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Monday, November 07, 2011

The pedalling painter 1: Reculver and back (12k)

The artist © Peter Gander
In little less than a year I will be doing a cycling tour along a portion of The Compostela di Santiago (The Pilgrim’s Route) -  in the south-west of France, with my brother and old art college friend Ben, a trip of at least 600 kilometers and today it was time to start something resembling a training regime. Admittedly a 12k round trip is no big deal at all, (even the paper boy would scoff) but not having cycled properly for some years I needed to set my sights, well, on Reculver Towers, 6 kilometers away and just visible from Herne Bay’s seafront. It’s an ancient Roman monument which bizarrely was only partly demolished in the 1920s. They left the towers to the front of the building in situ as a navigational aid to passing ships. Anyway, my wife Fiona is far fitter than I and regularly runs 5k or so which she takes, erm, in her stride. And she dutifully ushered me along the way with the odd reassuring word and the habit of disappearing over the horizon like a out-of-reach carrot to a hungry donkey, in a similar way that my brother did when we recently did a ride or two in France. Still, I was enjoying the 20mph cold north-easterly gale in my face, supressing my forward progress like I had the ‘bike handbrake’ on. And I use the title ‘The Pedalling Painter’ in a wishful sense, as it really was howling with wind, plus we had to be back for an appointment, so the chances of sketching en route were very unlikely (I’m hoping for more balmy weather too in France). Thus Fiona took this shot which I opened up on the Mac and sketched from a distance, freehand. Cheating perhaps, but better than nowt. Future Pedalling Painter posts will be from longer rides with a proper sketch stop built in, something I hope to carry on doing on our French trip at the end of the day or during a lunch-stop. Ink and brush with Winsor and Newton watercolour on 210gsm Khadi handmade sketchbook.

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