Wednesday 25 April 2012

wild flowers

a drawing of a violet in sepia ink

On Sunday afternoon we took advantage of the fine day and went for a walk through the fields and visited the wood.  It was very very black sky over the hills but in the opposite direction we were lucky to have a blue sky and sunshine. The field was full of new lambs with their mothers. As we walked along the edge of the field we stopped to look at the primroses and little clusters of blue violets.  I found the Lords and Ladies at different stages, and made a note to come back and watch them grow as I really like this plant which grows into a stem with red glossy berries.
 I picked a few different kinds of flowers along the way, a specimen of each to draw.
Lords and Lady  
I saw a ladybird sitting in the warm sunshine on a green leaf and in the distance we could see such a tiny little lamb playing by the hedgerow. A worried mother watched as we walked nearby and then this beautiful  lamb made her way back to her mother and bigger sister.

 We passed the old slate stile and through the fields with the deep holes and the hills of waste slate, this land shaped from the days when the quarry was in this area.  It is now overground with grass and trees and plants as nature has taken over.  We found  a beautiful cluster of violets and ferns growing  in a crack in a stone slab.
an old  stone stile once used  along the  footpaths through the fields 

ferns and violets growing on the stone

  The hills are a high vantage point,  views of the shore and the estuary can be seen from the slate "rubbish hills".
walking on top of the old slate hills and the estuary behind. 

views of the seashore 
Our walk took us through the lanes and we saw lots of different wild flowers all growing along side the road in the verges, bankings and hedgerows.  We left the road and followed the little track to the wood to see the bluebells and marsh marigolds growing there. The strong scent of the white onion plant, or wild garlic,  was  everywhere.  I have visited this wood in the village since I was a little girl.  I remember gathering the bluebells and  getting stuck in the deep mud as I once tried to pick the marsh marigold from the wet boggy area.

Some of the flowers in the wood,  I wish you could smell the bluebells and the wild garlic.
 We saw a birds nest tucked away amongst the stones in a wall.  The photographs were taken by my husband, these are just a few,  lots more I can share in another post.
a primrose in pencil
studies of a violet

a little cup  of a primroses and violets.

And I will leave you with our lovely English bluebells.  Hope you enjoyed the walk. 
Thank you for your lovely comments..............Millyx 

Sunday 15 April 2012

A Walk on the shore

It has been a week of high tides.  I have watched each day as the water gushed in and covered the estuary.  I really wanted to go and see if it had brought something for me to draw,  and  there was also another reason why I wanted to go for a walk.  So on Friday we decided to venture down to the shore.  I say venture because the sky was really black over the hills, a sure sign of something coming our way.  We decided we would risk it.  As we crossed over the railway line and climbed the steps of our smart newly  painted footbridge the  large heavy drops of rain peppered the ground.  Then as we opened the gate we could feel the chilly wind,  already had our hoods up and jackets zipped tight.  Then suddenly it started to drop large hailstones which  really sting as they hit your face and hurt as they increased in size and number.  We turned our back to them and could feel them battering our head and shoulders and stinging the backs of our legs. It lasted about half an hour and then in an instant  the black clouds formed  an opening and bright blue sky appeared.
 It was like it never happened and we walked in sunshine.  The shore is like this, the views are always changing with the weather, and the colours change accordingly.   I found oak leaves,  I had to collect them.  At this time of year they are wonderful shapes and colours, some really dark, others rusty coloured,  some  full of holes whilst others are breaking and collapsing as they deteriorate with age.   I saw feathers and small crabs and shrimps and seaweed.  All reminders of my weekly finds from last year.
I was also delighted to see my old friend had returned one day,  the beautiful swan, my reason for a walk.
It was lovely to take a walk on the shore, lots of memories here.  The high tides had given the stones a good shake up and my husband found the piece of china.  He handed it to me upside down and this side was just covered in crackles,  so when I turned it over I would  see  a lovely maroon coloured patten of leaves, it made me smile, a great find.  I  always feel so much better after a long wander on the seashore but today was very cold so an hour was long enough and the black clouds were building up again over the Lakeland hills.  Someone had really cold hands from playing in the water!
  I washed my finds and chose this oak leaf and  I added the new piece of china.  It is painted with my acrylic inks with a number 3 sable brush.  I used sepia, brown umber, yellow ochre and a little black.  The china was in my new ink but as it is not waterproof  I carefully went over it with acrylic paint and also used white paint  over the china.  I love painting oak...perhaps you have noticed.   It is done on a sheet of textured watercolour paper.   Hope you like it.

Thank you for your comments and the emails I have received.  Welcome to the new followers too.
Bye until next weekend.   Millyx

Sunday 8 April 2012

Nice to be home

Flowers picked from my garden to wish everyone a
I had a lovely time at Brighton, the weather was wonderful and it was good to see my daughter and spend some time with her. She was taking part in a production of Cranford at the TOM theatre.  We really enjoyed  seeing her in her acting role as the wonderfully funny gossip Miss Pole. Brighton is such a contrast to our quiet village and it was fun to wander and see the beach and pier,  browse around the shops and take it all in. I loved the antique shop called Snoopers Paradise where I made a few purchases of treasures....some patchwork pieces, some printers wooden letters and a Meloto paper roll of music which was played on a pianola.  I thought it might be fun to draw on the paper.  I stocked up with some new art supplies at Winchester School of Art, where my daughter spent  four years doing her degree,  it was like going back to see an old friend.  We sat in the sunshine in the Cathedral grounds and wandered through the streets with the colourful stalls as it was market day.
While I have been away I  have not done any  drawing. I do feel really inspired and eager to return to my drawing.  I loved my visit to the Booth museum where I saw the huge collection of Butterflies and the hundreds of stuffed birds, skeletons, fish, fossils in this once private Victorian Collection  belonging to Mr. Edward  Booth,  dated 1874.  Of course very thought provoking to see stuffed animals and birds.
 While I was in Brighton I bought the two lovely shells at a shop on the beach. They  were just so lovely and I wanted to draw them. I found a stationary shop selling J.Herbin ink in the most gorgeous range of  colours and I chose a bottle of  'Larmes de Cassis'.  This colour would be for my  Brighton shells.  I returned home and found the garden full of my beautiful Fritillary  flowers and so I had to draw one too,  the colour of this ink worked perfectly.  I used the dip in pen and a fine nib.  It is ink for a fountain pen but such a lovely colour.
It has been a lovely break and I feel better for it but it is good to be home.  When I saw the hills and the shore I knew I was where I belong.  Hope you are all enjoying a lovely Easter Weekend.      
Thank you for the your comments and good wishes.              Millyx