Monday 31 October 2011

Week 43

My week 43 double page is beautifully detailed as I worked with a number three sable brush to put in every tiny little shape.  We had a huge tide last Thursday which covered the shore.  I ran to the station with a camera to record this sight.  I could not believe how quickly it crept across the grass and covered the land with water.  Then on Friday it came again with the forecast to be even bigger.  We went down to watch this tide as it gushed into the tidal pool, burst over the banks and soon covered the grassy shore again. It made me think of the people who have watched their homes carried along by the force of the sea water, to watch its strength and power and speed is to understand how this can so easily happen.   It was just after noon when the tide was at its height. It had burst over the limestone barrier and so close to the fence where we stood and watched, the railway line a few feet away.
 Later in the afternoon I returned to see what I might find to draw. The ground was wet, flooded areas and large pools everywhere I walked.  I traced my path along the banking of the tidal river, I was now walking on places that were totally underwater a few hours earlier.  I could hear the constant sound of trickling water, water running back off the banks, water running in many different directions as it drained off the grassy shore.  At places it dripped, huge dripping waterfalls, and deep gullies were carved into the soggy sand.  More erosion, the once grass banking dropping off into the sand and the sea creeping nearer to the railway line.  The need for the limestone barriers never more apparent.

The above pictures were on Thursday. I wanted you to see how close it came to the railway line and the gate as you enter the shore. Now for the tide on Friday with a clearer day to see the views.
As I wandered on the shore I could see it had been swept clean,  the places I usually cross and my normal little pathways had mostly been altered and changed by this sea water and all its power.  Just like a new hairstyle,  the grass seemed as if it had been combed  with brylcreemed waves,  this wiped away my familiarity and I had to choose new foot paths on my walk.  I found a jelly fish abandoned by the tide and larger clumps of seaweed ripped from their roots.   The pieces I collected were left tangled in the grass right against the fence on the boundaries of the shore.  I liked their details,  they seemed so small from out of  the vast sea.  I choose them for their shape and I gave them lots of time as I recorded them over the next three days. 
I used black Indian ink and a little white acrylic ink for the feather. The orange, brown and yellow made the colours of the seaweed and black Indian ink and green for the other piece.  I don't know if you are supposed to mix these inks with the Indian ink but I did.  I worked carefully,  I felt they deserved to be treated like special treasures after witnessing their life in the sea.

Hope you enjoy week 43. Thank you for your lovely comments. 
I did actually draw the little branch of the red berries and will try to find more shells, in reply to the comment.                                 Millyx

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Tuesday 25 October 2011

Week 42

So week 42 and I really enjoyed this one.  After a busy Saturday at a craft fair I went onto the shore on Sunday morning.  It was a rather grey day with a strong wind blowing from the east so it was hats and windproof jackets.   We knew it was going to be muddy and wet after high tides and stormy days.   I didn't mind , just  glad to be out in the fresh air after missing the bright sunshine on Saturday.  As it streamed through the windows at the fair I did think I would venture out when I got home but it was really too late in the day as now it quickly gets dark.
We walked towards the sea,  the tide had gone down and lots of birds were on the sand.   It was very slippery especially on the green slimey algae which covered  the rocks,  our feet sink into the sloppy mud and we had to watch where we were walking.
I was thrilled to find the mermaids purses,  six different ones,  and I knew that they are going to be part of my page as I was already arranging them and placing them in a row in my minds eye.   Every red berry I found went into my bag and some interesting leaves with fascinating colours.   A whole collection of objects came home with me,  you can see them all in the photographs.  I loved the piece of seaweed for the colour and shape and the delicate toadstool poking through the grass which I  placed safely in my hat and carefully carried home.
My husband found all the pieces of china,  little presents which made me smile, he knew they would.  The  line of old posts from the long forgotten jetty is where they often appear,  a place where boats collected the slate from the village quarry. After a long walk  I have all my treasures,  my fill of fresh air,  rosy cheeks and an appetite, so we wandered home for lunch.  Then I started my drawings.

I started with the toadstool before it collapsed to nothing,  and then I added some red berries.
All the objects are to choose.  What would you choose?

I line the mermaids purses up and catch the details with a fine brush and acrylic ink.

On Monday evening it was the long piece of seaweed that finished the double page

The finished page and the objects.  As I was drawing the different specimens  I realised just how fragile the stalk of the toadstool was,  and how delicate the stems of the berries are.  The long thin twisted strands of the mermaids purse were very tangled, some  were snapped and others missing, whilst the body often had signs of  wear and tear as they too had been battered in the rough seas and the elements.  In contrast I was pleased to find the almost perfect length of fresh seaweed before it, in time, would have become damaged, broken and  started to decay.  In the house it has become dry, twisted and changed colouring.  They all make interesting subjects for me to draw, and share with you.
Hope you like week 42,  just ten weeks of the year to go.

The old jetty, where we find the pottery shards

   Thank you for the lovely comments, I do enjoy finding them.              Millyx

Sunday 16 October 2011

Week 41

Week 41 and the most beautiful day on Saturday morning.  I could not believe it,  after last week, as I stepped onto the shore to enjoy the sunshine and the views.  At first it seemed I had the place to myself as I headed towards the water to walk along the edge of the tidal river.  It was so good to see the colour blue and feel the sun as I walked in this vast open space.  Not a breath of wind and everything seemed so quiet and still. Then I started to see some shapes, people bending and moving by the waters edge, my thoughts were of others collecting objects.  As I approached I realised there was a boat on the grass, with my eyesight it was hard to see.  It turned out to be three members of the same family,  three generations each with their own boat, different sized canoes.  The youngest was already in the water and shortly afterwards Dad and Grandfather followed suit.  I captured their adventure with my camera as they paddled along the river out to sea, and then waited to catch the tide coming in so they could  return in the tidal water as it  swelled the river and flowed into the estuary.
A train thundered past, one of the old diesel trains with tourists riding along this west coast and it seemed to be full of people. They chose a good day to take the journey.  It was a lovely day to just sit a while and  watch as the tide came in,  slowly creeping over the sand and covered it with water. I watched the three orange boats glide on the surface of the tide and back into the river.  It is quite rare to see any boats using this river so I watched with interest. 
I found my first find in the sand.  I knew the leaf would be lovely to draw, after photographing it I peeled it from the muddy sand.   I had a long slow wander, taking in the views and looking at the objects in the tideline.  There was plenty to choose from with seaweeds and feathers, leaves and seeds, crabs and shells and lots of red berries.  I always collect too much so I tried to just gather a few things that would make an interesting page.  The two crab apples went straight into my bag and so did the red berries.  I felt reluctant to leave as it was so lovely, so warm I had taken my fleece off and wrapped it around my waist.  I watched a man and his dog cross the bridge to the larger shore and wander into the distance.  I found I was not alone,  I had my shadow to keep me company.  Just as I was leaving I heard the jingle of the icecream man, with no money on me I had to pass him by.
I am so glad to have enjoyed the day, looking out now at the big black clouds. See for yourself .

Hope you like my week 41 page, painted with my acrylic inks, the mixing shown on my messy plate.
Thank you for the lovely comments.  Millyx    

Winner of Giveaway 
all 16 names went into a bag, my husband picked out the winner, so Aqeela if you could send me your address at my contact above.

Monday 3 October 2011

Week 39

This is my page for week 39.  I have such a lot of beautiful feathers collected from the shore,  but I chose these two grey and white gull feathers so I could also use my new grey acrylic ink.  I love drawing feathers,  always fascinating no matter how many times  I have drawn them it is always lovely to record their shapes and colours.  The birds always leave the feathers scattered across the shore and they get washed up by the sea and then left in the tide lines for me to find. I used cool grey and white, with tiny touches of yellow ochre and my pencil.  The fine lines were painted with my number 1 sable brush.  And the white on white paper, I did the best I could to solve this problem.
This week we have had some really high tides. On Thursday we wandered down to take some photographs.   The sea had covered much of the shore and was only a few feet away from the gate.  As it was such a lovely still day and the sun was hot the view was lovely.   Everywhere looked so tranquil and so still and quiet,  and the hills in pale shades of blue and grey.  We managed to walk along the edge close to the fence which borders the shore from the railway line.  The boulders had been surrounded by the water,  and large pools had formed on the grass.  We saw a little fish stranded on the grass and it was gasping,   my quick thinking husband threw it back into the sea and it swam off.   I was a little disappointed that in his quick action he didn't think to photograph it,  but I was glad it was alive and well. It is always hard for other people to imagine this shore covered in water when they have never experienced it,  so I hope the photograph will let you see.

Hope you like the two grey feathers. Thank you for the lovely comments. I am pleased to tell you that I have reached three quarters of the year this week 39, now just 13 weeks to complete the year.
Had lots more photographs but me and blogger are not getting along tonight!
See you next week.       Millyx