Travel Booklet

Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria, 5.35 pm 1/7/12 OS REF. SD 402967

VIEW FROM our 2nd floor room at the Belsfield, looking south to Storrs (108 metres above sea level), the little knoll below the Jackdaw to the left of centre of my sketch, two miles (3km) away, on the eastern shore of Lake Windermere. I’ve heard it said that Storrs means ‘the stony place’ but the Old Norse storõ refers to a young plantation or wood, a common element in Pennine hill-country. It makes sense here because this Storrs is flanked by Birk Head wood on it’s eastern (here left) shoulder, Black Beck wood on its western (lake) side slope.

A Jackdaw flying over the flat roofs of the apartments doubles back and drops down to join two more Jackdaws on the top branches of a sliced-off conifer. One of them turns to it in begging pose, lowering its head and wing-flapping. This begging bird appears from this distance to be an adult so perhaps this is a female demanding food from her mate.

Gargrave & Grasmere

We stopped at Gargrave (left) for lunch where I drew the view towards the river from the Dalesman Cafe. I was just starting to add colour when I noticed the ink ran immediately as I started adding the grey wash for the sky. I realised, luckily before I washed any of the pen and ink away, that I’d drawn with the ArtPen I keep loaded with ArtPen ink (water soluble) cartridges, not the one I keep filled with waterproof Noodler’s ink.


We stopped at Grasmere in the afternoon where I bought a couple of Hahnemüehle Travel Booklets from the Heaton Cooper Studio. These are to fit in my latest, and smallest ever, art bag; a small format camera case-sized Lifeventure Passport wallet. Even so, one of these 9x14cm stitched booklets only just zips into the case.

You can see in this wobbly first sketch, of the chimney of the Lamb Inn, drawn from the shelter of the Miller Howe tearoom, Grasmere village, that the ‘High Quality Sketch Paper, 140 gsm’, isn’t as white as the cartridge in the Pink Pig sketchbooks that I normally use. A suitably mellow background for my holiday sketches.

 These booklets are an indispensable companion for retaining notes, thoughts, stories, impressions, sketches and anything unusual that comes your way.

Says the label. It makes you want to pop one in your pocket and set off on your travels.

This is the view from our table in the dining room at the Belsfield, overlooking the landing stage at Bowness. You can see why we keep coming back!

Links; Hahnemuehle sketchbooks, Belsfield Hotel, Heaton Cooper Studio.

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