Sunday, 29 March 2015


Last night we changed our clocks to British Summertime. I am looking forward to the longer evenings. I have been enjoying lots of late afternoon walks. It is such a lovely time to go just before the sun sets. All the birds are singing and high up in the trees the rooks are building their nests.
I like watching how the the colours change as the light fades. You see all the silhouettes of the trees against the evening sky and the nests are easily seen. And by the time we wander home the sun is setting.

Beautiful colours all soft and faded. A lovely way to end each day. It has been a mixture of sunshine, rainy days, windy blustery days and several days of cold frosty mornings. One morning during the week we woke to snow covering the landscape but it soon disappeared in the sunshine later in the day.
I am happy to say the first bright sunshine flowers have appeared along the hedgerows, the lesser Celandines. I picked a few and had fun capturing the flower and leaf in my square book. It began to curl up and the petals gave me some interesting shapes. I also have a large new pot of black Indian ink and so couldn't wait to use this too.

It so reminded me of my childhood, as we discovered if we liked butter, as we held a flower under our chin, the bright yellow glow always told us we did, an innocent game we played time after time.
I love the way the primroses appear too, from all the dead leaves and plants on the ground. I have noticed lots of them growing along the lanes and footpaths, the same places as when I was a young girl. I picked a single wild flower as I have this large clump growing in my own garden.
I have been drawing a bramble leaf with the tracks made by a mysterious insect. After some reading I have discovered it is a moth. These are the three finds I picked an a walk, I managed to paint the ivy leaf and the pencil sketch of the bramble leaf, and the primrose gave me that gentle sweet smell and glowed in the sunlight through my window.

I didn't hold back from collecting the fragments of China. I climbed into the field to look in a muddy river bed and scanned the ground for pieces which has come to the surface. I am thrilled at finding even the smallest blue patterned shape and sometimes patterns on both sides. I love discovering each and every fragment, left from broken objects from long ago. Another treasure was a little green glass marble from a bottle neck in the side of a hedge. I picked up the sycamore seeds at the same place, the photograph shows my finds all washed and sorted.
I never tire of drawing the sycamore and love the twin ones.

And the sprouting shoots.
And this acorn cup, remnants of last autumn, the seeds sown for new life.
And that brings me to my beautiful snakehead fritillary. My first flower and buds of this year down at the bottom of my garden. They are growing so fast. I planted over a hundred new ones last November and I am so excited to watch them all flowering again this year. I picked one of the buds.
I sketched it in pencil and left it. Little by little I have started to paint it with the acrylic inks. My eyes only allow me a short session. So it all takes time but I am making progress. Last year I could not even attempt to draw anything, so I am so grateful I can this year. I just have to be patient.
And something else that has made me smile is seeing the first glimpses of several different ladybirds. When the sunshines I spot them in my garden and along the hedgerows. We counted five one day. This one was captured by the photographer.

So small but so beautiful. I have been making something small by printing and sewing using red fabric paint. It is a slow project as I am making very small stitches, I will keep it to share another time.
I will leave you with a dramatic looking sunset. Each day is different and I love to stop and take it all in. Before the sun sets today I am going to wrap up warm, then enjoy a very windy blustery walk around the village and make full use of our extra hour of daylight.

Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have been doing. Thank you for your comments. If you are visiting I would love to hear what you are doing, or just say hello. See you soon . Millyx

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Water World

This week has seen the highest tides this century. Our estuary was becoming more and more like a watery landscape as the water crept in and covered the shore. I had been for a wander along the shore on Wednesday and collected some tiny pink shells, several mermaids purses and other interesting objects. I knew it was very wet and waterlogged and realised I had to take care, it was so muddy and slippery as the water had been covering much of the shore. The next day I was quite shocked to see the size of the tide, see the photograph above. I thought how I was there just the day before, walking where it was now nothing but water. It really makes you respect the power of the sea.

My finds from Wednesday ready to be washed and sorted in the kitchen sink. I chose the strange black plant stem in the middle, with the six round pod structures on the thin delicate stem. I have seen them before but was attracted to this with such an unusual arrangement. It seemed to beg me to match it up with the holly leaf. So I started a drawing in pencil to capture their shapes and textures.

............All my work is copyright. Please do not take or use my work..........

I will hopefully spend more time to complete this. I have also been working on a black ink drawing with my dip in pens of one of the large black mermaids purse.
I love finding all these treasures. As the week went on each day the tides become even higher. We woke up on Saturday to a gorgeous day and this was the amazing view around 1pm. The sky so blue made the water a wonderful deep blue sea on this day of the record tide.

We stood on our little railway bridge to see this sight, a watery world before us. I could not resist going onto the shore, through the gate to see the tiny strip of land left uncovered by the sea. I felt so excited with the anticipation of all the sea treasures that would wash onto our shores.

The view from my house as the tide rushed into the estuary in such a spectacular way.

Later in the afternoon as the tide receded. I found some fresh sea weed to add to my other finds. It was a beautiful day and lots of people turned out to see this sight. Dogs were swimming on a flooded area of grass and as the train passed through the village the passengers must have seen that they were nearly surrounded by water on both sides of the track.

In Search of more treasures this afternoon....................

Today we went for a walk to a nearby stretch of beach. We had gone to deliver a birthday present and ended up on the beach. The tide was coming in, the sharp wind was icy cold and I was glad to be well wrapped up. The sand was peppered with pretty little shells and with only a paper bag I struggled to carry all my found treasures. I felt the coldness of the water, as I picked up wet shells and my finger ends were numb. I had to have them, I could not resist them, so many beautiful pairs of tiny perfectly striped shells. Then I chose a whole collection of larger blue and white shells. The heaps of seaweed tossed onto the shore were full of tangles of different coloured mermaids purses, yes of course I collected them too! I have washed the shells, so happy with them.

They are so lovely, I would go as far as saying I could almost eat them.

I loved my walk with the bracing winds, the choppy waves making the wavy lines of brown frothy foam on the sand and so many treasures for me. I can't wait to get started on some new drawings. To watch the power of the sea as it made its way towards my village further along the estuary with such a dramatic sky overhead. A grey sky makes a grey sea. The photographer took over a hundred shots along the way.

As we made our way back towards the car we could see the black clouds in the distance over the Lakeland hills and snow showers turning the hills white. No wonder my fingers were so cold. Even the photographer was feeling the chill and had cold hands with his gloves on,
......all work, drawings, photographs and words are copyright and owned by Eileen Postlethwaite. All rights reserved....
All our beautiful beaches inspire me to draw.
Did you notice I also found a red berry? Looks like I am going to busy capturing some of my beach finds.
Hope you are all keeping warm where ever you are. Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comments. See you soon. Millyx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Drawing in ink

Today we woke up to the most beautiful day. It was so appreciated after some stormy, windy and cold days with hail, sleet and snow showers. There have been days when it looked like someone had pulled down a grey blind to the window, no hills just a flat grey mass of cloud and nothingness. I was glad to stay indoors and work on my brown ink page, drawing the objects I showed you in my last post.
I like the slow pace of dipping a pen into ink and watching the marks appear on the page. It gives me time to think. I added a double sycamore seed and a little piece of brown fern. The berries are drying and crumbling and more brown than red, as winter has taken it's hold on the hedgerows.
During the week we walked through the lanes, a shorter walk than usual because it was bitterly cold. I was looking around at the brown leaves and earth, bare branches and this winter landscape stripped of colour. I collected the last of the rosehips, shrivelled up shapes turning brown and black. Each branch I reached up for caught my woollen mittens on the sharp thorns and snagged my jacket, I was tangled up and at the mercy of the thorns and jagged branches. It was quite a fight, a mitten free, then I find the sleeve caught and I turn to realise I am trapped by my hat and hair. Despite all of that I hung on to my treasures. It reminded me of childhood days, collecting blackberries and getting tangled in the briars, and I guess I should know better by now ! Of course I had to draw them after all that.
I enjoyed working again with my brown pen and brown ink straight onto the page, no planning just letting the page form as I went along. A little acrylic ink for the touches of red on the berries. I will always think of that tangle I got into whilst collecting those branches when I see this page in my square book where I recorded them.
Along the stone walls little sycamore seeds get trapped between cracks and gaps in the slate. There they are protected from damage as they slowly change into the skeletal lace structures. I love finding them, each year they fascinate me, so tiny and perfect, to me so beautiful.
Today we went for a lovely walk on this crisp clear day. I noticed the shapes of the neatly cut hedgerows, the golden brown rushes moving gently at the edge of the river, the large branches of the magnificent oak tree and the frozen brown leaves trapped in the ice. The muddy ground, the dried and dead remains of plants, a cowparsley seed head, and some pale brown toadstools. Mostly I noticed how blue the sky was, with the views of snow capped hills and clusters of trees, in this peaceful world with so much space and silence. I realise how lucky I am to be able to see this, pleased I can share it with others.
We wandered back home. I did not collect objects, instead memories of the day which also ended in a most spectacular way.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of what I have been doing. Thank you as always for your interest and lovely comments, they are appreciated and I do enjoy reading each one. I hope you are keeping warm and doing something creative. I will leave you with the first signs of spring, snowdrops in my garden, a welcome sight. See you soon. Milly x

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Winter walks.

It has become chilly here with white toppings on the hill tops. I have had some nice winter walks, wrapped up well against the bitterly cold wind.

I have been drawing a collection of objects I found on a walk.


I picked each object up and wrapped them all in tissues I had in my pockets, then popped them in my jacket and hoped they survived intact. I knew I would enjoy recording the different textures, shapes and colours.

I love finding the old pieces of china peeping out of the ground, a blue patterned one and the white crackled edge of a plate. The pale blue empty snail shells seem to be everywhere in the winter hedgerows, all the brown outer skin peeled back and revealing the beautiful pale stripes. I picked up three sycamore seeds with the intricate lines and tears that happen as they age, another favourite drawing subject for me.
As I started to draw these objects my mind thinks that I have saved them, rescued them from becoming specks to be blown by the wind or from being swept along with the water running down the sides of the road and into a drain. Who cares much for an empty snail shell so easily crushed under foot without a second thought.
I was looking through an older sketchbook and I saw a page, a similar collection of my finds and I was transported back to a place, a day and a memory of a walk.
They may not mean much to others but they do to me, they tell my story of a day, a memory which I want to keep.
Like the berries I picked today.
I stopped to look at the hawthorn tree, all tangled and twisted with thorns and there I saw this last branch of berries. The remains of a leaf came home too. I will try and do my best to capture them both together on a new page. The red berries give me so much pleasure to see. It seems such a long time before they will return again next autumn, so let me hang on to the image of the last few as I draw them. Later the birds will have them to eat.

And here is the page from one of my older sketchbooks of my drawings from nature, the acorn cups and oak leaf, the lovely crackled China and the sycamore seeds. Strange little objects with a damaged rose hip berry. Yet I remember that day so clearly as I collected them all.

And I will leave you with the view outside. As the temperature dips we are keeping warm by the fire. I am going to start sketching my branch of berries and skeletal leaf.
What are you drawing ? I would love to hear why or how you choose your subjects to draw or paint. Hope you are all keeping warm.
Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comments, I enjoy reading them. It seems to take so long posting as my eyes do not like the computer. I hope you like seeing my first completed drawing of 2015, painted using acrylic inks.
Sunday 18th January 2015 At. 4pm. See you soon . Millyx
All photographs, artwork and writing belong to Eileen Postlethwaite. Please respect my copyright, all rights reserved.