Sunday 10 February 2013

A Walk on the Shore

Last Saturday I woke to a glorious sunny day.  As I scanned the view across the shore I saw three swans on the tidal river, two swans with a younger one.  A woman was walking with her dog running free, it started to run in the  direction of the water.  I watched and saw how the two larger swans turned and came together to guard and protect the smaller one.  They sadly flew off,  because of the dog, and as they circled over the estuary I hoped they would return. I dressed for the shore and knew it would be lovely. With my camera in my hand and a huge bar of chocolate in my pocket I set off for my walk.
    The sheep had been put onto the grass and as I crossed the railway line I could see them all grazing. The ground was wet and muddy and I turned left and walked towards the boulders and the open sea.
I photographed the banking to show the erosion after the high tides causing more and more of the banking to fall away. Huge chunks collapsing into the sand.  I continued walking alongside  the Limestone barrier protecting the railway line where all that is left of the grassy shore  is a few feet wide.
I glance back and admire the view, such a beautiful clear day, after so many grey gloomy days with stormy winds and rain, that came with the high tides.  The rain has cleared all signs of the snow from the hills.
 Looking across the estuary at Black Combe.  I sat down for a while on a large boulder and just took it all in.  It was so still and quiet, so peaceful and not another person to be seen. I could see little clusters of white gulls on the sand. Time to just sit and think, thoughts of what I might find to draw.  I captured a few more views out to sea, it was so crisp and clear today.
If you look to the right you can pick out the offshore wind farm.  It is hard to believe how the sea sweeps in and covers all this vast expanse of sand.  As I wander back towards the village I am aware this was my Sea Shore project route,  collecting is second nature to me and I am constantly bending down to look at objects, little bits go into my bag.
 The sheep watch me with interest,  some look annoyed as I disturb them from their sitting positions, others just stare.  I tried not to scare them with their back to me by quietly whistling to let them know I was walking near,  they all got up and started following me.  Oh dear, they think I am going to feed them.  Then I suddenly remembered my chocolate, yummy I had forgotten about it, so swiftly took the rather large bar of fruit and nut out of my pocket.  As I opened the foil wrapper to eat my chocolate,   Suddenly I turned around as I am aware I am being followed. All the sheep are in a line behind me, eyes fixed on the chocolate bar!  Sorry, it is all mine.
I collected several items which I later arranged on my paper, a silvery grey holly leaf, a pale shell, and a black mermaids purse with rusty coloured markings and a long strand of black sea weed. As I passed the Hawthorn tree I could see lots of sheep wool caught on the branches and I thought I would see if any berries were still clinging on.  I snapped off the little branch covered in lichen with a berry still attached,  and also gathered leaves and berries from under the tree.  I walked along the rest of my old route, no swans, but a few white feathers.  During the walk I saw two dead birds, a duck that had been half eaten and the remains of a gull. There was also a huge circle of feathers, the evidence that a bird of prey had found a smaller bird and eaten it! This is nature, the food chain.  Many animals and birds live or visit here and it is natural to see such things,  as it is to see the remains of plants and  sea creatures.
Close up of the Mermaids purse.
All the real objects and the finished picture. I used the acrylic inks and used a piece of smooth bristol board, which took the ink well.  I had a little accident and dripped two black blobs of black ink,  they blend in fine, can you see them?  I have spent all week doing this piece as I used a fine number 4 brush and worked slowly and carefully recording the details.
Hope you enjoyed  the walk and like the drawing.  I will leave you with a little bit of spring, some flowers in my garden. Snowdrops and a primrose.
Thank you for the lovely comments.  Keep Warm and see you soon.              Millyx