Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Week 36

Here is my week 36 page which I have just completed, although I might still need to do a little bit of touching up  here and there.  It is getting so dark that I needed to photograph before it is too late.  The page contains a piece of seaweed and a yellowy mermaids purse,  a large holly leaf and a  hawthorn leaf and three red berries.   I collected many different objects shown above  being washed in the sink,  but chose these for my page and I am pleased with  how the arrangement turned out.   They are painted with a number 4 sable brush and my acrylic inks, with  brown umber, sepia, yellow ochre, red and blue mixed for all the colours.  As the time slips by,  two days of painting, the seaweed shrinks and the colours darken and the most horrible fishy smell drifts in the air,  the things I do for a good picture!
Last Friday I was invited to give a little talk and show my art work to a lovely group of people at Keswick art society.   It really had me thinking about what I draw and paint.  I explained that I collect  my specimens  on a walk,  I then choose and arrange them to make the drawing.   I realise they are all objects in my environment,  familiar to me and yet always interesting to me.  I  really enjoy not knowing what I will draw until I go for a walk and then find the objects that make the pages.  At the end of the talk it was lovely to hear the words inspiring and beautiful many times by different people, so thank you if you happen to be reading this.

We are experiencing some gales and stormy weather, along with the high tides the shore is very wet.  I didn't like the look of it on Saturday and eventually ventured down on Sunday,  late afternoon after the tide had gone down.  I had a real battle on my hands just walking along as the strong winds blew off the sea.  I was well wrapped up, only my face showing and at times it was hard to catch my breath as I was pounded by the wind.   The water in the tidal river should have been flowing out to sea,  the wind makes it look like it is running in the opposite direction..   I was shocked how much of the banking had collapsed with the strong tide, it is eroding the land and creeping nearer to the train lines. The amount of water running off the banks has created deep channels and patterns in the sand.  My reward was to see the huge amounts of seaweed, the tideline full of natural objects.  I found the two yellowy mermaids purses tangled in the seaweed,  one was used in the page. My unwritten rule, always collect the red berries, and of course the many different feathers attract my attention.   It looks like a messy tangle because that is what it is, all mixed and mashed by the stormy sea.  I used my foot to kick it  and roll it over to have a better look.  So many things I see which I could draw but with enough in my bag which I am really  hanging onto for fear of it blowing away, I am finished here. 
The grey heavy clouds are warning of rain.  I hurried along slopping and splashing through the soggy ground and jumping the gullies.  It started to rain, sharp stinging rain on my face and it feels dark and hostile.   The acid yellow lichen glows on the limestone boulders,  just the way  my red berries did as I slipped  them into  my pocket for safe keeping.  Home to a warm house and I drop my finds into the sink to watch the colours and shapes appear from the tangle, the start of my page for week 36.
Thank you for the lovely comments. Let me know if you are visiting, I would love to hear from you.
the tangle of seaweed and the two mermaids purses.

the tideline

yellow lichen

Press pictures for close up.


laurie said...

this is beautiful,, just lovely and great photos.. The erosion from the waves is so powerful isn't it,,

Frances said...

Millie, from your post I can see what conditions you faced and withstood as you collected week 36's treasures.

Bravo to you for braving the elements and still keeping your artist's eyes open for interesting gifts from nature.

Your resulting sketchbook page definitely shows your visit to the shore provided wonderful inspiration for yet another week.

May the weather gods be more kind to you this week. xo

Susan Scheid said...

So lovely, as always. I am particularly drawn to the holly leaf.

martinealison said...

Ma chère Millie ton travail m'impressionne toujours... Je t'imagine errant, fouinant dans la nature...
Puis au chaud ton sens artistique continue son chemin...
Merci pour l'ensemble de tes photos et des tes écrits.
gros bisous

Sarah Melling said...

I've just made a resolution to be sure and leave comments more often on your blog, as I visit often, and love your work. When you described the talk you gave, I love where you said that you never know what you're going to be drawing until you go on your walk. I think that's one reason your sketches and posts are so appealing...we discover the objects along with you. and I've heard of mermaids' purses, but have never seen one out at the beach...I must find out where they can be found along our California coast! Lovely work.

Marilyn said...

I love the photos of your beach with the darkening clouds above. This is the kind of beach I love, empty of people and has a wild beauty.
Your art is amazing, I am fascinated with the lines you paint in the plants. Wonderful.

Diana said...

So beautiful Milly, your composition is esp. pretty too and delicate. Your words take me there with you so that I even feel the spray on my face. Lovely! You are going to have to write and illustrate a book. take care, love,Diana