Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Water World

This week has seen the highest tides this century. Our estuary was becoming more and more like a watery landscape as the water crept in and covered the shore. I had been for a wander along the shore on Wednesday and collected some tiny pink shells, several mermaids purses and other interesting objects. I knew it was very wet and waterlogged and realised I had to take care, it was so muddy and slippery as the water had been covering much of the shore. The next day I was quite shocked to see the size of the tide, see the photograph above. I thought how I was there just the day before, walking where it was now nothing but water. It really makes you respect the power of the sea.

My finds from Wednesday ready to be washed and sorted in the kitchen sink. I chose the strange black plant stem in the middle, with the six round pod structures on the thin delicate stem. I have seen them before but was attracted to this with such an unusual arrangement. It seemed to beg me to match it up with the holly leaf. So I started a drawing in pencil to capture their shapes and textures.

............All my work is copyright. Please do not take or use my work..........

I will hopefully spend more time to complete this. I have also been working on a black ink drawing with my dip in pens of one of the large black mermaids purse.
I love finding all these treasures. As the week went on each day the tides become even higher. We woke up on Saturday to a gorgeous day and this was the amazing view around 1pm. The sky so blue made the water a wonderful deep blue sea on this day of the record tide.

We stood on our little railway bridge to see this sight, a watery world before us. I could not resist going onto the shore, through the gate to see the tiny strip of land left uncovered by the sea. I felt so excited with the anticipation of all the sea treasures that would wash onto our shores.

The view from my house as the tide rushed into the estuary in such a spectacular way.

Later in the afternoon as the tide receded. I found some fresh sea weed to add to my other finds. It was a beautiful day and lots of people turned out to see this sight. Dogs were swimming on a flooded area of grass and as the train passed through the village the passengers must have seen that they were nearly surrounded by water on both sides of the track.

In Search of more treasures this afternoon....................

Today we went for a walk to a nearby stretch of beach. We had gone to deliver a birthday present and ended up on the beach. The tide was coming in, the sharp wind was icy cold and I was glad to be well wrapped up. The sand was peppered with pretty little shells and with only a paper bag I struggled to carry all my found treasures. I felt the coldness of the water, as I picked up wet shells and my finger ends were numb. I had to have them, I could not resist them, so many beautiful pairs of tiny perfectly striped shells. Then I chose a whole collection of larger blue and white shells. The heaps of seaweed tossed onto the shore were full of tangles of different coloured mermaids purses, yes of course I collected them too! I have washed the shells, so happy with them.

They are so lovely, I would go as far as saying I could almost eat them.

I loved my walk with the bracing winds, the choppy waves making the wavy lines of brown frothy foam on the sand and so many treasures for me. I can't wait to get started on some new drawings. To watch the power of the sea as it made its way towards my village further along the estuary with such a dramatic sky overhead. A grey sky makes a grey sea. The photographer took over a hundred shots along the way.

As we made our way back towards the car we could see the black clouds in the distance over the Lakeland hills and snow showers turning the hills white. No wonder my fingers were so cold. Even the photographer was feeling the chill and had cold hands with his gloves on,
......all work, drawings, photographs and words are copyright and owned by Eileen Postlethwaite. All rights reserved....
All our beautiful beaches inspire me to draw.
Did you notice I also found a red berry? Looks like I am going to busy capturing some of my beach finds.
Hope you are all keeping warm where ever you are. Thank you for visiting and for the lovely comments. See you soon. Millyx

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Drawing in ink

Today we woke up to the most beautiful day. It was so appreciated after some stormy, windy and cold days with hail, sleet and snow showers. There have been days when it looked like someone had pulled down a grey blind to the window, no hills just a flat grey mass of cloud and nothingness. I was glad to stay indoors and work on my brown ink page, drawing the objects I showed you in my last post.
I like the slow pace of dipping a pen into ink and watching the marks appear on the page. It gives me time to think. I added a double sycamore seed and a little piece of brown fern. The berries are drying and crumbling and more brown than red, as winter has taken it's hold on the hedgerows.
During the week we walked through the lanes, a shorter walk than usual because it was bitterly cold. I was looking around at the brown leaves and earth, bare branches and this winter landscape stripped of colour. I collected the last of the rosehips, shrivelled up shapes turning brown and black. Each branch I reached up for caught my woollen mittens on the sharp thorns and snagged my jacket, I was tangled up and at the mercy of the thorns and jagged branches. It was quite a fight, a mitten free, then I find the sleeve caught and I turn to realise I am trapped by my hat and hair. Despite all of that I hung on to my treasures. It reminded me of childhood days, collecting blackberries and getting tangled in the briars, and I guess I should know better by now ! Of course I had to draw them after all that.
I enjoyed working again with my brown pen and brown ink straight onto the page, no planning just letting the page form as I went along. A little acrylic ink for the touches of red on the berries. I will always think of that tangle I got into whilst collecting those branches when I see this page in my square book where I recorded them.
Along the stone walls little sycamore seeds get trapped between cracks and gaps in the slate. There they are protected from damage as they slowly change into the skeletal lace structures. I love finding them, each year they fascinate me, so tiny and perfect, to me so beautiful.
Today we went for a lovely walk on this crisp clear day. I noticed the shapes of the neatly cut hedgerows, the golden brown rushes moving gently at the edge of the river, the large branches of the magnificent oak tree and the frozen brown leaves trapped in the ice. The muddy ground, the dried and dead remains of plants, a cowparsley seed head, and some pale brown toadstools. Mostly I noticed how blue the sky was, with the views of snow capped hills and clusters of trees, in this peaceful world with so much space and silence. I realise how lucky I am to be able to see this, pleased I can share it with others.
We wandered back home. I did not collect objects, instead memories of the day which also ended in a most spectacular way.

I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of what I have been doing. Thank you as always for your interest and lovely comments, they are appreciated and I do enjoy reading each one. I hope you are keeping warm and doing something creative. I will leave you with the first signs of spring, snowdrops in my garden, a welcome sight. See you soon. Milly x

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