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oxleas wood

Today Stuart and I had lots to do around the house, but the weather was so lovely that I blithely suggested we grab a quick coffee in Oxleas Wood, make a sketch, then come back and do all the domestic stuff. Last time I went to Oxleas Wood, a friend and I took a bus from Blackheath and since we were happily chatting, I totally missed the fact that the wood is more than a few stops away from Blackheath. (The time before, we'd hiked from Charlton.) And besides being a fair ways, the distance is vertical distance. So fit-as-a-whippet Stuart was zipping up the hills and waiting at the top for fit-as-a-jellyfish me to catch up, pushing my bike, red-faced and swearing. Stuart is the most patient man on the planet.

Fotunately at the top, we were rewarded with gorgeous sunshine and amazing clouds (the first clouds I've seen that weren't a solid blanket since I started doing these sketches at the beginning of the week). I was on a quest for an open horizon, since I'm still trying to figure out this whole trees-at-a-distance thing. You can see the North Downs peeking over the treeline of Oxleas Meadow. (We're fans of its cafe.)



I was intrigued to discover the tops of the clouds were the same shape as the tops of the trees, and the shading was exactly the same. Must draw more clouds. Miracle of miracles, Stuart actually agreed to draw with me! (I think it may have been to do with meeting Philip Reeve a couple weeks ago, he's been keeping an eye on the Dartmoor sketches.) He hadn't drawn since we were in Alaska last year (Stuart's drawing here) and an alien-themed valentine. Considering he almost completely avoids drawing, I always think he draws far better than he deserves to. (Thanks for drawing with me, Stuart!)


Stuart's drawing of Oxleas Meadow