Sunday, 17 February 2013

Inspiration Avenue Challenge - Roads

This week the theme is Roads full details  at  Inspiration Avenue

So my art this week is watercolor. This is the first road I went down on my artists journey. I found it so hard to use watercolors, you have to work out so much before hand. So although I became familiar with the medium I realized it was the wrong road for me. Since then I have been down many roads with my art journey. Some I travel frequently, some have been dead ends and some I travel and leave only to return and have another visit.

This is a row of shops on a road that I have walked many, many times. It is in a small town in the UK called Halstead, it is in Essex. This link is the Google map and if you put the little yellow person on the map you can see the scene.

I was born here, christened in the church, St Andrews, I walked past here to school every day till I was 11.
Mum ran a Dry cleaners shop which is on the opposite side of the road. It's now an opticians. I used to have to go to work with her as we were a one parent family and in those days no financial help with child care or other benefits  So Mum let me have my toys in one of the windows and I would make window displays with the toys. Or I would sit knitting and sewing for my Sindy doll. I spent a lot of time looking at this view.

Although I don't live in the town any more, I am still near and visit regularly to do shopping and banking. Only one shop has remained in the same family and that is the bakers. That's 60 years, which is amazing in these changing times. 

You can't really see by this picture but this is a really, really steep hill. Two memorable incidents due to the hill, one was the very bad winter we had in 1963. So much ice and snow, the footpath was impossible to walk on and the road well no one went up it! To walk up the road we formed a human chain, each holding onto the hand of the person in front. Even then I remember falling over many times. The chain of people went from the top to the bottom of the hill, it's 1/4 of a mile long.

The next incident was one dark November evening and I'm now driving. There is parking on the side of the road, cars park nose in tail out and this parking sloped down to the road. As I was driving up the hill, on my left I saw a car backing out. "Silly person has forgot to put their lights on " I thought. Well I beeped the horn and still the car kept coming. Looking closer I saw there was no driver. Quick look in the rear view showed no cars behind me. Slammed the car into reverse. Just in time as the car reversing sailed past my bumper and on down the hill. It ended up hitting about four cars and planted in the store front of a dress shop. Silly driver had forgotten the hand brake.

So a road of many memories and many journeys back and forth. When we are making the memories by taking the journeys do we really take that much notice at the time? Or are we so busy just getting through life that we miss much of it?


  1. What a wonderful post and a wonderful painting as well.

    Love Chrissie xx

  2. Great history of your hometown! I'd love to visit there sometime!
    And the picture is quaint. You captured it perfectly!

  3. I just love your story telling, I think you should have gone into teaching!!
    Thank you so much for your kind words of support at this very sad time......xx


  4. Thanks to every one that viewed and entered a comment. x joan

  5. What amazing control you've attained in your technique. Watercolor likes to be very, ummm, abstract when it's anywhere around one of my brushes. That aside, it's quite an evocative picture - your years there and your love for the place come through.


Your comments are all read and appreciated. Hope you will forgive me if I miss commenting on your comment, I will be busy doing art :-) x Joan