Saturday, 29 January 2011
week 4. Feathers
Here are the pages for Week 4. I loved the shapes of the battered and tatty looking feathers and decided to arrange them across the double pages. We have many different birds that visit or live in the estuary. I know from my experience that in the summer months the feathers will be pristine and plentiful, so lets show the scruffy winter ones. We always know when the geese arrive with their distinctive noise. Look up to the sky and there will be the V shapes as the Greylag geese fly in and land on the grassy shore. It is often hard to see them on the ground as they blend in so well, then a low flying jet blasts across the sky and in those few seconds they panic and frightened by the noise fly up and circle around in total confusion. I could hear them calling across the shore but could not see them, but I was thrilled to see a Kingfisher, if only a blue flash flying along the river. In this estuary, the fresh water rivers from the mountains flows into the estuary, the main river is the Duddon from which it derives its name and then sea water flows in with two tides each day. The estuary attracts much bird life and the two swans who have raised a family here were swimming along the tidal river. I am not a great bird spotter but I love finding the feathers.
I drew my collection in pencil and then used acrylic inks. I wanted the fine detail of the feathery shapes so I used the number 1 sable brush. It was rather slow progress this week completing the feathers. The problem of white on white was solved with yellowy or grey to capture the paler feathers. I love the brown striped feathers, this one was a little green but I kept it a little cleaner. Thought you might like to see my colour palette. In the end I was really happy with this page.
I can't believe how quickly Saturday comes around. Today is week 5 collecting. It was a beautiful clear day with a hard frost. Football was cancelled so I had some company. The seaweed, oak leaves and feathers were all frosted. I liked the frosted seaweed which looked like pieces of white lace. The feathers felt strange as frozen shapes, they soon melted in my jacket pocket back to their soft textures. I saw many oak leaves with their familiar shape, but they looked so pretty edged with white frost. Today the water was so low that the old remains of a jetty from days gone by was visible, where slate from our village quarry was taken away by a flat bottomed boat. Old pieces of blue and white china and broken glass bottles were visible on the seabed. Yes, we fished out some bits and pieces, maybe they will appear on my pages. Today I found lots of shells. We were able to walk across areas which last week were completely covered with sea water, large expanses of sand with wave ripple patterns, bird prints and lots and lots of shells uncovered and stuck in the sand. The many tributaries and deep gullies were dried up today, but exposing the dangers of this shore and how deep the water is when the tide is in. I fear the sand and often feel nervous, too many childhood memories of sinking sands getting my feet, then ankles stuck and the panic. My steps kept to the very dry areas and if sheep or human footprints are deep it is a no go area for me. I know this shore, but I also know the dangers. The village and the shore are seperated by the railway line. The sea is eroding the grassy banks and the railway line has recently been protected with a stronger barrier of limestone rocks at vunerable places. I found a seaweed growing on the limestone boulders and collected a sample. As I sort out my treasures I suspect the shells will feature strongly for week 5, wait and see.
Thank you for the comments, hope you like the feathers. Millyx
Posted by MILLY at Saturday, January 29, 2011