Saturday, 16 January 2016

Along the path

I opened up my brand new square book and I began drawing on the first page.

 

 

I had emptied my pockets and there was this collection of bits and pieces from the first day of 2016 when I went for a walk with my husband to the top of the moor. It was a hard walk uphill from sea level to the highest point, my heart beat faster and faster, plenty of stopping for a rest. It was icy cold, every breathe made my chest ache. It was a good excuse to stop and take in the view.


Looking around it was a clear crisp day and the landscape was glorious with snow on the tops of many of the Lakeland hills. The higher we reached the more the view of the estuary opened up. Green fields, the great expanse of sand stretching out to the sea. The flat marsh ground and flooded fields sliced in half by the railway line. Patchwork fields with hedgerows all neatly trimmed and stone walls which go on for miles.

I collect red berries, the last ones clinging on to the thorny branches and some from the ground. They are dark and withered, skin worn with time, weathered with marks and blemishes. Whatever their condition all placed in my jacket pocket.


Hard surfaces on the road feels good after soft muddy footpaths and soggy squelching grassy fields. I need a rest and a chance to get my breathe back. Snowdrop bulbs peep through, ferns and Ivy add to the greenery on walls and in hedgerows. I spot the sycamore seeds, secret hiding places but not from me. Little lace treasures, so pale and delicate and so pretty. I wrapped them up in a make shift envelope from a leaflet in my pocket. I really hadn't planned to collect it just seems to happen naturally.

 

We climb up to the wooden gate, such a steep gradient and the real test of the walk. The minute we entered the moor the wind tore through the air and chilled you to the very core. Taking shelter behind the old wall it was hoods up, zips pulled up tight, and scarves and gloves closing every possible gap to protect us from this bitterly cold east wind. Water trickled alongside the wall, fat squashy cushions of moss sank under our feet. Then the very simple act of peeling the skin from my banana, the smell and the taste, instantly gave me a renewed energy to face the long path to the top.

I saw a small black shape, it was a dead beetle turned upside down with his legs in the air. In my hand I examined it, I remembered an empty throat lozenger box in my pocket, the perfect little space for the beetle as I carried him home. It was a wild place to be, no shelter from the wind but the views were well worth every step it took along that upward path.

 

It was a day I will remember for many reasons. A feather, an oak leaf, a black beetle, sycamore seeds, a single red rosehip, Hawthorne berries and a little curled up piece of bracken and a little blue and white piece of China which never joined the page in the end.

Talking of blue.

The first snow on Thursday and this was the view as I opened the curtains.

 
 
 
 
And the blue hyacinths which have delighted me every morning with their sweet perfume that fills the room. I have really enjoyed watching them grow as I do each year.

 

 

A deeper blue sunset sky as the dark clouds gather. It was such a clear night sky and stars filled the sky and sparkled. It was so beautiful I opened the window to see and the icy cold air made my teeth chatter, but it was worth it to see how small and insignificant we are in this vast universe.

 

So as I look forward to 2016 I hope to record my finds on the pages of this new book. Little collections of objects that mean something to me as I wander along this journey of life and tell my story to anyone who would like to listen. And when you see a rainbow, it is always worth stopping and enjoying the moment because once it's gone it's gone.

Thank you for visiting and for your lovely comments which I always enjoy reading. Hope everyone is keeping warm. It is snowing here and feeling chilly so sitting by our cosy wood burner. See you soon. Millyx

 

Page one 2016.

All work copyright Eileen Postlethwaite. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year.

I went for a long walk a few days before the close of 2015. I stood on the railway bridge and looked across the estuary and although I knew it would be so wet and soggy I had to go. The shore seems to have a pull on me, it knows I can't resist.

 


I had not walked more than two minutes when I found a large oak leaf, I picked it up off the wet ground, I knew it was coming home with me. I saw many many more oak leaves but this was the one. I have to draw it.

 

 

This is the reason I love the shore, it inspires me. It is still and calm and as the tide creeps along and fills up the tidal river and gullies I hear sounds of water. It is like soft music, as water trickles and drips and splashes as it moves and covers more of the grassy land. I hear bird calls from afar, making me look up and around, sounds of the shore. Then there are smells, all so familiar you know exactly where you are.

 

 
It makes me look and think. it makes me see all the beauty around me. I pick up red berries, tiny shells and an oak Apple, my drawing is forming in my head. These little seashore treasures all chosen by me, held in my hand and soon will belong together as a drawing on my page.

I leave the shore and watch the black rooks curling in the sky, they sit high in the tree but fly off I pass by. It is at this time of the year we see the shapes of the bare trees, no leaves but decorated with birds and nests.

That same tree from another view. I am sitting on a seat and looking back towards the shore I just left. The sun is shining, it feels so good to have the warmth on my face and to close my eyes and soak it up. It seems so long since we had a day like this, days and days of relentless grey and rain.

I look up at the canopy of the old oak tree I am sat beneath. I have some company.

We both enjoy our views.

 

I wander upwards through the muddy lane.

Looking over the wall to catch sight of the hills. They have had snow but seem clear today.

The cow parsley seed heads look so pretty. I loved the white toadstools too. So many beautiful moments along the way.

 

 

I am gaining height, looking back at the shore. So much water running down The sides of the roads, hopefully to the little rivers and becks and eventually to the sea.

 

I reach the higher lanes and the views across the village towards the sea.

 

I lean on the gate, so many memories flood into my mind. One of my favourite views and as a child being lifted up to the top of the gate to see it all below. To point fingers at this map of the landscape, my little village school the white building at the left side. In truth nothing much has changed it looks just the same. Just as beautiful to me.

 

It is getting cooler, the sun is dipping low, so I climb the gate and make my way down towards home.

 

 

All so familiar to me, glimpses along my way. Then through the stone stile and I can see the road and hear traffic. It was a wet and slippery path to the bottom of the field. I cross the road on my journey home so I can see....

The old footpaths along the lanes with little stone steps and secret gates.

 

 

 

And back to the station bridge as it will be dark in no time.

 

Home to A cosy fire and the decorated mantelpiece. Holly and Ivy and red berries, my growing hyacinth bulbs and the warm glow of the lights. Soon to be put away.

A jug full greenery and berries I picked from my garden and the hedgerow.

 

I had a calm and peaceful Christmas, I hope everyone had a lovely time.

 

And I will leave you with my drawing I am working from with the large oak leaf and red berries and my other sea treasures. I started it the next day but life got in the way, going to get back to it soon. I am in no hurry, slow is good. I am working with my acrylic inks, a dip in pen and paint brush.

 

And inspired by Holly, I did make a pear. Thank you Holly.

 

Here's to a creative 2016. Thank you to all the people who leave comments. Wishing everyone a wonderful creative year.

I have just found myself a brand new square book, so I am starting today to record my finds for this year. So watch this space. Millyx

 

 

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Moments

There have been lots of moments when I had an idea to do something.

I was staying in Wales with my friend and as we walked in her field I discovered all the beautiful Elderberry trees growing in the hedgerow. They were laden with branches of ripe elderberries. This was one of those moments.

My friend knows me and she understands me. So two huge bags of berries later and armed with her biggest pan my idea is well and truly in motion. I am making some ink. They were the best berries I had ever seen and hours later I had made my ink. Some Stained fingers and a lot of mess but I had a huge jar of this richly coloured liquid. I made a little colour chart of the ink when I returned home and tried it for the first time.

I used the ink and a dip in pen to draw an oak leaf. The ink worked so well.

I recorded it all in my sketch book. The lovely poppy seed head I collected from my garden was a perfect subject for my new ink as I experimented using it to both draw and write with.

 

 

I am enjoying watching my three hyacinths grow in the bulb jars. Watching each day the moments they put down their roots into the water. After a few weeks I will see the buds form, then eventually the scented flowers of this much loved spring flower.

 

 

They remind me of a day wandering along an empty shore. It was a foggy day and I stumbled across a huge jelly fish. I examined this strange creature with long jelly like legs, now abandoned by the sea and what a strange curious creature it is.

It was such a silent place, surrounded by the sea fog on this empty beach. I collected shells, feathers and pieces of pottery, anything that caught my eye.

 

 

Treasures that all came home with me. They haven't made it into a drawing yet but they remind me of the day. Listening to the soft wavy line of the water as it crept onto the sand out of the fog.

I loved this leaf stuck in the sand, the shape and colours. A moment of beauty, perfect in my eyes.

 

I have closed my book documenting the time line of the Lords and Ladies plant. Maybe I will add more next year. I so enjoyed doing this little project and I learnt so much collecting my samples and recording them in all their details.

I am working on a little arrangement of my tiger moth and some other objects I have collected. I never get fed up with oak leaves. I have brought some home this afternoon I found on my walk.

Just the finishing touches and it will be complete. It feels like me, gathering beautiful natural objects together and arranging them and then challenging myself to capture them.

 

So it is time to leave you with a couple of moments I photographed. A grey watery world as the full moon brings in a huge tide which covers the shore.

Then, the colourful sunset when clouds turn pink.

 

 

And I have to mention all the rain water we have witnessed over the last few days which has caused the terrible flooding in my county of Cumbria. My thoughts go out to all the people who are suffering at this time.

This view from my home changes each and every day. I see something like this and I am just stunned by the beauty and so inspired. And I want to share it with you.

Hope you are all warm and cosy, happy and creative. Hope you too have some wonderful moments in your day....... Millyx