Just round the corner from 18th century industrialist Matthew Boulton’s grand house I found a view down the road of a boarded up burnt out pub, the Beehive. I chose a spot to draw where a wall served as a table, although this meant the composition was divided in half by a tree trunk. This sketch was done on the wreckage of a previous drawing, scrubbed out and painted over in irritation with white gouache. I was curious to see how this surface would react to another layer: it resisted the crayon and lifted and merged with the new marks when I applied wet media.
Earlier in the day, I found a place looking across rough grass, weeds and a display of daffodils in the yard of the Church of England parish church, looking at the Methodist chapel across the road. I was fascinated by a group going in and out the doors near me, mostly men, all young with very dark skin, speaking low a language with (I guessed) African cadences, several putting on and taking off white robes. They told me they had just finished rehearsing the Passion for Easter the next week, the Orthodox festival for the Eritrean community. Had I realised sooner, I might have asked their permission to draw the rehearsal.