Cromford Canal

The week before the late May bank holiday was glorious – hot, sunny and perfect for getting outside. Except I was in the office all week… so on the Saturday I decided to enjoy the last of the sunshine by walking along the Cromford Canal from Whatstandwell to Cromford. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place, sheltered by trees reflected in the water, lovely views across the valley in places, and very few people around.

I’ve been trying to practice my sketching and water colours recently so I took my sketchbook with me along the canal, and painted my sketches later on at home. I’m not much good at trees and lots of vegetation at the moment but I’m not doing too badly on more man-made features.

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Leonardo exhibition (or, I wish I could draw like that)

Me: *buys Leonardo da Vinci exhibition book, postcards and toy*

Cashier: I’m guessing you liked the exhibition?

Yes, I very much enjoyed the exhibition 🙂 I saw the Leonardo exhibition in London a couple of years ago so I already knew how amazing his work is, and now there’s 10 Leonardo sketches from the Royal Collection on display at Nottingham castle. It’s a beautiful selection, mainly pages from his sketchbooks – trials for portraits, anatomical notes, and a page of cat studies, as well as a detailed map and diagrams for casting bronze. The 500 year old pages provide a fascinating snapshot of a genius, but it also humanises Leonardo to know that he too used both sides of the page and took 3 attempts to get something right. It’s interesting too because I tend to think of da Vinci as an artist, but the drawings show evidence of a keen anatomist and man who often worked as an engineer, and nearly wrote several studies on plants and the body. They would have been great to read, he was very nearly right about a lot of his studies but the evidence was all buried in drawings and mirror writing…

The exhibition is on until 9th October, more information here.