Sunday, 6 July 2014

At snail pace!

In my garden I have a collection of snail shells, pale blue empty shells that I pick up on my walks and bring home and drop them into a plant pot. The cheeky birds have been playing amongst them and scatter them all around. I keep telling them they are empty! I just want them to draw. I pick them up every morning! Perhaps the birds are telling me to get on with it then. So I did.

My life seems to be going along a little at a time, a stitch at a time, a little bit of painting and a little drawing here and there, nice and slowly does it. I am realising I can get things done as long as I take it slowly, it feels rather like I am working at snail pace.

I have been working on some small projects, finally drawing those snail shells.

I deliberately just challenged myself with something small, postcard size. I sketched all three in pencil. My aim was to complete one a day.

Slowly I painted each one, a little at a time on the kitchen table, whilst those cheeky blackbirds are now in my tray of seaside finds, flicking the mermaids purse into the air and dragging off the bits of seaweed. Attention seeking behaviour, you have already been fed. The three postcard snail shells, using acrylic inks.

We have had some lovely sunny days. Each night the windows are open, each morning a moth has been on the wall. I am keeping my eyes open for the lovely Magpie moth which I love to draw each year. It reminded me I had one I needed to finish. I started to paint it on the front cover of this black paper sketchbook but my eyes were so bad and it never got finished. I worked on the black paper, then got carried away and painted a new moth.

Wouldn't it be fun to paint one on fabric, my head loves to throw up ideas!

So I sat outside in the sunshine and just went for it, just painted straight onto the little piece of linen. It was a little tricky but I like a challenge.

So my Magpie moth is now on wood, black paper book cover, a new painting and a piece of linen. Now I have just the thing, an idea how to use that linen. A bowl of newly washed sheep wool collected off the fence on the shore.

I will make a pincushion. But Before I put the fabric paints away I had a play with the alphabet stamps, now this has great potential, my head is spitting up numerous ideas.

DREAM IT THEN CREATE IT. The words I stamped on my new pincushion. Hand painted, then stuffed with wool I found and stitched by me. It is my favourite moth, really magical, going to help me sew beautiful things I dream up. Talking of sewing I have been working away at my initial E.

A stitch at a time. I printed this beautiful letter from a wooden block my sister gave me for a birthday present. Maybe another pincushion, a rather large one for all those sewing ideas that keep filling my head.

And just for fun, last year after I had eaten my cake I painted a moth on the cake box. Why not?
I think I am like a Magpie, always collecting. Please tell me I am not the only one, what do you collect? Leave me a comment telling me what you collect and I will pick a winner for a little Give away prize. Yes a hand printed tea towel and a pincushion....that is two names in a hat picked out Monday 14th July.
(Comments accepted by email if not a google account. drawingsfromnature at )
Thank you for the comments on last post, Anita lovely to hear from you.x
Just taken this photograph, 9pm, another lovely day here. Hope it is nice weather where you are too. And you have enjoyed your weekend. Millyx







Gill said...

You are so talented Milly - I love the snails and the moths!
I haven't seen a magpie moth for ages !

Julie Clay Illustration said...

Ooh am I first in with a comment? bet someone beats me. I love the magpie moth, I haven't seen one of those, it's weird that I don't jump at butterflies coming near, but moths make me jump, perhaps it's just the time of day I usually see them? I'm going to go out now and see if there re any moths near the buddleia, they love the flowers (9.40pm here). My collection is nothing specific really, any natural form that inspires I would try to collect, photographically or otherwise, so I collect 'inspiration' :) Glad you are slowly making your way!

Pondside said...

The shells are so pretty, and it was interesting, to this non-artist, to see them as works in progress.
Me? I collect bits of stone and beach glass, red and white dishes from junk shops and mussel shells from the beach nearby.

Katherine Thomas said...

Love your work! Besides the gorgeous artwork itself, I really like the photos of the shells next to the drawings, and the same with the butterfly. You have such a delicate thoughtful way of portraying these little treasures of the earth.

RH Carpenter said...

Such a variety of beautiful things this posting! Love the snail shells and the moth on all the surfaces. You are so creative and can do so many things. I would love to win something to add to my collection of shells from beach walks, frogs in all shapes and sizes, crows, and anything that looks like it belongs in a beach cottage (although I don't live in one). Have a lovely week.

Valerie Gardiner said...

Oh Milly I love your magpie moth and all the things you've done with it,more wonderful ideas and inspiration! Like you I'm a magpie and collect anything that catches my eye, seashells, feathers, wild nuts, but my best find was a dragonfly that stowed away in our camping car and came all the way home from Sweden. It's safely stored in a little box and has already appeared in my sketchbooks and on my daughter's birthday card.

Starr White said...

I enjoy your blog so very much, and this post in particular as I love to stitch and paint and sew as well and your pincushion project combines all three! I collect little treasures from nature on my walks as well - feathers, stones, acorns, lichens...a little bit of everything, and I'm always trying to think up ways to incorporate them into little art projects. So, I love seeing how you are doing it with great success. Thank you for sharing your journey.

Debra said...

My Mom called me a pack-rat when I was just a little girl, so I have not changed much since then! I still collect rocks, acorns, leaves, feathers, nests that have fallen, robin's eggs that have fallen from their nests, fabric, art supplies...a long list!
I also love your art-it's peaceful and inspiring. Please count me in for the give-away!

suz said...

your work is so lovely and painting on fabric was a brilliant idea (or as we say here in New England - wicked cool!). I collect stones and interesting pieces of driftwood. Recently I started painting some of the driftwood and making small mobiles to hang on the porch.

Feathers said...

Ah Milly--Another inspiring post! What a lovely moth--I don't think we have them here--Your illustrations of him/her are great, and the snail shells are beautiful as well. It's so interesting to read comments from your other readers too, as we all seem to be like-minded people, with collections similar to your own. So glad you are enjoying your summer, and able to finish projects like the moth now. I'm off now to look at some of the tidbits in my collection. :-)

Frances said...

Milly, I think that the snails must be whispering to each other that someone nearby has re-defined their pace.

How busy you have been, following through with your various inspirations. I very much like the way in which you work with the acrylic inks. Each of your snail paintings is a beauty, done with so much observation, care and talent.

The various ways that you've used your beautiful magpie moth as a muse are so splendid. Each one has its very own character, yet that all complement each other well.

Let's see, what do I collect besides daydreams? I find it difficult to ignore the call of a beautiful new yarn, a special book, old china. New ideas and experiences also intrigue me.

Best wishes to you, dear Milly. I think your current pace seems to suit your artistic soul very well. xo

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Milly - I collect bird feathers...keep them in vases and lying about on bookshelves. They fascinate me with all the varieties of colors and how soft they are to touch.
Your work is gorgeous as always. Slow suits you my friend...very peaceful with a sure hand that knows how to create beautiful things. I had such a nice visit. As always thank you for sharing.

andamento said...

Your work is beautiful. I'm rather a hoarder and seem to "collect" lots of things. We've just been to Arran for a holiday and as usual came home with shells, pebbles, larger stones and feathers, I still have many of them on the dashboard - I'm quite enjoying having a mobile collection remnding me of time at the beach. I also like to acquire pottery from charity shops. I prefer the pieces to be fairly unadorned - sometimes a lovely shape is spoiled by some strange splashes of coloured glaze. I like getting them from charity shops as it feels like finding treasure, perhaps I'm just too mean to pay full price!

MILLY said...

Comment by Christina.........
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading and looking at the lovely drawings and paintings on your latest posting.
The snail postcard paintings are just gorgeous and I love the magpie moth design which you have incorporated into a handmade pincushion.
I do appreciate that It does take a lot of time and patience to create the delicate illustrations and pretty handmade pincushion. Its all really lovely and inspirational.
It is easy to see that you love being creative and I think that your work reflects the care and love you put into it.

Melody said...

I adore the little blue snail shell, it looks like it would make a lovely little swirly hat for a mouse! How fun that you use the wool you find for pincushions! I have a ton of dog hair here??? Maybe I could put it to good use?? So happy to see you drawing more, and making little goodies! Happy July to you!! :)

Claire said...

The snails are gorgeous and I love the moths too. Especially on the black paper and the fabric, stunning.
I am going to set up a moth trap to night, hopefully see some treasures,including the magpie,fingers crossed!!
I collect all manner of nature things,feathers,nests,shells,pebbles,everything really!! ,it's getting a bit too much now but I'll make room somehow!!! xxxx

Marqueta G. said...

Dear Milly,

I've been away too long! I haven't checked my favourite blog list forever, and had been missing out on your wonderful, inspiring artwork. I too, collect all manner of nature in my home (much to my husband's chagrin). I love baskets, old china, doilies, old ladies' magazines, and books.



acornmoon said...

There is something very positive and calming about your work. It looks unhurried and considered.
It is lovely to see that you are making a recovery.

MILLY said...

K.S. Chambers said...
Hello Eileen,
I stumbled upon your fantastic blog and just wanted to say thank you for sharing your work. Brilliant.
14 July 2014 06:32

Mary said...

Dearest Eileen - I've been missing here I know but my lack of comments doesn't mean I haven't kept up with looking! As usual you have shared such beautiful finds from Nature and I'm so pleased to see you are managing to paint, and stitch (love the letter E) such fine details again. Hopefully all this beauty means your surgery outcome is very good and you will be enthralling us with more and more special drawings in the coming months.

Hope your Summer is warm and wonderful in that lovely corner of England. We managed a few days - Bath and London only this time - after our Baltic/Russia cruise in June. It was strange not getting to Devon but hopefully next Summer we'll make it back.

Have you heard anything from Delilia - we are wondering where she is now and whether she was back in Finland as we sailed by!

Happy days - and treasure hunting along the shore. Bob sends good wishes to you.
Hugs - Mary