That’s ‘without sketches’ for the non-francophones among you.
Last year the organisers of Tour de France, in their wisdom, announced that the first three days of the 2014 event would be held in England, with the first two being staged in Yorkshire. The route on day one took the Tour right through my old stamping ground – places and roads I knew really well from my childhood and teenage years – so there was no question we had to be there to see it. Le Grand Départ finally happened a couple of weeks ago in Leeds and we watched the whole colourful procession pass through Otley, a small town just a few miles from the start. It was both thrilling and slightly surreal to see this globally-famous sporting cavalcade tear through streets that I’d previously associated with nothing more glamorous than youthful pub-crawls and trips out to the Yorkshire Dales. People turned out in their hundreds of thousands, everywhere was decked out in yellow bunting, sheep on bikes, giant Wensleydale cheeses – you name it. The whole thing was a huge, riotously colourful success.
We followed this with a week in a cottage (in reality a converted farmhouse miles from anywhere high on the moors above Reeth) with three other couples, where we walked, cycled sections of the occasionally-gruelling Tour route that passed nearby and generally made the most of the stunning surrounding countryside and highly-untypical, almost Mediterranean weather. What I emphatically failed to do, however, was any sketching. The days were simply too full of other activities and our fellow fun-seekers, who I’d normally target as my subjects on such a trip, barely sat still for two minutes at a time. So, apart from one hurried and unfinished iPad sketch of my good lady wife (see below), I have no drawn record of the trip whatsoever.
Instead, here are a few recent life-drawings together with the aforementioned half-a-sketch from Yorkshire and a quick train drawing of Lynn and Chloë on our way home from my Father-in-Law Peter’s funeral. He was 93 when he died and, apart from a difficult couple of final years, he enjoyed a full, varied, healthy and extremely happy life. A cause for celebration rather than mourning.
Asami, from a Tuesday-night SCAC session a couple of weeks ago:
Finally, Sophia at SCAC earlier this week. A couple of pencil drawings and some iPad sketches playing around with different styles and palettes.