Sunday 27 March 2011

Week 12

                                        The tangle of seaweed and mermaids purse
                                             A goose feather and a tiny duck feather
As another week passes by we have enjoyed some beautiful sunny days.  I visited a nearby pebbled beach and we sat and watched as the tide went down and then listened to the calming sound of the waves lapping up and down the beach.  Of course I collected some little bits and pieces to examine.
My week 12 picture features the mermaids purses all tangled up with the sea weed.  I used the acrylic inks, then a black ink pen to stipple and to draw the egg cases and all the tangles.   I then  got a bit carried away and stippled with white ink on my paintbrush. The three colours are on the little tag, press picture to enlarge.   I had collected some lovely feathers so decided to add a goose feather and a tiny duck feather,  first in pencil, then inks.  
I had lots of visitors to my blog this week,  thanks to Pondside pointing them in my direction.  It is lovely to meet new people and discover new  blogs.   I guess it was a strange picture to find,  two pieces of seaweed and an old damaged oak leaf.   Not many people left a comment,  thank you to the ones that did.   It made me realise that this sea project is not always pretty,  but it is real.   I want to show real objects,  just as I find them,  a true record of my shore finds.   This is often earthy muddy colours,  torn and tangled objects and not really pretty things.    Of course objects are washed up and left on a muddy shore,  often  broken and battered by the sea,  they dry or rot,  can be wet and smelly.  It is a wet slippery muddy place at the moment.   Yes,  it looks and makes a pretty view but close up and amongst  it,  it  is often very different.  I do not want to hide that side of my shore line.
The days are  getting warmer,  the midges and flies are starting to wake up and spiders run between the debris of the tideline.   I saw several very large bees this week.   The oyster catchers are pairing,  each couple moving around looking for a nesting place.  My swan is still alone, elegantly swimming up and down the tidal river. The birds are competing to see who is the loudest,  the bird song can be heard everywhere.  I looked up to see a huge bird shape high up in the clouds, a glider twisting and silently flying in circles high above me.   This toy like plane reminded me of my childhood when my Dad would point to show me, eventually my eyes would focus and see it.    So as I looked up,  they looked down onto my shore seeing the whole picture,  and I am here seeing the details.   I  found only a few objects but enough for a new page.  Today we enjoy an extra hour of daylight,  the sun sets are so nice and so is the extra hour as the birds are still singing outside and it is well after seven.

Hope you like the page.  Please leave a comment and let me know you visited.   Thank you to the regulars,  welcome to my new followers.   After two weeks,  my laptop has returned, still some problems....three blue screens and windows shut down I have been writing this!   Until next week.     Millyx

Sunday 20 March 2011

Week 11

                                           The finished page for week 11
                             I  keep my pizza bases, look how they come in handy!
I can hardly believe how quickly this week went by.   I had many interesting sea finds to choose from and then ended up with just three on my page.   I chose the fresh seaweed with shades of greens, the rusty brown bubbly piece and a matching rusty coloured oak leaf.    Oak leaves are one of my favourite subjects, this one  was so interesting with the holes and colouring which glowed when I found it.  It had survived since last year but is now showing real signs of damage and decay.  I also liked seeing how the brown piece of seaweed had also started to lose pieces and change colour.  When I  placed them on the pizza base after I washed them,  the colours looked so vibrant.  I felt  the three were enough for my page.    One week later they  have dried, shrunk and twisted,  and hardly resemble their original colours as they  have darkened to dull drab shades.   I used the acrylic inks and my fine number one sable brush, and used a little stippling on the green with a black ink pen.  The inks can be mixed to make shades and I use them just  the same as using paints.                    

Yesterday, Saturday, I could not go onto the shore at my usual time in the morning as it was a high tide.  I decided to give a couple of hours to the garden,  two hours soon turned into five hours!  So it was almost 5 o'clock before I ventured down on the still waterlogged shore.  It was soggy and slippery but after my gardening and feeling tired I was quite happy to go slow.  The sun was really low and as I walked I realised I had a long thin shadow by my side.   It was a little hazy looking out across the shore but I could see and hear many different birds, the sounds echoing across the estuary.   In the sand I saw bird prints,  the pretty patterns twisting and curling as they made their tracks along the waters edge.  It was a good day for feathers, as I collected an assortment of  different sizes, colours and patterns.   I found a few crab pieces but they always break when you handle the brittle pieces.  As I collected a mermaids purse it was all tangled with a second one and some seaweed,  maybe an interesting piece to draw.  During my walk I could feel the temperature drop as the sun faded.  The swan was settled on the opposite bank,   sat with her neck curled as she was raking through the grass.  We glanced at each other for awhile,  then I noticed she was all dirty on her front with the brown soil, maybe today we are similar...both been gardening and a little grubby after our digging .  The train broke the silence as it thundered past us both,   we both looked up at the track.   From the back of the carriage a fat red faced man poked his head out of the window with a cigarette in his mouth,  from the non smoking train!  As I made my way along to the station,  I could smell the smoke drifting in the air.  I stood on the railway bridge and just caught the last rays of the sun sinking behind the hills.  It was a lovely quiet calm time of the day to go and collect for week 12.  It is something I look forward to,  with the long summer evenings.
Time to sort out my finds and get started on a new page.   Thank you for the lovely comments,  it is always nice to read them all.   Still no news on my laptop!   Hope you like the picture.    

Sunday 13 March 2011

Week 10

I told you last week I had collected some nice feathers.  My page is of some of my finds,  ten feathers, quite appropriate for week ten.  I love feathers and find it difficult not to stop and pick them up.   As the shore has a large bird population visiting, there are always lots blowing around or floating on the water.   The green jug houses many of my last years finds, over the years I have drawn many feathers. Three of my art cards feature feathers.
It was lovely to complete this page although at times I did wonder if it was a good decision doing white feathers on white paper, but I like a challenge,  and solving how I will succeed at making them appear against the background.  I gave the paintbrush a rest and used Derwent coloured pencils,  a good pencil sharpener and lots of time and patience.  You can see all the different shades used, browns, yellow, greys, white and blues  and a pencil for the initial drawings. I am happy with the finished page.
I went collecting yesterday, Saturday,  for week 11.  It has been a cold windy week with the tides getting higher and stronger.  A fresh tide line had delivered some nice finds for my next weeks picture. There was just me and the swan yesterday,  I walked back and forwards and the swan glided along beside me.  She looked so beautiful and elegant.  I looked like an old tramp with my hat and gloves and waterproof jacket and wearing my husbands warm lined walking pants, carrying a plastic carrier bag.  Out of that bag I always find something beautiful to go on my page.
My computer is being repaired, not had it all week, so I will keep this short I am using someone else's laptop.
As always thank you for the lovely comments, I really do enjoy reading them all, I will try to return the visit when I can.  Hope you like the picture,  press for close up,  the real feathers are placed on the ground for you to see.        Millyx

Sunday 6 March 2011

week 9

                        The week 9 page and the giveaway for Dan on the right.
The finished page.
As you can see below,  I still had a few more to do this afternoon.
We have had a glorious week with sunny days and each morning the sight of a blue sky.  One day we walked across the shore and of course I was searching for finds for my sketchbook.  It was so lovely we even sat and had our drink and snacks.  We knew it was only early March but it felt very warm and spring like as we wandered across the pale sand as I was searching and gathering some new finds. The geese were circling around and calling,  hundreds of them,  so beautiful to watch.  Lots of feathers went into my bag.  The many oak leaves I love to see stuck to the sand are blown from the nearby woods and fields, along with the seeds and red berries.  As I collect objects I wonder where they came from and how far they have travelled.
I see the circle of life here on the seashore, the promise of new life  in seeds, tiny shells,  the mermaids purse  which once held  a new life, and so many other examples.  Just as we see dead and decomposing objects.
Today we saw two oyster catchers, two birds choosing a possible nest side,  before long there will be nests on the shore and the thrill of stumbling on one and being able to view some eggs.  A single swan glided in the water, last year the pair of swans had four cygnets,  could this be one of their young,  now grown and left her  parents.  Ducks and other birds provided me with some more feathers,  many of them fished from the water as they floated and drifted to the waters edge.   I found some crabs legs, a claw and some empty body cases.
It has been such a lovely week and we have had the added pleasure of  enjoying  pretty  pink sunsets.  I always feel so calm and relaxed on the shore,  looking at the views of the surrounding landscape, walking on the sand  hearing the birds calling and my head full of my memories of happy days here.   And a lovely sighting was a butterfly,  dancing through the air,  like us chasing the sunshine. This  place always makes me feel so glad to be alive.
The week has been busy but I have managed to record my week 9 finds and complete the little give away for Dan,  it will be on its way tomorrow.  Even though I was just finishing my page this afternnoon.   My objects are first drawn in pencil and then painted using the acrylic inks and my sable brush.  All the drawings are from the real objects and I have left some for you to see.
Thank you for such lovely comments,  they have been so nice to read and I just want to share this with you.
I attended a funeral this week where the son spoke of his Mother and the things she did for many other people. He said they were often only small things,  but that even a small act of kindness can make a huge different to  another person.  We can all make a different to others with the things we do.