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.


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 amazingย  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! ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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;ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Oleander on the rocks


I was fascinated by the oleanders clinging to the rocks down by the river; the twisting roots as they cling on tight seem to merge into the trunk and branches and until it’s hard to tell where the roots stop and the branches start! And just to prove, especially to my lovely ‘mentor’, that I DO get outside and draw and not just work from my photos, here I am in action drawing this very oleander (photo thanks to my husband who was dispatched off further up the river to give me some peace ๐Ÿ™‚


The tree with the golden blossom


I THINK they are Mimosa trees, anyway, they are all out in blossom here at the moment and look glorious. Spring has definitely sprung! And yes, this is a bit different…I thought I’d try some colour and after a rough sketch I used watercolour and then inked over when dry. I think I need different paper though as it went a bit crinkly when it dried ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

This is a photo of the tree – maybe it’s not mimosa and somebody will know!