Wednesday 31 March 2010

Little Shoots

We went for a ride out and ended up at Kendal. I didn't feel like shops so we walked the footpath by the river. A sandwich and cup of tea from the kiosk and we sat by the river watching the seagulls fly around hoping for some scraps. Ducks swam around on the river, pigeons and starlings walk around the seats looking for any left overs. It was good to sit in the fresh air and watch. We wandered along to a little park and enjoyed the little stroll looking at the allotments just over the fence, some gardening activity and chatting by the owners. The trees were bare and the grass looked wet and muddy, the park seats looked damp. So we just wandered until I stopped to look up at a really large tree with huge spreading branches. It was a beautiful old tree, no leaves to give a clue of what it was. Then I saw the seeds on the grass, so went to collect some. They were a really large version of the "helicopter" seeds, with a flattish end. They all seemed to be standing up right, then as I picked them up I realised why. Tiny green shoots were rooting into the soil and making them all stand up. I collected lots to bring home and draw. I examined them at home, realising the end was split open to allow the green shoot to grow. As I tugged at the shoot, out fell the seed. Two seeds from one of the largest, shaped to fit the middle of the page. It is really fascinating to think this huge tree started off as one of these little seeds. I will check back when the leaves appear to try and identify it, seems to belong to the Maples looking at my tree book.

Thank you for the lovely comments, I am feeling better. I have been painting the seeds with acrylic paint and my trusty number 6 sable brush, another page in my square book. Hope you like them. It snowed today, lightning and hail yesterday, poor spring flowers are getting a battering.

Saturday 27 March 2010

Slow Pace

Life has been rather slow lately. I have had a really rotten cold and my head has felt like it didn't belong to me. I have been forced to slow down and just let it run its course. I haven't been feeling myself all week and not able to draw or even read blogs.
I felt like I was a snail, slowly moving around feeling very delicate, curling up on the sofa with my pounding head. I will spare you all the details ! When I finally woke up Friday morning and I could breath, didn't need the box of tissues, could bend my head felt like bliss.
I really missed not drawing. I sat and looked through a few of my sketchbooks and old drawings. Then I found this snail I did with black ink pens and thought that is how I feel. It was done a while ago. As the temperature warms up the snails that are hibernating in the cracks in the wall, in plantpots and in the hedges will all wake up. I like seeing them in the garden, watching them move around, walking up the walls, hanging over the edges of the plantpots and even creeping into my kitchen. As you know I like collecting and drawing their empty shells.
Hope you like it.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Whats Yours?

Something different today, just a little piece of nature and some of my found treasures. Everywhere I go I scan the ground, noticing things, picking up objects and bringing them home. I call them my treasures. The other day I was balancing on large stones in a stream fishing out pieces of china from the freezing cold water, for the thrill of finding a lovely blue and white piece, or some other intricate pattern. I always seem to arrive home with a pocket full of my finds.
A treasured possession is an old rusty key that I found many years ago. This similar one was found in a second hand shop. I am definitely one of life's collectors, and keys are one of my favourite things.
Then the dresser in my kitchen is covered in old china, items collected over thirty years, second hand pieces chosen for their pattern or shape. I don't mind if they are chipped or cracked. I fill an old chipped jug with flowers and to me it looks beautiful. I love old china, so finding old pieces of sea washed, river washed or buried broken pottery gives me a thrill. Just last week I found lots of pieces in the garden at an old derelict house in the village.
This little blue and white piece painted on the tag was one of them, a great find, as it has a pattern on both sides.
They are little fragments of a time gone by, each one unique. I like to include them as part of a painting with natural objects. You will find examples in the side bar.
I painted on the tag and the larger key is on dark brown card.
Would you like the tag.....I am going to give it away.
Tell me what is your idea of "a treasure".
Leave a comment and I will give the tag to the winner.
I will pick the winner next Sunday 21st March 2010.
The WINNER is Pomona. She will receive the painted tag.
Thank you for your lovely comments, I enjoyed reading them all.
I will have another give away soon.

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Mystery tracks

We have been lucky to have experienced some lovely bright sunny days. The sky so blue and the perfect days for walking. It is still cold and things seem to be on hold, nothing much is growing along the hedgerows. The snowdrops are everywhere and the village churchyard is beautiful with a carpet of snowdrops and blue crocus.
I have been out walking most days. I find a few sycamore seeds and oak leaves to add to my on going projects. Then I see lots of empty snail shells in the bare hedges. I like the lovely pale blue shades, as they have changed from their brown colour over the winter. How many other people have a bowl of snail shells on their kitchen sink that have just been washed!
I saw this branch, on the long thorny briers of the Blackberry brambles. It has the white tracks of some insect, I am not sure what makes it. It caught my eye and so It came home with me. Just as we were near home I stopped to look at my favourite Hawthorn. This tree is where I collect most of my red berries. It was bare, no leaves but the new tiny red buds are appearing. Green lichen is growing on lots of the branches and it is interesting to see the twisted shapes of the bare tree. Then I spotted some berries, they now appear in my drawing with the three leaves.
Another page in my square book, painted in Acrylic paint. I even managed to pick a little of the green lichen. Hope you like it.