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


Debra said...

Oh how lovely-all of it-the view, the sheep-of course your beautiful art....The chocolate bar made me smile-do sheep like it?
It is such a pleasure to follow your blog. I'm inspired to draw from nature again-it's been a 'few' years!!

Pondside said...

Another lovely walk - I could smell the sea air.
We've experienced the circle of life here by the Ponds, where we lost two ducks last week. An eagle swooped in and claimed them, one at a time.

Bonnie K said...

You introduce me to so many new things. Never having lived near an ocean, I've never seen a mermaid's purse. Very interesting. Great drawings and I appreciate your photos. I needed to see a primrose, as it is snowing and blowing here in South Dakota.

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Milly - what a wonderful way to start my week - a visit to your beautiful place in the world and your gorgeous art. You are such an inspiration. Thanks for letting me see your sheep (made me smile) to think about them following you. Have a beautiful day friend.

Hindustanka said...

beautiful treasures which obtained their images on paper.. your walk was quiet, so calming views.
have a lovely day!

ellie said...

What a lovely days walk, has cheered me just reading it, outside my window is just a blanket of white snow! Love the idea of a chocolate bar to go! Then the signs that Spring is on its way. Beautiful drawings :) Ellie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photographs of a beautiful place, they make me long to visit the coast! And lovely work too of course, I rather like the ink drops :)

I am now craving fruit and nut chocolate!


suz said...

lovely walk - it was fun picturing the sheep following you for some of that candy bar! Your painting, as always, is lovely. Thanks especially for the hint of spring. This past weekend we got 1-3 feet of snow thoughout New England (3 feet in my city in New Hampshire), so hopes of spring are always welcome!

Diana said...

Milly your work and your walk are both inspirations for me. The way you see beauty in your surrounding and life and your capturing it in your gorgeous work. love it, Diana

Frances said...

Hello Milly. I am glad that your grey weather departed long enough for you to have such a fine walk along the shore.

I am fascinated to see your follow up views of the increasing erosion of the bankside. The sea must still be quite hungry.

Nice to have a young swan family to look for on future walks...maybe next time there will be no dog that the swans would find threatening.

You've certainly found fine treasures on this walk. Perhaps my favorite is the silvery holly leaf, since it would encourage to me take a new look at a familiar silhouette.

Your resulting drawing and painting is quite lovely, with much delicacy and yet lots of strength in your expert sure lines. (Those ink spots looks just fine!)

Over the weekend here we got about 8 inches of snow which looked quite beautiful early Saturday morning. Today's rain and much warmer temperature has just about vanquished all of that beauty. Perhaps we will be granted another snowfall before springtime arrives.


Melody said...

Another lovely walk... I'm so glad the sheep didn't gang up on you and steal your snack!
Lovely drawings ~ and yes, your ink blobs blend in just right! :))) Nice to see some flowers... none here yet!

Acornmoon said...

I am sure you must have felt energised by the walk, we could certainly do with more pleasant weather. Your work is always a dlelight.

spinningdownunder said...

Sheep do like chocolate, dog biscuits, and all sorts of things they shouldn't. It sounds like they may have been hand-fed treats over the years. I bet you remember this walk for a long time to come though, lol!

Nicholas Hong said...

wonderful pictures!

Feathers said...

What a fun walk you had! Loved seeing the treasures you found, but loved the shell most. How lovely! This time of year especially, creatures are very hungry--yes, the circle of life. I often see signs like that here on our property. I buried some snow-drop bulbs in the fall, and hope to see first signs of new life there in a few weeks. We still have about a foot of snow, and more on the way yet this week, so it will be somewhat of a wait yet for me. Your work has encouraged me to purchase some acrylic inks, and they should be here on Wed.(two more days)--hope they work for me as well as they do for you. Hugs from Michigan-Anita.

JD58 said...

What a lovely day, the chocolate did make me laugh. I am there with you in that beautiful part of the world, lucky you.
Keep inspiring us with your lovely blog and beautiful drawings. Enjoy the sunshine, isn't it lovely when we see it, like we haven't seen it for a long long time!
xxJill W