Urban sketching in Oxford UK around some parked bikes at a very crowded bus stop. Oxford gets filled with tourists from all over the world in the spring and summer, especially on the weekend and holidays. Yesterday was a bank holiday. Testing the limits of my ability to sketch around others. Then 1/3 through the drawing my pen ran out of ink and I needed to switch to a brush pen. Keep going.
Oh boy here we go on the latest bit of our UK adventure. We no longer have a car and are giving a car free lifestyle a go. When we left Boston in Jabuary we sold our car but we have had a rental car here up until we left for Paris. Now we are back and starting our first week without having a car to fall back on. Saturday I took the bus to the city centre and came back with groceries for the week. Today my husband took the complimentary shuttle bus to work for the first time. Biking is also an option for both of us. And when they are in school the kids take a bus there and back. So far this car free thing is pretty great. I like it. One step closer to my dreams of a more minimalistic lifestyle.
One of little girl's Montessori teachers is an artist and a sketcher and she told me at end of year picnic that she is trying to form a sketching habit and showed me her Moleskine. I recommended the Visual Journals for affordable quality mixed-media paper that can stand up to paint and ink. Then I surprised her by giving her my tiny Altoid watercolor travel kit (the one with the bikes was a bonus since I know she's into biking). She didn't want to take it but I wanted to give her a gift that she would love and I knew I had another waiting for me drying at home. Another mother suggested that I start selling them and maybe I will put a couple in my shop, but mostly I want to start making them as gifts for art loving friends. Here's to a great Friday and a great weekend! Surprise somebody with a small gift if you get the chance and feel inclined.
Yesterday was the first day of spring. I love new beginnings. Longer days leading into summer. More time spent in local playgrounds with my young daughters. More bike riding. Less cold. More color in the city I live in to inspire fresh ideas in my art.
It's super cold out there. But it's also clear and sunny with no snow or ice on the roads. And I am very aware that a snow storm is always a possibility in this city until into May. So of course I am picking up my little one from preschool on my bike whenever possible! Life is good. She's already outside and in winter gear when I get her from school and it is easy to just stick her on the bike and go home. If I can bike a little bit in February then I can bike even more in March. I have been having to drive to the burbs for appointments a few times a week and the lunchtime walks and bike rides help heal me from the mental trauma those rush hour drives cause.