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Treasured Fragments

drawing life as an artist sketchbook travel sketching Apr 19, 2020

As I chose the subject for my Morning Scribble, I smiled and thought what an odd creature I am based on the items I consider to be treasures.  I choose carefully the objects I see daily, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  When I travel by plane, I bring home only the most special items and they must fit into my carry-on (with the exception of books ... my greatest addiction after fountain pens.)

Last spring I experienced the most glorious spring of my life ... in Wales. On one of my evening walks while staying in the shepherd hut at Chapel Cottage Studio where I was teaching a workshop, fragments of china almost hidden by the shadow of the hedgerow caught my eye.  I wondered  how they had ended up on the edge of the infrequently traveled road.  I wondered where the rest of the plate might be. The pattern was lovely. How nice the china must have looked set upon a table for tea.  I gathered up the pieces and placed them in my pocket.

Next day, as I walked with Jantien, an accomplished artist and owner of Chapel Cottage Studio, I mentioned finding the broken china on the road.  It turns out that it had belonged to Jantien, a plate from her favorite china.  I believe she had baked a cake, used the plate as a cake platter and placed it on the roof of her car to bring to her mother.  Unfortunately, she became distracted and forgot to secure the cake inside the car.  It 's surprising to me that it remained atop the car for as long as it did.  I also wondered where the rest of the shattered plate had ended up.  As for the cake, I knew the animals living in the hedgerow had enjoyed it.

Details of the story may not be remembered correctly.  What I know for sure is that the plate had been Jantien's.  She and I spent many hours together, walking, talking painting and exploring a nearby castle ruin.  I enjoyed joining her family for supper around the large kitchen table, teaching in her studio and following her carefully drawn maps on my evening walks.  

My intention had been merely to sketch the pieces of broken china and leave them behind when I left Wales.  Instead, I brought them home and placed them where I see them each day, reminding me of Jantien, her family, her hospitality, inspiration and friendship. When I see the shards, I see the gorse, dandelions, big sky and rolling farmlands surrounding Chapel Cottage and the shepherd hut.  I see the multitude of plants that make up the hedgerows and hear the small animals that call the hedgerows their home.  For a few moments each day, I'm back in Wales and I smile.

This morning, I finally sketched the broken pieces of china.

Drawn with vintage, flexible nib Mont Blanc fountain pen

filled with Diamine Rustic Brown ink 


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