Well here we are.

After years ignoring the advice of those more experienced in this 'arty' thing and after making a plonker out of myself by asking advice about things an ill informed mollusc could work out for themselves, I have finally decided to BLOG.

 

This is just about me and the things that drive me to scribble on paper and splash colour on canvas.

To doodle and daub.

 

It's about hills, mountains, heath and woodland.

It's about walking, cycling and  travelling the green glory of the West Country.

 

It's about small scale adventures, minor explorations, tiny personal discoveries.

 

I hope to be informative and entertaining. If I'm not- apologies. If I'm wrong (I often am!) tell me!

 

If you want to leave a comment please DO! ...but if you want to insult (Ive seen this on other sites)..don't waste your time - I'll just ignore you. 27 years in education - I've seen it all before.

 

 

 

Welcome to my blog

 

 

By cobbart, Jun 10 2016 09:07AM

The Cover!!! with my name on it!!! (didn't expect that!)
The Cover!!! with my name on it!!! (didn't expect that!)
Compilation of illustrations - hey ....look here!!!
Compilation of illustrations - hey ....look here!!!

Well here we are.

My piccies in print for the first time.


Great feeling!.


Now I'm really looking forward to getting up to Princetown for the launch. Got to get some prints and cards made first - once again, learning on the job!. That should all be done by the end of June.

If nothing else its an opportunity to enjoy Dartmoor from a difference perspective, that is without feeling compelled to stride out over the blasted plain and cover as many miles as possible.

Looking forward to a day walking and a day at the National Park Summer Fair promoting the book and trying to get a few painting/prints shifted onto other people's walls.

The Summer Fair is on Saturday July 30th.

At Princetown -

See you there!!!


..and don't forget to have a look at Twitter: @BlondesTwo & @IggieBowerman and facebook.com/ Two Blondes Walking

By cobbart, Jun 3 2016 10:53AM

Two Blondes and your's truly enjoying a rest by the Dartmoor Christmas Tree
Two Blondes and your's truly enjoying a rest by the Dartmoor Christmas Tree
This is Bowerman's nose. Just his nose!. He must've been a big chap!
This is Bowerman's nose. Just his nose!. He must've been a big chap!
Another bloke and some less pleasant 'ladies of the moor'.
Another bloke and some less pleasant 'ladies of the moor'.

There is no intention of inferring any similarity between two of these images.

All I'm saying is - you've got to be careful who you talk to when out on the wind blasted heath.

I was lucky.

I bumped into two blondes (...it's okay the missus understands!)

My encounter ended up with me being 'cursed' with the not-unpleasant task of illustrating a new kid's book, a rather jolly tale about exploration and discovery called "The Non-Story of Ignatius Bowerman".

The other fellow pictured above is the eponymous hero of that tale (not a story - you have to read the book to understand...).

He didn't fare quite as well.

He bumped into a witch or three, and tried to evict them.

He got turned into stone, along with his trusty hounds - which seems a little harsh (on the hounds that is - they were only following orders...)

Actually I've done some research and we always assume that witches come in threes and have pointy hats and cauldrons....

hmmm...

perhaps it was just as well that I agreed to do the job....!!!

By cobbart, Jun 1 2016 10:48AM

Chuffed.

Great word; 'Chuffed'!

That feeling of pride at having done something worthwhile, of actually achieving something:

scoring in a vital match, getting a decent grade, killing a guitar solo, seeing your kids do well.

Staggering sweating to the top of a mountain - that's a good 'chuffer'.

And here's another one.

Getting your illustrations published for the first time!

I've been drawing daft pictures, as well as more serious scenes, for - well, about 50 years (--50 YEARS!! aaargh!!). On occasion the odd (very odd usually) person has said - "You ought to do that for a living" or "Y'know, people would pay for that" and on a couple of occasions "If I could draw like that I wouldn't be a ******* teacher" (their words, not mine!)

Well I never took much notice.

After all - there's Shepard and Rackham - no... they can actually DRAW!

Anyway...

Last year, after spending 12 months doodling, painting and exploring I was contacted by two lovely ladies. The Two Blondes.

"We've seen your piccies on twitter - would you like to illustrate our book?"

Really? ...you got the right person?...

Chuffed!!!

Just seen the book online.

Chuffed!!!!!!

Comes out in July at a Dartmoor National Park open day.

At that moment, when said volume is in my sweaty grip I'll be...

Chuffed as Monkeys!!!!!





By cobbart, May 21 2016 10:02PM

..It had been raining a bit.

..Well actually it had been raining quite a lot. And hailing. And snowing a bit too. Then there was the wind - and in between all that, a bit - just a tiny bit, of sunshine.

And I'd been getting a bit stir crazy.

Now don't get me wrong, I am quite content, at times, to flop on the sofa, stick the idiot box on and waste my day binge watching the latest transatlantic netflix chewing gum for the brain. But after a while, after too many mornings locked in horrible indecision about how to fill another grey damp day, I reached the point where I had to get out, no matter what the elements may dump on my head.

So- bike on roof. Off to my beloved Levels (oh, how I love that word - Level - no hills just long, flat, easy lanes...) for a swift 30 odd miler.

As usual - superb. A brisk wind aiding progress in one direction and causing neck straining exertion in the other, patches of sunshine and a stinging shower as I crossed the hill at Mudgley then, as the light was dimming towards premature evening and I approached the end of the round, the clouds parted and the sun, low in the sky, spotlighted through and turned everything red.

Wow.

No camera.

No sketch pad.

But a glorious scene that had to be painted.

The sketch is of the tree I paused at to view the stormy sunset, done later from a photo.

The painting is how i remember the scene...it may not be fully accurate but it gets the feel and is my favourite Levels painting for some time.



By cobbart, May 13 2016 11:20AM

Lets start at the very beginning...a very good place to start...(okay, enough with the Sound of Music..)


This is the painting my good mate Nige ( you'll hear more about him if you follow ) likes best. It's not my first by any means. But it is the one that caused enough reaction to make me think about doing this daubing thing more seriously.

It was the Winter of 2013/14. There had been a LOT of rain.

The wonderful wetland area of of the Somerset levels had become an inland sea and, while this caused much misery to those who live in the area, it produced some astonishingly beautiful though temporary, scenery. I was in a bit of a hiatus. An operation to remove a rather nasty lumpy thing from my throat had left me 'messed up' - physically and mentally. I had retired early from teaching and was not in a fit enough state (in my head mainly) to go back full time. So, lots of spare time--not much money--but lots of time.

So....GET THE BIKE OUT!

Every opportunity - that is whenever the rain wasnt torrential I'd get out on the wheels. Often on my own (good for the head), and often with fellow wetland submariner Mark ( thats him in the photo)

In places the water would be up to the pedals. And cold. ...and, well - there's big kids in all of us and what a playground we had!

But more than anything - the magical scenery.

Wow.

Anyway...time on my hands..couldn't cycle everyday so I bought three cheap canvases and a set of Windsor and Newton Acrylics and got daubing.

This was the first.

Glastonbury Tor from the Godney road (that's it underwater!)

Its on the lounge wall.

Its the only painting I won't sell.

Nige wants it...tough.


Glastonbury Tor from the Godney Road.   Acrylic on Canvas 2014
Glastonbury Tor from the Godney Road. Acrylic on Canvas 2014
...those are field on either side of the road. Fantastic.
...those are field on either side of the road. Fantastic.
...submarine cyclist Mark just before he lost his pump, never to be found..
...submarine cyclist Mark just before he lost his pump, never to be found..
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