Saturday, 23 November 2013
After the stormy week and the high tides and grey dull days, to wake up to a beautiful calm day was most welcome. The sky was completely blue, not a single cloud and the views just beautiful. A perfect day for a walk. We knew it was cold after many hailstone showers through the night and the white tops of some of the Lakeland mountains.
My newly knitted head and ear warmer, wrist warmers and my new duvet jacket were all to be given their first airing. And off we went to enjoy the day. The first thing to make me stop were the gorgeous branches of red berries on one of my favourite hawthorn trees. Many of the berries had been caught in the frosts and were blackened but the rest so beautiful against the sky.
The same things I see each year and yet I still love them, I still want to draw them. I poked deep down in the thick layers finding the little red berries everywhere as they had fallen onto the ground between the gaps in the leaves, and then I discovered the layers of the tiny brown hawthorn leaves. They are so pretty and delicate with their dancing shapes, a whole hand full of berries and leaves went into my bag.
I was now alone, someone had carried on without me. I realised just how quiet it was, just the sound of my foot steps in the leaves. It was much cooler here, lots of white patches of frozen hailstones, the cold grey slate walls and the towering hills of the slate waste. Alone with my thoughts of how many times I have walked here. Memories of being a little girl, it seemed so steep. This uphill incline was once the railway line transporting the slate from the quarry down into the village. On a summers day it seemed such a long way, so hot and tiring, I would gladly take an icy cold drink from the fresh water spout which came directly out of the rocks.
Today the water gushed out of a wall making this part of the lane very muddy, the grey slate dust coloured this sloppy muddy mire. I started to walk up the old stone spiral steps, now mostly reclaimed by nature and carpeted in thick moss. A branch from the oak tree had fallen on the steps making it difficult to pass, perhaps not a good idea to climb as I snagged my new jacket. Then I saw something at the top of the rusty hand rail. I know what I thought it looked like, something so small and it was sparkling in the sunlight.
It is here I like to collect acorns but only found some acorn caps, a few half eaten acorns and noticed the strange growths of the oak galls on the branches. I kept going back to see the ladybirds, now huddled together as the sun dips and it is getting cooler. The view from this high vantage point looks down to the shore in the distance, it would soon be sunset, the sun was dipping and the temperature dropping. I was glad of my warm jacket and pleased to feel so warm and cosy with my handmade knits.
We saw a wrens nest full of moss, exposed as the hedge had been cut. Then a brightly coloured tree covered in Rowan berries with the last few yellowing leaves clinging on. It shone so brightly behind the grey stone wall. The walls which stand as a testimony to the skills and craftsmen of the quarry workers.
This is my little arrangement. I sketched seven leaves.
I have almost finished my sewing project and will share that next time. Hope you are all keeping warm.
Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comments which I always enjoy reading.
Hope you all enjoy seeing my world and what I have been up to. Bye for now. Millyx
Saturday, 2 November 2013
It is a very grey day here today. The clouds have been getting darker and darker and the rain has never stopped. It is quite appropriate that I should be painting with grey. I walked home in the rain on Thursday and collected these two leaves. The red berries were so bright and glossy in the rain and I couldn't resist picking these little branches off the ground and the empty snail shell came home too.
I have not been drawing as I have another project on the go, been cutting out and sewing a patchwork. I will share that when it is finished. I have also been knitting, some very useful hand warmers to wear as I am working on my sewing. Somehow I always want to sew and knit in the dark evenings, better for my eyes too. I have about four different knitting projects half done, things to wear in the cold winter months.
Hope you enjoyed seeing my drawings and I hope you are all keeping warm, I am sitting next to a cosy fire in the wood burner. It has been dark here all day and my grey photograph was taken at four o'clock and it was so dark outside.
When I wake up to a bright day and the view, I will see it again with new eyes.
Thank you for the lovely comments, it is so nice to find them. I enjoyed reading each one, so thank you.
See you soon. Millyx
Monday, 30 September 2013
I woke up early on Saturday to this beautiful view, the sun rising over to the east. I gazed out of the window just to enjoy the moment, as I watched the white line of the aeroplane moving across the sky, people travelling high above in the early morning light. A few birds are singing. I need more sleep so return to my warm cosy bed. I realise more and more that it is the simple pleasures, the moments which make life special.
I looked at the view out of the front of the house. 6 am and it is going to be a beautiful day.
|Saturday morning view of the estuary.|
|all my collection still in the bag from Wednesday|
Thoughts of that day drifted through my head. It was a really quiet day, low clouds as the tide crept into the estuary. It looked grey and green, one of those days where the sky just meets the grass and no view of the hills. The pale grey water slowly covered the wide expanse of sand, flat lines of water and sand as you looked out to sea. After the tide turned it left the tell tale wavy line on the green grass, which was two shades darker after being sea washed.
I felt like there was an invisible pull on me, a need to go and see what the sea had left behind. It was like the sea was whispering to me, Come on you know you want to, it is all here waiting for you.
|Quite shocked to see this huge chunk fallen, more erosion in the last week!|
The still silence of the shore, all wrapped in clouds which muffled the sounds. The birds flew, white against white, huge sea gulls soaring above. A train came into the station and seemed to abide by the rules of the quiet day, gentle brakes, soft banging of doors and then very slowly and silently stole away along the tracks.
I wandered along to the line of promised treasures and found a perfect feather, it looked like it might have just floated down from the sky. It was pristine and as I picked it up examined the colours and the round dot on the tip. A herring gull and another one to add to my collection, each one slightly different in size and shape.
|a close up of 13 beautiful feathers I have painted|
It was the many brown and white tiny striped feathers which really stole my heart. The smallest feathers from the Curlew, or perhaps young birds as they were all so tiny. I found so many and again in perfect condition, so clean and brand new, as if they had just floated in for me.
It seems that I never tire of the same objects. I have been planning some little drawings in my mind, the objects all look so well together. We found this tiny half eaten fish, an interesting little subject for me trying to capture it in inks.
My feathers are slowly drying, they always make me feel so inspired.
Meanwhile I have been busy working on my Lords and Ladies Zig Zag book, have been loving this project. Each year I see the glossy berries, they fascinate me and I just want to capture them. My book tells part of the life cycle, maybe I will add more next year.
I feel that I must cling on to the lovely warm days of sunshine, watch every evening sky as I see the autumn colours creep into every hedgerow, knowing it will not be long till it turns colder, grey days and the dark evenings .
My head is full of ideas and projects, beautiful objects surround me and I want to draw them, also to sew, to knit, to print and to use my hands and feel that sense of simple beauty in making. So I slow down, take the time to decide, listen to my heart. I have so many things I want to do and often it is hard to know what to do first.
It is in those moments when I feel happy to just sit quietly drawing or sewing and feel total contentment. I know then, that I will create something beautiful, something I really care about and I can share with you.
It takes me so long to put all this together, if it gives you pleasure I would love to hear, leave a comment as I do appreciate it and love to read them, thank you. Millyx
Wednesday, 28 August 2013
We packed a sandwich and fruit and snacks and plenty of drinks. Not really a picnic but I need to refuel on such a long walk. It was actually very warm and the breeze from the incoming sea was welcome on my face. So off we go jumping over water, often smelling pungent green or brown filled pools of stagnant water. There was, as always, all manner of washed up objects, some remains of a kill looking unpleasant, sadly with feathers, the wings and carcase of one or more decaying birds. A skull and selection of white bones from an animal fill a hole, now all that remains of a drowned sheep. The tide line and the fences gather a huge tangle of all that the sea washes up on to our shores. I see feathers, seaweed, bottles, ropes, crab shells, balloons from celebrations final resting place, plastic objects, ragged pieces of lost clothing, odd shoes and plastic wrappers and toys and balls from humans at other places, all washing up here on our shore. As they cling to the wire fences so do the young black and white calves, all tagged and numbered, clambering to the fence to take a better look at us. Behind them about twenty geese sat in the field, it seemed a strange combination.
The erosion of the land is quite shocking to see. years ago we would have walked straight across this sandy area as it was part of the grassy shore. Huge chunks of the banking have collapsed and wider gullies are forming as the sea pours in and the damage will only get worse as another Winter takes its toll.
As we reached near to the stone outcrop the water had also crept up and reached up to this little island and had left a tide line shattered with feathers and leaves and seaweed and grasses. I saw a lovely feather, I had to pick it up, then another and too late now to resist...my collecting had begun. I felt that, ooh feeling, a pull to so many objects and I was thrilled to find the blackened sycamore seeds with the contrasting green. I know I don't need to collect another feather ever, but I felt such an attraction to seeing such beautiful and interesting things, blue and white shells, skeleton sycamores, amazing brown and white striped feathers and black and white patterned pointed feathers and some orangey red berries. They are all similar to others I have found in the past but I listen to how excited I feel when I find such objects and feel so inspired by them. I loved the spotty leaf, everything I collected was chosen from the hundreds of others washed up and begging me to take them home.
|work in progress|
The ditches have been cleaned out and wild flowers cut back in preparation for winter, earthy smells of peat and moss and green stagnant water, but all looks tidy and organised. A rest as we lean over the gate and glimpse into the wood under the shade of the huge old Oak tree. Can you see the Rowan berries in the hedgerow?
|The tide coming into the estuary|
|my finished drawing|
A lovely evening to end the day. Hope you are all enjoying your Summer days.
Thank you for the lovely comments which I always enjoy reading. Hope you enjoy my walk .
See you soon Millyx