Thursday, 20 May 2021

Thirteen Feathers

 Thirteen Feathers


I am always collecting feathers and I love to draw them. The thirteen long tall feathers belong to the Seagulls.  I find them on the shore where I live and each and every one has a different shape, pattern and Colour. Hours and hours of time passed by as I sat drawing all the details and captured them on paper.  All my artwork comes from being inspired by Nature, from this lovely English countryside surrounding my village. 
Yesterday we took an early morning walk and everywhere is now so green, cows in the fields and the hedgerows are bursting with wild flowers and blossom.  The birds are singing and someone is scanning the banks and branches for nests.  He spotted two, the intricately woven nest with a sitting blackbird and a tiny circle of moss belonging to the Wren. 
Whilst I breathe in the soft familiar scent drifting through the air before you even see the carpets of Bluebells.  It is nest building time, two nests in my garden and young birds been shown around the garden and fed by parents. The blue tits have the luxury of a bird box as we caught sight of a tiny head peeping out.  


I know I am lucky to live here and be able to enjoy and appreciate the different seasons throughout the year. Nature is very evident inside my house too and the choices I make. We are all aware how very fragile Nature is and we all must play our part to care for it, for the future. Having a garden for the wildlife has always been my aim and one of the pleasures is hearing the birds singing from dawn to dusk. They usually sit in the Ash tree at the bottom of my garden.























My beautiful Canvas by "Photowall"  of my Thirteen Feathers.

One of my greatest pleasures in life has to be having the ability and time to draw nature. All the beautiful things I see and find, collect and record in my sketch books. Then my project of making inks and drawing with my own colours has been so exciting. Discovering and finding colours from plants and berries from the hedgerows and also using them to dye with. So much to learn from Nature.


A page in my sketchbook using my own ink to paint eggs and a row of  smaller feathers using a dip in pen in my walnut ink.  

I am getting used to this new beautiful Canvas Picture in my living room, it really has changed the focus and made the whole room look so lovely. I am still using the back of my sofa as my gallery.


Everything I put next to the giant feathers looks so beautiful and matches so well.  I  have been drawing and learning  names of different Moths after we saw a Moth trap and then  made our own in the garden and had a glimpse of what is out there.  I recorded my favourite moths as postcard sized drawings, adding to them as and when. 

This leads me to telling you about, 'The Thirteen Feathers'. I was invited by a company called 'Photowall' to try some of my artwork on one of their products. I chose the large size canvas to display my feather artwork.  Which they very kindly gifted to me.
 Thank you, it is beautiful.

The Photowall website was really easy to use. I just had to upload a high quality photograph of my work and then pick my size. My illustration was printed the same day and arrived three working days later sent all the way from Sweden. It arrives with all parts and instructions to construct as a framed canvas ready to hang. There is even a helpful video on the website to show you how to put it together.
 
When my print arrived I was so pleased with the quality. As you can see from the photographs the detail of my illustration has enlarged really well to make an impressive piece of art work. 

I chose to work with this company as they share a similar love of nature and really do care about the environment. Photowall strive to minimise their environmental impact by printing only what is required and they have an environmental approach which permeates everything they do. The printing ink they use for their wallpapers contains no solvents or hazardous chemicals, and is biodegradable. 






I would not hesitate to use Photowall in the future. I am wanting to try some of my work on a poster next. The website has options for printing Wallpaper, Wall Murals, Canvas and Posters. The site has heaps of ideas if you want some inspiration to help you decide what you want to print.    

I uploaded my photograph of my own art work but there are thousands of different images and subjects to choose from, in the different sizes. You can print your own work, maybe your children's artwork or even treasured family photographs. A great personal gift.

As a treat for my blog readers , photowall gave a discount .....Sorry this discount has now expired.  You can still  visit  the excellent website  click this link to go to the Photowall website  and view all the gorgeous art work. 

Today is a beautiful sunny day so I am off for a walk on the shore....might even find some new feathers to draw for my next canvas idea.  Hope you enjoyed seeing what I have been up to, see you soon, Take care,  Eileen x   



I also have a new Instagram account where I will be sharing my art at www.instagram.com/drawingsfromnature
All  artwork by Eileen Postlethwaite. Please respect my ownership.

Monday, 29 March 2021

Looking Forward

 

It is officially Spring and the daffodils are out.   We  have put the clocks forward for British Summer Time. 

 The day has been dark and gloomy with a grey sky and a windy rainy wet view looking out of the window.  With  the arrival of the the full moon, it brought the high tide with sea water  covering most of the shore.  Thank goodness for the yellow cheerful jug of flowers.  It was one of those days when you need the lights on and a cosy fire going in the woodburner,  as the rain never seems to stop!  


    I sit by the window with the lamp fitted with a daylight bulb.  I glance around at all  my clutter and decide to have a little sort out, as it seems being organised is not my best trait. It is good clutter, creative inspiring and keeps me going during this strange time we are all living through. Under the lamp is a collection of  objects like the ivy skeleton leaf ,big pebbles and berries and blue china and jars of my ink and acorns that have been there a while. Then I am ashamed to see a jam jar with pink water containing  the first and second snakehead fritilliary flowers  from the garden that I picked to draw. The first one was never drawn and has now collapsed, shrunk and hanging off the side of the jar. 


 I did manage to draw the second flower this week in ink and used the water to wash my pen and brushes. hence pink water!  And I enjoyed painting the big pebble with the red berries as I liked them together. And the lovely new Sketch book was used to draw the skeleton leaf with my own handmade ink, using a dip in pen. SO all that clutter was used well.


Does anyone else use the back of the sofa  as your gallery?  I found some other art work I have been doing and there seems to be a colour theme going on.  Another lovely coloured  pebble  along with the acrylic paints and mussel shells.   So the gallery exhibits were propped up on the sofa to view.


 I really love this pebble found on the shore where the old iron mines were, hence the red colours.


Talking of colours I found my big box of crayons and have been sharpening some for the blue china found on a beach walk . Since the lock down here I have just been walking in the village. So these objects remind me of the sea shore which I am so looking forward to having the freedom to go on some lovely long leisurely walks along the sands.


I have had a quiet time drawing and working on some of the found pieces of broken china. It is fascinating looking at all those little patterns, fragments from the past  and all such beautiful little treasures.



 


 


Sending everyone good wishes, hope each and every one is keeping safe. I hope you enjoyed seeing my little Gallery.  From little part of the world.....See you soon.  Millyx


All art work By Eileen Postlethwaite   Please respect my ownership and copyright.2021 

Saturday, 4 April 2020

April 2020

                                     


It is a very strange time we are all living through. it is hard to write about so Let me  write my post and hope that everyone reading this finds a little bit of pleasure from what I write and show you from my little place in this world. 
Nature is and always has been a big part of my life. so  I will share some beautiful nature that is making me happy and occupied during this time.
My garden started to show lots of signs that Spring is finally arriving.  daffodils and the amazing Snakehead Fritillary flowers.  Those of you who  know my blog will already know how much I love these flowers and how I add more each year at the bottom of my garden.

each day I wander down to see them, spent time looking at them and usually pick a few favourites to bring into the house to draw. I have used my own homemade Blackberry ink and a fine nib in a dip in pen. It keeps my mind focused and it is a slow time carefully drawing as I concentrate on the flowers and the  patterns slowly appear.






My eyes are not as good as when I was younger but Starting to draw I guess I can also use my memory  of past drawings and my style of drawing appears to replicate the flowers.

And something lovely appears on the blank page. can you see how very beautiful these flowers are,  so delicate and  elegant. They really are a  special sight as they appear now year after year and even more special because I planted each tiny white bulb.




The birds are singing each morning,  hopping around the garden all day long.  We were talking about how they seem so safe here, they know we feed them and I even left a pile or two of nesting materials for them when I did some gardening and collected dry stems.  How delighted we were to spot the blackbird going into the privet hedge,  the same place she made a nest last year. Quietly I had  a gentle peep and there it was.
A beautiful new nest with two blue eggs. it melts your heart.



And  then my husband watched a Robin flying out of the ivy. Guess what,  another nest.  We have been respectful, kept away at a safe distance from both nests but will be delighted to see the young birds  later on in the year hopefully  hopping around in the garden from both of the nests. 


It makes my heart sing  to know they chose my garden  to build in and that I am doing something right living along side nature and caring for it. I hope they are the same family returning.



Sunday, 16 February 2020

After the Storms.

the view from my garden of the high tide.

I guess it is not news to you all that we have been battered by two different storms during the past two weekends.  It has caused flooding.  So sad for all of the people who have had their homes flooded and damaged by the rising rivers breaking their banks and  all the heart break and upset it causes. I am sat listening to the wind roaring and watching as yet another high tide is on the way to cover our seashore. 

The  railway line is a few feet away from being flooded.
  I feel very grateful to be warm and safe. As the sea rushes into the estuary you see the force of the water with the wind behind it. Last weekend all the trains were cancelled because of the danger.  Day after day we have had such tides and the land and fields are waterlogged.  Yesterday I spent the afternoon drawing by the window looking out onto the grey gloomy weather.
my drawing of the found piece of china from the shore by Eileen Postlethwaite 
I am recording some of the blue and white china pieces that were found on my shore walks.
After such storms the rough sea water batters and erodes the sand bankings and reveals forgotten and hidden remains from a past life. I have collected so many and yet each time I find a new piece it gives me such joy.  The little pieces always have such interesting patterns and it really feels like I have a box of treasure.  The most exciting part for me in this drawing is that this is my own handmade ink made from flowers,  a secret for the moment.  I  was amazed  to make a blue ink and  thrilled to be able to draw my found china with it.
my tools along with the blue ink I made by Eileen Postlethwate 
I carefully sketched the china piece with a pencil and then used the dip- in pen with a fine nib and painted with an equally fine paint brush.  My own Blue ink. The Perfect Colour for the china.
Nearly completed hand drawn with my own ink  by Eileen Postlethwaite
I have recorded lots of lovely pieces  but it is still a work in progress.  My Project started with my  homemade book with drawings in my own inks.  All made from natural plants and objects found by me.
 It has been a slow process drawing but I am really happy how its looking and growing into a great project. It is almost a year since I started by making the handmade book, the inks and drawing my finds.  It is definitely a labour of  Love and so rewarding to think I did it all.  My eyes do not always thank me with the slow detailed work dip by dip and today I have stained blue fingers.

So a feast for the eyes is seeing the snowdrops and daffodils flowering.

 I have two blue glass vases each growing a beautiful blue scented hyacinth that greets you each morning.  A bulb teased into growing as its roots drink up the water in the jar and  they remind me of a jelly fish with the long white roots dangling.  I can see so many new spring shoots and signs of more colour in the garden as old and  new bulbs put down their roots.
A new find  By Eileen Postlethwaite
A new piece of china found on our recent walk. When we saw some blue sky and sunshine!
  It is good to walk and feel the cool breeze and blow away the cobwebs.
leave your foot prints in the sloppy sand.  
Wander home after a lovely walk as the sun goes down.




                                      A glance back to where you were as the sun sets


 Hope this finds every one safe and well. thank you for your comments  I Would  love to hear 
what are you drawing or making at this time of year.     Bye for now. x. Milly 
See you soon.

 Eileen Postlethwaite .all photographs and drawings by Eileen Postlethwaite.
Please be respectful. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year


Today brings a new year. 
Wishing everyone a Happy New Year filled with peace and kindness.

A few weeks ago I walked past this lovely old oak tree.  Then last month when the leaves were brown and falling I found a single acorn on the ground, I picked it up and looked at it, your coming home with me I said. Unable to resist I climbed the wooden gate and dropped down into the wood.  It is like entering another world, leaves crunch and twigs send out loud cracks as you walk through the wood.  Whilst my acorn is held softly in my hands so not to harm it.  I had a special place where I wanted to draw it.  My handmade book I created to draw and record my home made inks.

First page of my book of drawings from my own homemade inks
Eileen Postlethwaite
I  like small things, they surprise you, as size means nothing when you know the potential and power that little acorn has.  As  I  look up into the spreading branches of the oak and know this tree started life as a tiny  acorn.
I once  planted an acorn and now it grows behind my house,  last year was the first time it had acorns and this year the first time it had oak galls but each year it gets stronger and grows some more.


I made ink from the oak Galls  and used it to draw oaks.
Eileen Postlethwaite

I decided to draw acorns and oak leaves,and  because of my love of brown inks make my own.  This picture above shows my drawings using my own ink made using some oak galls I found.  A dip in pen and my ink records oak finds......... a little piece of magic as my natural ink  records nature. All found in my own village.
As I have slowly watched my book fill up, a little at a time.  I have used plants and flowers and berries and seeds to make different colours to draw with.  Just as nature takes its time,  I have to wait patiently until things are ready, each season brings something new.   During 2019  it has been  so exciting finding different colours from nature.

New Years Eve....the sky at sunset.
Eileen Postlethwaite
Nature constantly surprises us with  colours. To end the year this was the sunset from my bedroom window.  What a way to end the year.....better than any firework display.


Snakehead Fritillary flowers in my garden,  looking forward to seeing them again soon.
Eileen Postlethwaite

And I have just planted some more tiny creamy coloured bulbs to grow and add to the  snakehead frillary flowers already in my garden.  Small things have such  potential to make beautiful things happen.  I often see my drawings and realise in my own little way I can send and share my love of nature to so many people and  make a difference. 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year.  Perhaps we could all spread some peace and kindness for 2020. 


Thursday, 4 July 2019

Sunshine and flowers


Hello.  It is beautiful weather here and we  are enjoying being outside and  going for walks around the village. The verges and  hedgerows are full of wild flowers, it is so lovely to see so many wild flowers thriving in this changeable weather we have experienced over the last few months. It is hot and we are not used to it!   Then  it can turn so cool and oh dear, can it rain here in the English  Lake district!  So as it is now officially Summer,  it is lovely to have some sunshine.

eco printing with flowers from my garden  by Eileen Postlethwaite
I have been capturing colours with different flowers  from my garden.  I did this last year and experimented with different coloured flowers.  It was trial and error, as I sat and rubbed different flower heads and squeezed the colours to create an image.

Lace capped primula  on paper by Eileen Postlethwaite
 I tried whatever flowers were in my garden, some worked beautifully and others not so well. I used a pebble to roll across the flowers,  and I  become more aware of  what techniques worked.  How much  pressure to apply and more aware of the different types of  paper to use to  create a better image. First I used a watercolour paper then tried  other various papers, the best way is to just experiment and play to discover what you can use.


Now its time to try the process on fabric by Eileen Postlethwaite
    After a lot of  different coloured flowers and many skills learnt I  felt like I was capable of moving on to fabric and chose a cotton handkerchief which was new and unused.  I placed the cotton between two sheets of paper and decided to use a metal soup spoon to rub these delicate flower heads.

peeling back the top layer of paper was really exciting, by Eileen Postlethwaite
    It was a slow careful process as I rubbed a single flower at a time, sitting at the table. I had to be careful not to move or brush across the flower heads.  It actually took about four hours to complete but the moment I peeled back the paper was really exciting.  These were all done last summer so I had to try again this year.  I  decided to go bigger and not just small flowers but try the whole plant, so here we go.  A hammer was used to carefully bash the stalks and leaves and flowers, a small headed hammer and the same techniques.  It all takes time and patience to achieve a good result.  It is exciting to try diffrerent plants and discover what works well.  Have a go and see.


eco printing by Eileen Postlethwaite 
  I really love using nature for creative work. I have also been making natural dyes and  my own nature inks to draw with.  I am drawing with my home made inks and again it so exciting to discover colours using my own garden plants,  hedgerow  berries and seeds.

elderberry dyed fabric by Eileen Postlethwaite

The dyed fabrics will be made into something.  Do you remember my little miniature quilt from Elderberries? sadly it faded to a paler version, as many natural dyes do.  I  still enjoy dyeing and discovering colours and sewing them.  My lovely hare drawing on the pincushion,  watching me as I sew. 


using my own homemade inks to draw with by Eileen Postlethwaite
  I am using my own  homemade inks and have been working  on some new  drawings using only my new colours of  ink.   It  feels so me,  using my local colours,  from picking berries, making inks and  using them recording natural objects  I have found on my walks. In this fast world it is good to slow down and use a dip pen and  quietly work at my drawings,  slowly and carefully, no rush just take my time recording my found objects. 
 Can you imagine the feeling of  using your own inks to draw with?  Here I used my Elderberry, and Walnut made in 2016,  the sycamore is from an elderberry made back in 2015.  I am always  full of ideas and inspired by where I live.  When a peacock butterfly appears on your curtain one morning.


a visitor delighted us with her beauty on the living room curtain.  Eileen Postlethwaite
Last Friday evening we walked on  the shore and my daughter took this photograph just before the sun went down. I think it speaks for itself.  We have had such beautiful sunsets.  It is nice to share.  

photograph  by my daughter Jane Postlethwaite 30 June 2019 
  

I hope you enjoy seeing what I have been doing.  Let me know what your project is and if you have been creative, I would love to hear.  
Bye for now  Milly.x
Eileen Postlethwaite