Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Week 51

Here is my page for week 51.  At a very busy time of the year I planned to take my walk on Sunday.  It worked out fine, the dinner was busy cooking in the oven, everything prepared for our Christmas meal so we took ourselves down to the shore.  It was a grey gloomy dark day and a very high tide in the morning so we knew it would be wet.  So out of our good clothes and we dressed for the shore in waterproof, windproof and warm clothes and our wellies.  I was glad to see others out walking their dogs  and looking equally well wrapped up and we waved and exchanged our Christmas greetings.  I had a small collecting bag, as I decided to limit myself to one page. It was really hard as I found so many things that I would happily draw.  It was very apparent to me that it was Christmas as I found holly, ivy and fir branches amongst the tide line.  The little branch with the two cones was the first of my finds to go into my bag. I guess they blow about and end up on the shore, some are left overs or blown from bushes but it seemed very festive.  I found red berries but I wanted to see how many had still managed to stay clinging to the Hawthorn tree on the shore and couldn't resist snapping off a little branch which appears on my page.  The leaf I chose is a Laurel and the brown spots influenced that choice.   The red Hawthorne berries are suffering in the weather and you can see the contrast of the bright red berry which is all smooth, red and shiny like brand new!

My bag of finds, the leaf and red berry can be seen.
We walked along to the boulders and to the shore where I searched for finds. I did not enjoy the sloppy wet sand as my feet slip and slide, but I did find the sea weed with the barnacles and some pretty pink shells.
The shore was very wet,  the banks show more evidence of erosion and the sea water has left large puddles and flooded areas on the grassy shore.  The high tide had reached the railway fence again as it left behind the wavy bank of tangled grass and objects.  I had enough in my bag  but you know I can not leave the mermaids purses,  they will keep for another drawing.   We saw the swan earlier but only found a few of her soft white feathers blowing in the breeze, she had gone again. 

 As we turned to walk back to the railway station we saw a familiar character,  Bare footed John out for a run.  He stopped to chat, then off he went with his trusty running companion, his dog. Yes he was bare footed.  We returned home to the delicious smell of the turkey, we enjoyed our Christmas meal.  My page had to be completed over the next three days in little pockets of time between  other things.  But at last it is finished and I really like it.
work in progress .

The finished page and the real objects

The piece of china was a little find by my husband, an unexpected gift so I had to add it.  Painted as usual with my acrylic inks and a fine sable brush and I used a black ink pen for the lower thin stem of the black sea weed.   Hope you like it. 
I did intend to post more photographs but Blogger is not helping tonight!
Hope everyone enjoyed their celebrations and had a lovely time with family and friends.
Next week My 52th week and I will have completed the whole year...So I will have a little giveaway.
See you soon.   Millyx

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Week 50

Here is my week 50 page. We had a surprise when we woke up to snow last Friday.  Huge snowflakes were falling and it all looked like we were going to be a snow scene.  Thick clouds covered the hills.  As the morning progressed it stopped snowing, the clouds lifted and the views were spectacular. I wanted to photograph the day for my blog and decided this could also be my collecting walk, so off we went.  The photographer took the first photograph from the top of the temporary railway bridge.  Meanwhile I dashed down the steps to the shore, feeling like an excited child because of this.
It was just so beautiful walking with the blue sky and the sunshine on this crisp clear day.  The Lakeland mountains looked like a postcard.  The oyster catchers and gulls flying over the water. We walked up to the stony beach past the limestone barrier.  The sand was very wet and sloppy but it was here in the little puddles that I collected the tiny pale coloured shells. The huge white Mountain across the sands seemed to rise up out of the ground with such majesty with its clean white covering and the mist clinging  to the lower valleys.  The sky looked so blue,  it felt so still,  so calm,  so beautiful.
Slowly the tide crept across the shore.  We pottered around like a pair of children as I collected my shells and bits of seaweed and my husband enjoyed capturing the day.  Several trains rumbled past us, faces look out of the carriage windows. The sand was really soft and sloppy, as my feet sink into the sand I felt the panic,  childhood memories of the sinky sands, back onto more solid land!
We walked back along the edge of the tidal river as the water slowly filled into the estuary, now the highest tides are over it was a gentle calm movement contained within the river banks.  I saw some extra long lengths of seaweed, up to six feet and too big for my pages! Then we found the large pine cone washed onto the shore.  Each week I always wonder what will I find, each week something new and exciting is delivered for me.  We left after two hours, the sun had gone, clouds again building up and the day turning darker and a drop in the temperature. Last photographs as we left about 3 pm.
So here is my page for week 50.  I did a pencil drawing of the large pine cone and lots of the little shells.  Then I added the seaweeds and finally the five red berries.  The pine cone is a pencil drawing and the other objects I have used the acrylic inks and a fine brush. 

just the berries to add
Hope you enjoyed seeing the snow, it has mostly gone now, I am glad we captured the day.  Hope you like the page for week 50.  Thank you for the lovely comments.   I would like to say  to all  my readers,  "Happy Christmas and have a wonderful time". 
I will be down on the shore collecting at some point in the weekend!                     Millyx

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Week 49

Here is my double page for Week 49.  I have spent many hours working on the detail of the objects but I am really pleased with the finished pages.  After the walk on Saturday I sat by the warmth of the fire and started by sketching the six mermaids purses and the green piece of seaweed with lots of wavy roots. I thought I would give you a glimpse into the workings of this week when I discovered I had been captured on film!  I sit curled up in the chair balancing my board on my knee and the chair arm whilst also  juggling the plate with the inks  as I am drawing.  The washed objects are placed on another plate for me to observe.  I listen to the radio and at times join in when my memory triggers off an old favourite from my past.   It feels so nice to just sit and paint and watch the work develop across the page.  The wind whistles off the sea and the hailstone showers bash against the windows but I am totally relaxed and  engrossed in my drawings,  the hours fly by.
The objects were all washed and then chosen and added to my pages.   I had six different Mermaids purses, each one a different colour and shape,  the really pale ones were transparent and their long coiled dangling strings always fascinate me.  Often when I find them they are tangled up with other objects and I often have to pull them apart  and unravel  the threads.   I was equally fascinated with the mass of long thread like roots on the sea weeds  and the barnacles growing on the stem of the piece of seaweed. 

There was another  plate full of objects that I had collected,  it was hard to choose,  but somehow they made the decision for me because of how they looked together.  I loved all the red berries which had rolled into the corner by the green holly leaf....a real festive look. Then the darker shapes of the two brown leaves just looked lovely next to the tiny delicate pink shells and the blue mussel shell,  perfect for finishing the page.  I spent three days  carefully painting and I do like the interesting shapes and it turned out just as I hoped it would.
So, when it was time to photograph the work for the blog I have to search for the brightest place in these dark and gloomy days.   Here I am on the floor arranging the objects hopefully for some good interesting photographs to be taken by the ever so patient  photographer.
I will post a few more of his pictures of Saturday showing the sprinkle of snow on the hills and the dark clouds which gave us the hailstone showers later on.   We were well wrapped up and enjoyed the walk and I found so many things to draw.   We saw the black rooks pecking at the ground, a curlew fly over and the many gulls.  My husband shouted me over to see what he had found, it was the eel which I am holding and he also discovered some more pieces of blue and white china for me.  I picked up every red berry I saw,  they are now a deeper colour and many are looking quite damaged just as the holly leaf has pieces missing.  The little pink shells seemed to be scattered all along the sand and I was pleased to find a mussel shell.  I could have collected so many beautiful leaves but I just chose two and I won't tell you how many feathers I collected!
As we are leaving the shore at 3pm Saturday.
Hope you like Week 49.
Thank you for the comments, it is  always lovely to read them.  Millyx


Monday, 5 December 2011

Week 48

As I sit here posting my week 48 I am listening to the hailstones lashing against the windows straight off the sea shore.  We woke up to our first snow, the hills are white and we had a little sprinkling in the garden.  I knew how cold it felt on Saturday as I walked along the shore and felt the chill of the wind blowing from the west. The only part of me that was exposed and  really felt the cold was my face, it made my eyes stream and tears rolled down my cheeks, and later I knew it had chapped my lips.  My head was wrapped in my merino wool buff  and the hood of my windproof jacket.  My warm lined trousers and wool socks kept my legs and feet warm.  And I thought it was such a good idea to wear wellies to keep my feet dry.   A pair of gloves protected my fingers from the cold and off I went in search of something to draw.
I thought I would share the route I walk each week,  the  photographs show the view off the bridge as I enter the shore, then  to the left in the direction of the open sea where I go first. 

At this point after the barrier of limestone  boulders  I reached the sand and land out to the open sea.  I found the two bones here, the only remains of an animal, probably a sheep.  It is here that I often find other objects trapped between the rocks and in the sand.  So I  picked my way up the beach only to get a nasty surprise as something sharp pieced through the rubber sole and my sock and into my foot.  I thought it must be glass but I could only find sharp jagged rocks, the slate which is quarried in the village.  I sat on a huge boulder and examined my bleeding wound and wrapped it up with a clean tissue.  With my bag of bones I bravely carried on.....thinking at this point that I have probably lost the plot....try explaining this to the Doctor. 
As I walk back towards the railway station the sky looks very dramatic,  some shafts of light from the sunshine look amazing.  The view is always changing, I think that is one of the reasons I always love this place.
After the high tides I see all the wavy tide lines lines with  all the little pieces collected in the tangle of grasses.   I collected a crabs claw,  a sea sponge,  feathers,  two mermaids purses  and a long thin piece of seaweed with little white barnacles attached.   My page is sorted,  I have plenty to choose from.   It makes me smile seeing all the objects  as I wander along  my way, a lost shoe,  a full family packet of crisps,  a huge red buoy,  a bright yellow fish crate,  toy balls, a golf tee and so many other objects all landed here on our shores.
The sky is getting darker, a few little squally showers, more drifting our way and after two hours it is time for me to leave.

Here is my week 48 pages of my objects.  First the piece of sea weed, painted with a fine Number 1 brush and green and sepia ink.
The two  bones,  a mermaids purse, and piece of sea sponge.  The bones made an interesting subject.  As I was drawing the page a friend dropped in and told me they are parts of a shoulder and a leg.   He knows about bones as he is a radiographer,  and  he wasn't in the least bit surprised to find me sitting drawing bones on a Sunday afternoon!  I used yellow ochre, sepia, white and grey inks to mix colours for this page.   Hope you like it.   I am so pleased, just 4 more weeks and I will have completed the year!
 Thank you for the lovely comments, I love to read them and welcome to the new followers.        Millyx