Seeing as its the last Friday before the festive month I thought I’d post a little autumn forest one frame this week, I love this old wooden bench and how its slowly being reclaimed by the nature.
When I took this photo it was wet, it was muddy and this old bench still sat there, beautiful as ever waiting for passers by to sit on it, surrounded by a sea of fallen leaves. Really rather poetic when you think about it.
A couple of weeks have slipped by without me posting – they flashed pass so quickly its unreal (I don’t know how some weeks can disappear in the blink of an eye and yet some days can last a lifetime)
This week I wanted to share a new painting. Back in July I posted the finished watercolour painting of ‘A World Turtle’ and thought, why not do a turtle for each season!
As its autumn I wanted the colours of the foliage to reflect the time of year – November here is a bit nippy but the trees are beautiful as they change colour. I’ve even tried to include little piles of leaves that have been swept together – even if they look like bushes!
And I wanted the actual turtle to incorporate my favourite autumn colours. Its A3 sized, the whole image is drawn free-hand, first with pencil and then ‘properly’ using a calligraphy ink quill and Windsor & Newton Black Indian ink and is painted with Arteza watercolour brush pens – which have so many uses and the pigments are wickedly vibrant.
I prefer to use a quill over pens because it feels more oldy-woldy and I always think black pens need to be gone over two or three times to achieve the same effect and colour depth as ink. Another handy thing about the ink is that its water proof!
What do you think? I’d love some feedback on this piece.
This week I thought I’d post a new embroidery that I’ve been working on. Looking back at the Gatekeeper butterfly photographs (that I posted last week!) I decided to embroider one similar to my other needlework butterflies – I’m developing quite a collection of needlework bugs/insects.
As always I started by roughly drawing four wing and body shapes onto calico and then filled them in with the closest coloured threads I had. I like to block colour first using two stands of embroidery floss and then blend using a single strand (on the smallest needle imaginable – its like a hair!)
Once finished I attached the wings to the body and make tiny antennae using wire, before putting the butterfly onto an embroidery hoop with plain eco friendly calico cotton and using a single strand of black thread to ‘write’ the name.
I’m really pleased with this piece and I’m working on a few of these, the butterfly itself is about 3 inches across so its quite small and has a tiny crocodile clip on the underside of the belly, which means I can take it off of its hoop and clip it to plants or even into my hair!
Eventually I may even start selling them, ya never know!
What do you think? Would you buy it? I’d love some feedback on this piece.
Hello friends! This weeks post is another butterfly centred photography collection. Its all about the Pyronia tithonus butterfly or Gatekeeper and over a couple of early mornings it was most courteous and posed for a few pictures.
I loved watching the different flowers appear during #nomowmay (I even got up one morning to a huge patch of Ox Eye daisies) that I thought ‘that was fun, let’s let the unwanted plants do their own thing*.’
This is my favourite gatekeeper butterfly photos I managed to take – I love how all the insects patterns and features are so clear and the softness of the background keeps all focus on the butterfly.
Fun fact – the colour and patterning of the wings on this type of butterfly can vary and there are about 12 different recognised patterns.
The image on the right is also a gatekeeper, but compared to the the one taken recently the butterfly has an extra dot on its lower wings.
Isn’t she beautiful! Of course this one might have been male.
I’ve enjoyed photographing different insects so much this year, it’s amazing how quickly nature arrives when you let the unwanted plants do their thing.
Thank you so much for reading out this post, do you have a favourite picture? Let me know and as always have a great weekend!
p.s the photos were taken with my Nikon camera, except image #4 which was taken on my phone.
*I don’t like to label plants with the word weed – a weed is simply a plant that’s not wanted.
This week I wanted to share some recent snaps from a day spent at Glastonbury Abbey – I don’t usually take many shots of buildings and things but it made a really nice change! The abbey holds mythical status as the earliest Christian church in Britain and is the possible burial place of King Arthur.
The abbey itself is dog friendly, has multitude of events held within it and can even hold weddings!
I’ve been going through my recent Ladybird beetle snaps, and can’t quite believe I have taken so many photos of them!
This one is a two spot ladybird up close and personal on a leaf. I love how the colours are so vibrant and I can’t believe how shiny the little bug is! Even the veins and patterns on the leaf look good. I really love how the left hand side of the leaf is slightly less defined with all focus on the ladybird and the leaf in front of it.
There are about 5,000 different species of ladybirds in the world. These much little beauties are also known as lady beetles or ladybugs because as suggested they’re beetles not bugs.
The natural light was so good that this image taken with my Nikon in macro mode, needed no post production.
Last year I fell so in love with bumble bees that I embroidered one (in fact I posted a new bumble bee embroidery only a few weeks ago!) and thought that as I’ve been captivated by the ladybird beetles why not sew one and add it to my ever expanding collection of insect needlework (in the end I created two!)
Up close the beetles are tiny – the seven spot one is about 1 1/2 inches tall and the two spot is even smaller!
I usually start by roughly drawing onto the calico and then its all sewn free hand using a single strand of coloured floss at a time onto a hoop and then sewn in teeny tiny little stitches. I’ve tried to sew them to look as round as possible – they’re quite small and only took a couple of hours to create. Needlework is so soothing and I find its a really good stress/anxiety reliever.
I wanted these ladybirds to be slightly smaller than my butterflies so the two spot one is in a 3 inch hoop and the seven spot is in a 4 inch.
Do you like them? I’d love some feedback on these pieces.
Ladybird beetles, one of those little creatures that just gets on with life and never makes any fuss. I noticed a lot more them this year, which is always nice. Obviously they are a great aphid eater which helps the garden no end but they’re also incredibly beautiful.
Enjoy some warm and happy summer colours and plenty of ladybirds…
I let the garden re-wild a little bit for #nomowmay – it didn’t take long for nettles to overtake and the ladybirds were so abundant I ended up buying a feeder to make sure the little guys had enough to eat.
A short but delicate art post this week…I’ve embroidered a new bumblebee! Very much like the one I created last year but the wings are in a different position.
The hoop it’s in is six inches in diameter and sewn with the tiniest of stitches using eco friendly cotton floss, I love the fact that the wings can be made to look a little more realistic just by sewing the threads in different directions.
The bumblebees this year have been extra fluffy and this photograph has been my inspiration for the piece.
I’m really pleased with it and its been lovely studying the bees again! What do you think? I’d love some feedback.
Hello wonderful friends, for this weeks post I’ve put together a little collection of bumble bee related photographs that I’ve taken this summer.
Bees have always been super special to me – I try my hardest to take care of them and grow as many flowers as possible. They are so very clever and do so much good for our planet, that we really should be doing more to create spaces for them.
In a bid to do more for nature I decided to try and grow my own wildflower ‘meadow’ along the garden fence. I mixed all different seeds together and liberally sprinkled them into the trench – there were a lot of cornflowers (which are my favourite) that were multicoloured as well as nasturtiums, marigolds, californian poppies and various herbs like lavender, sage and rosemary.
As a lot of these plants are annuals I think I might try to strategically plant them next year as the corn flowers are so abundant that they’re cutting off the light to some of the smaller plants at the bottom.
I very much consider Middle Earth to be my happy place and the works of Tolkien have long been one of my favourite things! So as I’ve not posted any calligraphy art for a while I thought I’d share this one.
So the actual song Tolkien wrote isn’t actually sung in The Lord of the Rings, part of its last verse is sung in The Return of the King, by Pippin. On the soundtrack of the film, this track is named Edge of Night and Billy Boyd sings it beautifully.
Home is behind The world ahead And there are many paths to tread Through shadow To the edge of night Until the stars are all alight
Mist and shadow Cloud and shade All shall fade All shall Fade
I love working with water colours to try and bring as much nature into my art as possible and combining it with my love of all things green with my love of calligraphy and quotes, they don’t take long to do, but look really effective against a white wall – my funny little brain likes to pretend its alchemy!
Hello friends! A new butterfly embroidery this week. I’m really happy with the Large White butterfly one frame (that I posted last week!) and I particularly love this type of butterfly – they’re so beautiful but because the caterpillars eat cabbages humans consider them a pest.
So I decided to embroider one similar to my Holly Blue.
After roughly drawing four wing shapes onto calico I coloured them in with the closest matching threads I had and once finished I attached the wings to the body and created a backing canvas with the butterflies name in a hoop with plain calico. The stitches are so tiny!
This one is a little bigger than the Holly blue butterfly that I posted a couple of weeks ago and is about 4 1/2 inches across.
The body of the butterfly has a crocodile clip sewn on so that I can attach the butterflies to plants around the house! I’ve got a few more of these on the way and am thinking of putting them on my etsy…maybe.
What do you think? I’d love some feedback on this piece.
Also, if you want to check out the Holly Blue butterfly embroidery its HERE
Well, its been four or five weeks since my last one frame post, and I thought I’d share this image – I was sitting in a grassy field recently when this little beauty landed near me! I’m pretty sure its a Large White (Pieris brassicae), it landed on a fox tail for maybe a minute before flying away!
When it comes to photography, I don’t use any special lenses or have a particularly high tech camera – I use a Nikon Coolpix L340 its a good little point and click camera (which I’ve had for ages) and although I’ve been threatening to upgrade to a DSLR for sometime, I like my L340 and know how to work it!
I was really glad to capture this image with quite a soft background and how the colours compliment the butterfly.
This week I thought I’d post a new embroidery, when I saw the Holly Blue butterfly and was able to take some photographs of it (that I posted last week!) I knew that I wanted to create a piece of art about this insect.
So I decided to embroider one similar to the bee I did last year, but instead of being a flat piece I want to try and make it a little more three dimensional.
I started by roughly drawing four wing shapes onto calico and then filled them in with as similar coloured threads as I could find. Once I’d sewn all four wings I carefully cut them out and edged them. I then drew a body and after I’d coloured it in, attached the wings to it before putting the butterfly onto an embroidery hoop with plain calico and sewed the name of the butterfly underneath it.
I’m really pleased with this piece and love how the wings stand out from the fabric, its kind of like a pinned butterfly, only made of cotton and ya know not…real!
What do you think? I’d love some feedback on this piece.
p.s if you want to the what the butterfly looks like my photography post is HERE
I was recently got the chance to photograph a new butterfly, I’ve never seen one of these before and its been flying around for a couple of weeks but has never landed long enough for me to photograph. Its a Celastrina argiolus butterfly or Holly Blue, and it was so tiny!
Isn’t he gorgeous – it is male the females have more black on the upper wings.
The undersides of the wings are just as beautiful, originally when I saw it I thought the little guy was probably a Common Blue but the small black spots on the wing undersides distinguish the two types of butterfly.
Hello friends! Just a little art post this week, for world turtle day (23rd May) I posted a pen illustration of a world turtle, slightly inspired by the Great A’tiun. Well, I’ve actually finished it and I am so happy with this painting!!
Floating through the endless cosmos, the occupants of the castle gaze happily at the universe and other distant stars.
I love turtles they are truly magical creatures! I hope you enjoyed this weeks post, it was a lot of fun to come up with. Do you have any suggestions for other world turtles or think things can be improved?
I’d truly love some feedback and as ever wish you a happy week ahead.
p.s if you want to see the original drawing the post is HERE also I’ve just worked out the whole ‘featured image’ thing – its so cool!
A new beach landscape shot this week, it’s amazing how the light and weather can affect photographs. This was taken standing atop the dunes on a superbly bright day.
With the wave breaking and the super fluffy clouds against the incredibly blue sky that fades out into the horizon. I feel particularly happy with the way I captured the beach.
Being at an angle there’s just a little bit of dune sneaking into the frame gives the image depth somehow, there’s no post processing on this image – everything is more or less in focus and the horizon is straight. I kinda feel its one of the best landscape photographs I’ve ever taken.
Going postal by the comic and literary genius that was Sir Terry Pratchett, is one of the wittiest books out there (actually all the Discworld book are fantastic) and there are so many great quotes in them that Pratchett’s books are an endless supply of fun and clever phrases, which I love turning into calligraphy art.
The mantra of the postmen in the book is “Neither rain nor snow, nor gloom of night can stay these messengers about their duty.” which adorns the post office in large metal letters – its a fun play on the US postal service motto.
In Going Postal the post office is run down and a business man steals some of the letters to use above his own shop.
I used my arteza water brush pens and a really fine paint brush to create this piece and think the uses of different fonts work together really well. I also chose to use shades of blue as the postmen of Ankh–Morpork wore spiffy blue uniforms.
Once I’d photographed the quote I added in the missing letters. Its a fun little piece and when I’m stressed I often say no glom of nit to myself for motivation.
Thought I’d post an illustration this week, I’ve recently been reading fairy tales and The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen has always been a great favourite of mine.
“The little sea-princesses, were six beautiful children; but the youngest was the prettiest of them all; her skin was as clear and delicate as a rose-leaf, and her eyes as blue as the deepest sea; but, like all the others, she had no feet, and her body ended in a fish’s tail.”
Excerpt From: Hans Christian Andersen. “Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen”.
I wasn’t actually planning to colour her hair red, but when thinking mermaid I instantly Ariel comes to mind. It was clever of Disney because in the original story Andersen gives no clue as to the colour of the mermaid’s hair, but she does grow red flowers in her patch of garden. I’m thinking that I might draw several mermaids…or maybe other characters form old fairy tales.
There is something timeless and soothing about the sea isn’t there? This week I wanted to share some ocean snaps.
You may or may not have know but Wednesday 8th June was World Ocean Day so with that in mind I hope you enjoy this seaside themed post.
It’s hard to believe that this picturesque photo of the sea lapping against the sand was taken in the UK, but it was (in fact it’s a beach in Cornwall). The Cornish light is something I truly love when it comes to creating art or taking photographs!