Saturday, 21 May 2011

Week 20

This weeks page turned out rather different from what I expected.   It started with the live beetle in the jam jar.  I watched it moving around and made the three sketches at the top of my page.   He has now  been safely returned onto the shore to roam as free as he likes.  I looked it up in an insect book to find it is a Cockchafer, which likes to live in oak trees and feed on oak leaves.  That does make sense as I found it on the large oak leaf in the tide line.  So I placed them together and was interested to realise the leaf was eaten, even had a serrated edge,  I think made by my friend.  Actually I was a little uncomfortable with it,  it was big and I kept it  tightly sealed in a container as I sketched it.  The flowers are Thrift,  growing on the shore and looked so bright in last weeks greyness.  I picked them during the week and decided to put them all in, buds and flowers.  I chose a pink coloured crab and some green seaweed and I just loved this twisted brown piece of seaweed so had to include it.  So that is Week 20 completed and all painted with my acrylic inks and a little sable brush.
It has been a cold wet and windy week.  As the tide comes into the estuary it gets stormy and we have had some really heavy rain.  I chose my window of opportunity and went for my walk and collecting yesterday after seeing the weather forecast.  And as I am writing this it is really windy, cold, with a stormy grey sky and it has poured with rain all afternoon,  so I am glad I did go yesterday.  
There were lots of feathers,  the striped ones which belong to the curlew.  Lots of black ones too which is no surprise as there are many Crows, Rooks  and Magpies on the shore. We were also followed by two Swallows which kept swooping right in front of us, we think to collect the insects which we disturb as we walk through the grass.  We were amazed at their speed and agility and enjoyed watching them.   I found a black mermaids purse and a ball of  whelks egg cases  which was washed up.   There were so many crabs which had been eaten,  their backs opened like a hinged lid and the contents removed.  We saw oyster catchers, gulls, a curlew and shelducks in the sand by the water,  the tide was just coming in and the water was quite rough with the strong  south westerly wind.  It felt really cold and we were well wrapped up.  The sky was getting darker and warned that the rain showers were heading our way.  So we made our way back and shortly after reaching  home we had a really heavy shower.   Of course I still  found plenty of objects to choose from  for next weeks page.
Thank you for all the lovely comments.  "Ibisbill"  the striped feathers are Curlew feathers.  I was pleased to read that a school art group is following my blog....Hope the children are being inspired and are doing some lovely drawings.   The three giveaways have been posted. See Carrie has posted on her blog, thank you Carrie.  Hope you all enjoy my page for week 20.


Pondside said...

I like the action implied by the beetle - not a lover of bugs, but this one is quite friendly-looking. Now the crab - well, it's downright crabby looking!

Lyn said...

Beautiful, I love reading your posts. The beetle was very obliging!

Sarah Melling said...

I am really enjoying my visits to your blog. It's so lovely to experience your environment through your beautiful work. It seems like a wonderful place to different from my home in California!

gill said...

You make me feel as though I was there with you!
I love the cockchafer calling across the page - I run a small nature club at my local primary school and often use your pictures for specimen identification,they will enjoy seeing the cockchafer as last week I took one in to show them (a dead one I found!) I hope they remember what it is called!!

Ruth said...

The children are loving your blog and a display is being made. The children drew feathers, inspired by your work and they have produced some lovely drawings.
The pink crab is my favourite on "week 20"

acornmoon said...

What a lot I have missed being on holiday without a computer.

Cockchafers are amazing things, one landed in our garden, it seemed to appear from nowhere, just blew in one day and like you I had to look it up.

We spent time in your neck of the woods so I could picture you foraging on the shore.

Frances said...

Hello Milly.
Thank you for introducing me to the cockchafer beetle. Interesting little, but certainly not tiny, critter...and I don't know if I would have wanted to bring it indoors with me!

Introducing the pink tones into your composition gives your sketchbook page a very different look. As I studied this beautiful painting, I suddenly realized that many of the colors you have used are very similar to those featured in our spring clothing collections. Nature can be very inspirational.

Our rainy weather continues with a sunny day occasionally intervening to put smiles on our faces.


Feathers said...

Thanks for again sharing your seaside walk with us. I love the colors you introduced with the Thrift and crab on this weeks page. Hopefully, you will have warmer and drier weather next week. I'll stay tuned to see what's up next.

Lynn said...

Beautiful painting. The Cockchafer is delightful!

wandering said...

What a fantastic beetle..! We found a lady stagbeetle on our way to school this morning - wonderful dark shiny brown and deep black.
Love the colours of your page - feels like spring.

ibisbill said...

Thank you very much for pointing out that they were curlew feathers.

Yesterday, I found a feather from a mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) in our garden. It's a striking looking feather, dark-grey on one end, pure white on the other end, with a sharp dividing line between the two colors.

A mockingbird was calling the whole time, probably laughing at me for being so foolish as to pick up a discarded feather. I guess that's why they call them mockingbirds.

suz said...

love the flowers - I always wondered what they were called - Thrift - what a great name! I'm with Pondside in that I'm not a bug lover, but the beetle worked so well with the page.

Claire said...

Thats fabulous that a school is following-to inspire is a wonderful gift.I love your drawings this week-nice to see the Thrift and love your curlew feathers before xxxx

Swan Artworks said...

Isn't Thrift beautiful, and I love the beetle and the fact you've drawn him three times - gives a real sense of his scuttling about!

Melody said...

I love the flowers, a lovely soft touch for the scene! You are very brave to have that big bug so nearby (in the jar or not...)!! I have an agreement with bugs, don't touch me, and I won't touch you... :) Lovely drawing!

Zuzu said...

LOVE your artwork - I have been following you for a while, and thought I'd say "Hi". ~ Zuzu

Life in the Garden said...

I am new to this, so it's possible I've posted this twice. Forgive me, please. I have a tiny little blog called Life in the Garden that I have just started. I was hoping to you use a piece of your artwork, with attribution and a link to your blog, in a post I am working on about haiku. I am writing to ask if you'd consider granting me permission.

Many thanks in advance,
Oh and I can be reached at

West Moss

ellie said...

I love this page, so full of life and movement with the cute beetle ! Beautiful X Ellie

Pomona said...

It is a beautiful page and lovely to hear the story of how it came about.

Pomona x