When the first lockdown hit, obviously I could not get out and about like I used to, so I had to come up with a solution that included a bit of exercise that might prevent me turning into a bit of an old hermit.
My solution was to take up regular exercise and, to keep enthused, I painted postcards along the route. Much to my surprise, this idea worked and I managed to get out and about, get in some exercise while exploring the landscape within cycling distance of my home in Somerset. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I produced a blog and video of my local adventures.
Well, sadly, the pandemic is still going on but at least I am still cycling and painting away. With that in mind I thought I would give you an update on some of the painted postcards completed since my first blog. I have posted a few below.
Hopefully things are beginning to improve, though whatever happens I think I will carry on with my lockdown hobby.
3oth June 2020
On Friday I made an attempt to go to the Glastonbury Festival site to see if I could spot Lauren Lavern on her BBC show. I was, however, keenly chased off by a security (Skynet?) drone. To find solace I cycled to a friend’s garden for tea. This cast iron flowerpot stand made a fine postcard subject.
July 1st 2020
After a slow climb up Totterdown Lane from Pilton you can take a quick left on Stoodly Lane and here, in a field, is a handsome tree (no idea what type) offering shade to a herd of cows (no idea what type).
July 12th 2020
I took a 14-mile round trip via Pylle to Ditcheat. A splendid village and well worth a postcard painting. Had a quick drink in The Manor House pub, then back home to Pilton. Most tired!
July 15th 2020
I have been cycling around around Pilton for years now, but hadn’t visited East Pennard before, even though it’s only a few miles away. It has a fine old church and a top-class cheese maker at Batch Farm. I bought a few cheeses and met the farm dog. He was originally employed to chase sheep but seemed to have decided the ball was more fun.
21st July 2021
As we are ‘allowed out’ a bit more I thought I would take a bit more time on my postcards, so I did a few using oils – 15cm x 15cm, nice and small. Here are a few houses in Pilton as viewed from the public footpath.
July 22nd 2020
St John The Baptist’s Church in Pilton, Somerset. Lovely from every angle.
July 24th 2020
Managed a 20-mile cycle ride (God knows how) around various villages. On my odyssey I came across this rather impressive Georgian house. The cows in front really appealed to me. Another postcard done.
August 3rd 2020
I started doing the Lockdown postcards in April and now it is August. Where did it all go? With August comes the beginning of the apple season. I discovered these fine specimens sagging over a neighbours wall here in Pilton. I certainly enjoy grazing on them once they are ripe.
August 5th 2020
Yesterday, we had an electrician in and no power, so I took the opportunity to visit a neighbor where I was fortified with hot tea whilst I painted the garden.
August 19th 2020
In April I painted a herd of cows lying down in a field on the road to Pylle. I didn’t realise they were pregnant. The calves arrived and now they are all growing fast. The blackberries are almost here too.
August 20th 2020
St John The Baptist’s Church from a neighbours garden in Pilton Somerset.
September 14th 2020
Did a 15-mile round trip to Middlewick near Glastonbury yesterday. To cut out the larger hills you need to cycle over the levels past Launcherley and down Long Drove. Here, in the rynes and drainage ditches, Herons stalk fish in the shallower waters. I spotted this one about halfway down Long Drove
September 22nd 2020
A telephone box and wheelie bin at East Pennard in Somerset. A murderous peddle up Cockmill Lane to get this one. My back has seen better days thats for sure.
September 18th 2020
Got on my bike to paint an oil painting here in Pilton. At the bottom of Neat Lane, beside an old shop there is a gateway stuffed with angles, sheds and chimneys. What’s not to like?
September 30th 2020
A view from a neighbours garden here in Pilton, Somerset. On the far hill is the site of The Glastonbury Festival, sadly cancelled this year.
November 22nd 2020
A 21 mile cycle to Butleigh and back today. To be frank’ I’d rather spend my Sundays on the sofa smoking loads of cigarettes and eating pork pies, but I can’t do that at my age. Where did it all go wrong? Anyway, here is the view to Glastonbury Tor from Butleigh, Somerset.
3rd December 2021
The graveyard at East Pennard Church, Somerset. I did the initial parts of this late and left before the day ended. I did not want to cycle back in the dark risking an early frost.
January 10th 2021
I always wonder how cows get on in wet, winter weather. This one seems to express the same doleful curiosity in winter as most cows show in the summer months.
January 21st 2021
We had snow last weekend in Somerset so, I worked up a painting of Pilton church in winter white. I did the loose structure and tones on site and worked most of it up in the studio. I don’t paint in the cold unless I have too.
February 9th 2021
Ancient folklore says that a crossroads is a place ‘between the worlds’, it is said that you can make a Faustian bargain with the devil at a crossroads to sell your soul for anything worldly.
Well, on this desolate winter’s day with a stripped tree and that finger post like a gibbet I can surely believe it.
February 18th 2021
To combat my laziness, I have taken to cycling to a farm shop a few miles away to buy milk.
Passing through the village of Pylle there is a small stream with trails of Snow Drops that follow its course. A fine winter postcard.
February 20th 2021
February 27th 2021
March 1st 2021
Avoiding the busy roads back from Glastonbury and Street you can go across The Levels down Middle Drove. It’s all rivers and Herons.
March 4th 2021
On the way from Pylle to Evercreech there are a small terrace of cottages called ‘Elbow Corner’ named after sharp corner in the road and initially, I could not figure out why this bend was there.
I later discovered it is on the site of a long-gone railway crossing. The concrete post of the gate is still in place.
March 7th 2021
I took a 15 mile round trip over to The Middlewick Farm shop near Glastonbury, Somerset. You can get a view of the Tor in one direction and Wells Cathedral in the other.
Partook of a splendid sausage roll and coffee. A fine lockdown afternoon. Give it a visit.
12th March 2021
This is a bit of an easy one, as I didn’t have to get on my bike to paint it. It’s the view through the hedge of my neighbours beehives. These industrious creatures are up early to harvest snacks from the last Snowdrops and the first Daffodils.