to make up for quality with quantity this time 🙂 Next week a very good friend of mine will be visiting us and what she doesn’t realise is that she is going to be modelling for me….

Various views from the beaches at Sotogrande and Puerto de Duquesa, and two lonesome pines at the pool.

The baby bougainvillea

Actually, it’s not really a baby bougie but we have in fact had it for a few years now and it is only this year that it has decided to have a decent show of colour. The colour is not the flowers, they are white and very small but in the ‘bracts’ (yes, I looked that up…) I am sure the green fingered of you out there will say it doesn’t want to be in a pot;  well, we only have a yard so it has no choice really! Still, its adding a lovely splash of purple-pink-magenta to our little yard 🙂