Tag Archives: whippets

Playing with Space: A Cast of Shadows


This shadow perfectly displays the distinctively pointed whippet nose (with elegant wafts of smoke!).

Out for a frolic with the dogs on the beach late last week.  Although it was still bitterly cold the sun was bright enough to cast lovely shadow shapes on the sand.


The uneven path here creates a double spaniel shadow.

Poppy, the poor deaf-(dumb)-and-blind spaniel – although spritely for all of her 15 years –  needs to be ‘guided’ on the lead, but the whippets move around so quickly it’s impossible to pose them for photographs.


Tammi with beach ‘treasure’ (possible identification: lump of charcoal / muscle shell)

By the time I’ve pressed the shutter button on my iphone camera, they have whizzed through the frame.  So most of these shots are ‘pots’.  Some of the unusual angles and blurred motion images are surprisingly refreshing and convey the exuberance of the moment much better anyway.


It is not hard to see why she is still mistaken for a puppy as she skips along, still eligible for waggiest tail.

It is a day to be joyful and these are my cast of shadow highlights which mirror our mood on this bright but cold April day: playing with space as the absence of light in mobile, prancing shadows.


The path goes past the train track crossing to the golf course on the other side of the dunes.  The train has just gone through and I failed to catch it’s passing shadow….this time.


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Filed under Nature / Nurture Project, Walks, Whippet Story

Brindle Beach Streaker

The streaker in question is Zola whippet.  Whilst out enjoying a bit of welcome sunshine on Porth Kidney beach at low tide yesterday afternoon, I was poised to take a picture of the sand pattern when she flashed through the frame just as I was pressing the shutter.  Now you see me now you don’t.


I have been collecting photos of beach patterns for many years now.  I’m not quite sure why I do it other than it’s what I do.  It’s part of my hoarding habit I suppose (which goes with the territory) and I have so many of these images now I could cover a sizable wall with them.  In fact, I have just done my annual back-up of the My Pictures folder onto a separate hard drive and discovered there are just shy of 200,000 ‘items’ in the file!  I know I should (hate that word) back-up stuff more often but that would be extremely tedious, would it not?

I also take pictures of footprints in the sand and collect handfuls of sand from different beaches and set them in resin just so that I can compare the size of the grains and subtle differences in the colours of ground up rocks and shells.


Prints of Prints


Photos c. 1998, Jersey CI

Beach Sediments

Lizard Beach Sediments in resin

Even my drawings are arranged in grid formats in order to compare and contrast, like the old style photographic contact sheets that I used to do at college.

Landslips on the beach at Praa Sands, February 2013

Landslips on the beach at Praa Sands, February 2013

I remember being delighted when Kodak started including index sheets in your packet of prints in the days when you had to take your photos to be processed.  I now sort my photos into subject folders and eventually, they begin to take on new meanings as collections of ideas.


making the borders for the quilt

testing the layout

testing the layout

I think this is why making a quilt for baby Rose was so satisfying as it shares the same principles: a selection of similar materials gathered and arranged in a grid format.

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Filed under Art Works, my sketchbook pages, Personal Philosophy, Studio Practice, Whippet Story

Furze Fire, Mulfra

In the middle of last week we witnessed an infernal blaze coming towards us, at first a cloud of smoke behind Mulfra Hill, then as it topped the hill, the ferocious flames along the line of fire clearly visible from Trezelah.

As smoke billowed into the sky creating a trail above and beyond us, we could hear the fire engines  on their way to dowse the flames.  It was an alarming and saddening sight, and left me wondering what sort of vandal would create such seemingly wanton destruction of such a sensitive and pristine heathland, and on such an exceptional scale?

There was some suggestion that it had been caused by a ‘controlled’ (ha!) blaze started by Natural England to clear some vegetation.   Ian McNeil Cooke, co-ordinator of Save Penwith Moors (see post and Facebook page) was quick to air his views on the subject.  Mr Cooke has a very public, long-running battle with Natural England.   An off-shoot from what used to be Defra, Natural England seem to have recently blundered their way into Penwith and ‘trampled’ their might over, what was once, a wild and beautifully ‘untamed’ but delicately balanced landscape.  They have managed to upset a lot of normally rational and sane people in the process.

A few days after the fire, and when we felt sure the whippets would not singe their little paws, we took a walk up to the Quoit to see the damage for ourselves.   The scorching was quite extensive, patchy in Bodrifty village, but the Quoit itself, seemingly unscathed.  Looking around, I felt there was sure to be ancient remains in the landscape that the burning back of the gorse would have exposed.  Not having our dowsing rods with us at the time, this was not possible to verify.  Next time.

It is a walk we take often, being one of my favourites, so this familiar landscape has taken on a new ‘blackened’ hue which is strangely beautiful, contrasting with the pale, pastel shades of the winter grasses on the heath.  Have a look at the pictures I took last June Bodrifty to Mulfra Quoit to make a comparison with these images.  However, it was quite amazing and encouraging to see new shoots are already pushing through the charred undergrowth, just days after this dramatic event.  The damage from the fire, although fierce, seems to have skimmed over the tops of the gorse leaving the ground relatively unscathed and roots intact, as scraping back the thin layer of ash, the earth underneath seems neither baked nor charred.

Not far from the quoit stands a lone holly bush, barely 4 foot in height that, although slightly scorched, is a striking contrast to the blackened remains around it.   The holly tree has long associations with sacred healing and protection, as well as the fact that hollies do tend to conduct lightning into the ground better than most trees, with the least injury to the tree.   Ancient Celts would often plant a holly tree near their homes specifically to take lightning strikes and protect a house and its inhabitants.  On this occasion, it has done it’s job well in protecting Mulfra Quoit.


Filed under my sketchbook pages, Walks


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Filed under Found Objects, Walks, Whippet Story

Trevilley to Nanjizal


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