Sunday, 18 January 2015

Winter walks.

It has become chilly here with white toppings on the hill tops. I have had some nice winter walks, wrapped up well against the bitterly cold wind.

I have been drawing a collection of objects I found on a walk.


I picked each object up and wrapped them all in tissues I had in my pockets, then popped them in my jacket and hoped they survived intact. I knew I would enjoy recording the different textures, shapes and colours.

I love finding the old pieces of china peeping out of the ground, a blue patterned one and the white crackled edge of a plate. The pale blue empty snail shells seem to be everywhere in the winter hedgerows, all the brown outer skin peeled back and revealing the beautiful pale stripes. I picked up three sycamore seeds with the intricate lines and tears that happen as they age, another favourite drawing subject for me.
As I started to draw these objects my mind thinks that I have saved them, rescued them from becoming specks to be blown by the wind or from being swept along with the water running down the sides of the road and into a drain. Who cares much for an empty snail shell so easily crushed under foot without a second thought.
I was looking through an older sketchbook and I saw a page, a similar collection of my finds and I was transported back to a place, a day and a memory of a walk.
They may not mean much to others but they do to me, they tell my story of a day, a memory which I want to keep.
Like the berries I picked today.
I stopped to look at the hawthorn tree, all tangled and twisted with thorns and there I saw this last branch of berries. The remains of a leaf came home too. I will try and do my best to capture them both together on a new page. The red berries give me so much pleasure to see. It seems such a long time before they will return again next autumn, so let me hang on to the image of the last few as I draw them. Later the birds will have them to eat.

And here is the page from one of my older sketchbooks of my drawings from nature, the acorn cups and oak leaf, the lovely crackled China and the sycamore seeds. Strange little objects with a damaged rose hip berry. Yet I remember that day so clearly as I collected them all.

And I will leave you with the view outside. As the temperature dips we are keeping warm by the fire. I am going to start sketching my branch of berries and skeletal leaf.
What are you drawing ? I would love to hear why or how you choose your subjects to draw or paint. Hope you are all keeping warm.
Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comments, I enjoy reading them. It seems to take so long posting as my eyes do not like the computer. I hope you like seeing my first completed drawing of 2015, painted using acrylic inks.
Sunday 18th January 2015 At. 4pm. See you soon . Millyx
All photographs, artwork and writing belong to Eileen Postlethwaite. Please respect my copyright, all rights reserved.




Sunday, 4 January 2015

Looking Back Over 2014

Last year I had a Big Birthday!

I have been looking back over 2014. I have decided to do this post showing some of the creative things I enjoyed last year. After my eye surgery in March I was unable to draw for a while but I could still sew. My sewing machine was able to do the stitching and I made a new bag. The sewing continued by using the scraps of fabric I went on to make this little patchwork quilt. I included my sitting and leaping hare drawings in the corners, from the lovely peony and sage linen fabric.

My shoulder bag has a big front pocket which I printed with a hare from the rubber stamp I carved. It has been a very useful bag and well used in 2014. The photographer even carried it for me on a walk as I was busy collecting blackberries along the hedgerows.

I love sewing and often make birthday presents and one of them was this linen cushion for my friend in Wales, she loved it.

The weather was really good with a long dry summer perfect for walking and collecting things to draw. Last year I also had great fun carving my own rubber stamps and printing on Fabric. I made myself some handmade tea towels from natural linen and went on to print one using an acorn and oak leaf print. I made a red berry and hawthorn leaf stamp and printed on another tea towel. I loved experimenting on different paper and fabrics and had so many different ideas to try out.

My first real drawing as my eyes improved was of sea objects collected on a walk. It felt such hard work and I had to work a little at a time. When it was finally completed it really was a huge achievement for me.

I began to realise how precious my eyes are. How much drawing means to me. I am glad to say I have now adjusted to the changes and work at a different pace, as and when my eyes feel up to it.

Meanwhile there were many other creative ventures during the year.

I painted my favourite Magpie Moth on fabric, and made a new pincushion.

I enjoyed getting back to more detailed work drawing snail shells and Lords and ladies. I worked with a dip in pen and sepia ink. And I made some walnut ink from a present Lin sent me of walnut crystals.

And when my little five year old friend brought me some feathers she had found on the shore of course I had to draw them for her.


2014 was a great year for the wild berries and I picked lots of Blackberries. I am still eating the blackberry and damson jams I made.


There was Plenty of fruit to eat and for drawing. And of course I could not just collect Blackberries! Red berries came home too.

I had a very exciting creative time making my homemade inks and dyeing fabrics from hedgerow berries. And even more sewing projects using the berry fabrics.
I had never done this before, as I saw the results I just wanted to go and gather other berries and try it again and again.

Drawing with some of my homemade inks was great fun, seeing the different colours and watching them change to darker shades.

Some little toadstool studies with my homemade blackberry ink and a dip in pen. The coloured juice change into a darker shade as I worked.

And using my homemade walnut ink made with the walnuts my friend collected from her garden in Wales. Last Week I tried it out on some little seed heads and leaves. It is quite pale and watery, a lovely soft colour. I used a dip in pen. I have kept dated records of everything as I intend to do this again.

I had another jar which was a little darker shade of brown it gave a very different result as I used it to work with a drawing of this oak leaf. I can see I am going to be doing much more with this ink work as I love using the brown colours. It seems special to know I made it myself.

I have so many things I want to try. There is a new page of seashore finds already sketched out and ready to paint, so I had better get started.

I will finish here. I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas holiday time.

We have had our daughter home and it has been so nice to spend time with her as she lives in Brighton. So here we are together at a summer wedding in 2014. The photographer, my daughter and me. Well I would like to thank everyone who has visited my blog over the last twelve months. And a big thank you to the people who take the time to write a comment, it is appreciated and I always enjoy reading them.

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and best wishes for 2015

See you soon with more inspiration from Nature . Milly x


































Monday, 22 December 2014

A home at Christmas

We went for a walk on Sunday and it felt so cold and damp and grey. The hedgerows are all neatly cropped and I only found this one holly berry on a mostly chewed up leaf. I brought it home in a bag with a bunch of ivy with clusters of their dark reddish berries.

I put water in a big jar and placed my ivy inside, with ideas to decorate the house. And to my surprise not only did I have a red berry on the holly but a beautiful ladybird on the leaf. I was amazed to see it and marvelled at it's tiny form, an unexpected guest for Christmas. It was certainly a precious gift. Either way I suspect she was hiding in the ivy which was growing on a stone wall and found her way to my home.

She was photographed and taken to my little ladybird hotel out in the garden. It is all the hollow stems from plants in the garden which I cut to size and put into a plant pot. I must have known we would have some guests because a few minutes later another ladybird appeared as I sorted out some dried seedheads I had collected a while ago and were in the jar I now needed for the ivy.

So she has also gone to the ladybird hotel for Christmas. While I was outside I collected long branches of green ivy from my garden. I always like to decorate with natural plants. It just feels right. Each year I twist the ivy through the old picture frame and add it to the mantle piece and let it dangle amongst the lights. Each year out come my postcards bought from an art gallery I visited on a holiday, together with my collection of favourite cards. A few simple lights, two new white candles and the greenery and I have transformed our living room into a cosy home for our quiet days over the festive time. It is so quiet and peaceful I can hear my finger tapping as I write this.

It is so dark and grey outside, it makes it seem even more cosy and warm. A warm fire as the wood burner glows.

I have been painting on a piece of firewood, I couldn't resist having a go and to see if it would take the acrylic ink. I used this branch of red rosehips.

I have left it for now and will work on it with fresh eyes.

And I have been painting a holly leaf postcard. I like the connection that this leaf was picked from my garden. I planted this variegated holly bush a few years ago in the garden and I am still waiting for it to grow bigger and be covered in berries. I used a berry I found on the shore.

Added another berry and then another. I was pleased with how it turned out.
As it has gone to a new home for Christmas, in New York, I hope it has arrived safely.
I did this sketch of a seedhead with my homemade ink and a dip in pen to try it out. Over the holiday I am going to find the time to try and draw with all of my homemade berry inks. This one is a brown walnut ink. My friend in Wales has a walnut tree in her Garden, so I asked her to save the walnuts for me. My jar of ink seems to have changed to a much darker brown colour so I am looking forward to trying it again with the same subject of the cow parsley.
So one day I went for a walk to a place I know where the cow parsley grow and are untouched by the hedge cutters. I wandered down the footpath to see if the cowparsley was still there and how it looked. I was pleased to find some nice specimens. It is quite a lonely place and it was lovely to know a little robin was following us along the lane. It was singing in the tree and as I was standing watching it. The photographer managed to captured it.
I really love this photograph. It is little moments like this, magical moments I feel so grateful to experience and I want to share it.
So this is my Christmas Card to you all
Wishing everyone a happy and peaceful time.
Milly x
With thanks to the photographer, my husband, for all his encouragement, and help with his beautiful photographs for my blog posts. X