It is that time again. I have been out searching for the red berries of the Lords and Ladies which I love to draw. We have experienced some stormy and windy weather and lots of rain which made me wonder if there would be many still intact.
I knew where to look as I wandered through the lanes and was delighted to find several different clumps with some wonderful specimens. I left these alone and will go back later. I try to just take fallen plants, the ones that have collapsed when they have rotted at the base and fallen over from the weight of the berries. The snails also like to eat the stems and hedge cutting sees the end to many. Often all that is left at the place of some of my prized specimens are a heap of berries.
I was searching and thinking they would all be red berries, so I was quite surprised to see that there was still orangey colours and even some green ones. The one I am holding has lost some berries revealing the yellow pointed stalk they are attached to. In a few weeks they will all have disappeared as the hedgerows all start to die back. It feels very chilly here and The dark evenings seems to be creeping in with many signs of an early Autumn.
As we walked up a steep path the lane was sheltered by the stone walls and I needed to take off my hat and jacket and enjoy the sunshine. I loved the patterns on the ground as the sunlight shone through the trees and cast the shadows all the way up this lane. The strong wind swayed the branches and it felt like a mirror ball twinkling all around me. Leaves flew off branches and swirled around looking like butterflies in the air.
I collected my usual drawing subjects along the way. The ground was scattered in debris, branches and nuts and berries and sycamore seeds were everywhere blown from the trees. Broken empty shells were evidence that the squirrels were already eating the nuts, although they are obviously not yet ripe. I picked up the green hazel nuts which were still attached to a leaf. I gathered some of the tiny acorns cups from under the oak tree. My specimens were all damaged lords and ladies, you can see how quickly the stems rot changing from the bright green colour to yellow, then rusty brown and almost black as they start to perish. The jay was screeching high in the trees. My husband picked up a brown stripe feather he thought was a bird of prey, maybe a buzzard. I found a black feather which made the red berries seem to glow even brighter. Three different kinds of red berries with the Hawthorne and a little branch of Rowan collected off the ground.
Two blue empty snail shells came home too. I added them to the others which I found on on three different walks, I cannot resist them. The secret patterns hidden under the brown skins. When I wash them they look amazing as they take on darker blue shades.
A view from the lanes on our way home with the lovely old farm. The peat marshes in the distance and the shore to the left. I found another group of damaged specimens here, the berries lost but will hopefully seed and grow into more plants.
I have been working on this drawing of three specimens that I brought home in June. It has been a busy time for me, I have been away to the east coast at a family wedding and also attended a wedding the week before. The lords and ladies just had to wait patiently until I was able to draw them. On my return home two weeks ago I began sketching it out on this very tall sketchbook page.
Progress has been slow as I was working with a dip in pen and inks.
I have really enjoyed doing this as it was such a fascinating subject with all the lines and textures of the dried up skin and the bright shiny red berries. I have been observing the way they shrink and curl up into the contorted shapes since June and it certainly made it more interesting to draw.
I used my acrylic inks, the dip in pen and I also used a fine paintbrush. The colours I used were Red, yellow ochre, sepia, brown umber and green. It still needs a little work but I will leave it for a while and come back with fresh eyes. It has been hogging the kitchen table for two weeks!
I am holding it up so you can see just how big it is. I have only ever used this watercolour paper book once before to do a large fish.
I have been collecting so many things to draw. I have so many possible drawings it is hard to choose which to draw first. A shore walk after a huge tide was so exciting as I collected so many different seaweeds and three mermaids purses, crabs and so may beautiful feathers. The same things I always find, things that always inspire me. Because each and everyone is different. Just like the view I see each day.
Same view but always so different, always changing.
I went out and photographed it just before I started to write this post, so I will leave you with the sunset this evening with a clear sky and a few clouds floating above.
Thank you as always for the lovely comments. I hope you enjoyed the guest post, thank you to those of you who left a comment there too. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend and the sun is shining where you are. Hope to be back soon with something else to show you. I bought some new nibs yesterday so I am off to try them out with my inks. I have also bought some sock wool for a new pair of warm knitted socks as it starts to get chilly. A sewing project too in progress. Always busy !
What are you up to? I would love to hear.
See you soon. Millyx