Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring In The Rookeries

How lovely that spring is approaching. So many little buds bursting into leaf. I love the starkness of winter trees but I am always glad when the leaves appear to gentle the scenery. The only downside is that it is difficult to spot birds' nests and I have a bit of a thing about them at the moment. There don't seem to be enough nests around for all those birds..hmm!

Mythic Cat With Fish Friend - another pen and ink drawing. I bet you didn't know that cats could be friends with fish did you? It happens all the time apparently.

This is a pen and ink cockerel with a digital background. If you ever see a bird like this let me know. Definitely one of a kind.

The spring days are gaining warmth and bursting into life now. I found some beautiful pink blossom on the trees in a local churchyard...

and a host of golden daffodils on a private drive - sneaked in to get this one.

During a geocache in the local park we were of great interest to a lone swan approaching for food...

and swimming away when she realised we hadn't any titbits for her.

Ducks on the sunlit lake.

I love the intriguing narrative that Linda Gourley employs in creating her whimsical and quirky artworks. She is adept at etching, collograph and mixed media and uses a variety of techniques including chine colle. You can follow the link here to see more of Linda's work on her website.

Foot Loose And Fancy Free I

Garden Angel

It wouldn't be March without a few rookery photos. These shots are from one of my favourite local spots. I just wish I had a better zoom on my camera so that I could see them more clearly. I am fascinated by these amazingly gregarious black birds and the fights and squabbles they have when it is time to nest and produce the next generation. Apparently they make a habit of stealing bits of each others nests. It is a wonder they ever get built. I watched a group of rooks nesting in some local trees a few years ago and the nests were beautifully completed. There were about six altogether. A week or so later I happened to be there but the nests had completely and totally vanished. It must have been the wrong spot and they had upcycled the nesting material and built elsewhere.

I found this delightful little textile book in a charity shop the other day. It is by Linda Miller who is a very talented textile artist and is well-known in crafting circles. I have met Linda quite a few times at various art and craft locations and she is always more than happy to discuss her embroidery techniques. This book comprehensively details exactly how she goes about creating her machine emboidered pieces and is very easy to understand and follow. Even I could do it, but it would take me a very long time. The textures and colours of the embroideries are wonderful and the designs beautifully whimsical.

Spring Stroll


Autumn Leaves

I am still enjoying the fruits of my enormous clear out for re-carpeting a couple of weeks ago. I now have a largish pile of books and other things that I rediscovered. It is almost like getting new books. It is lovely reacquainting myself with them. Two old favourites are the books by pen and ink artist Anthony Mackay. The drawings below are from Journeys Into Bedfordshire but I also have a copy of its companion Journeys Into Hertfordshire. I bought them in the 1980's when I first discovered what a wonderful medium pen and ink was. I think he has also produced another two counties since then.

I can find next to nothing about him on the Internet but he obviously has a great sense of perspective to have accurately drawn so many beautiful buildings without making them look like renderings from an architect's handbook. I love the textures and tones he has produced. I learned a lot about pen and ink from his work in those early days. These drawings are also a valuable documentation of our heritage when buildings and trees disappear rapidly and our villages and towns are changed beyond recognition.

Shelton Church

Crawley Park Cottages

Marston Moretaine Moated Manor

Trees Near Old Warden

Abbey Farmhouse, Salph End, Renhold


Enchanted Blue Planet said...

Just got your message on etsy and wanted to check out your blog. How lovely. We are still contending with snow and ice here. Love your blog full of juicy tidbits and pictures. Now I must follow you. Will keep my eye open for the cockerel!

Cathy said...

Thanks very much for your lovely comments on the blog. It is great to meet new readers. I hope you get some fine weather soon. Ours is too good to last at the moment sadly.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I love your Mythic Cat with Fish Friend, the cat has such a wonderful expression on it's face!

bunnits said...

Spring seems to have arrived here in Alabama. Unfortunately, it is accompanied by extreme amounts of pollen. Well, I guess we just have to take the bitter with the sweet. That reminds me of this Langston Hughes poem (that I haven't read in a while, so I might not get it quite right):

O god of dust and rainbows
Help us see
That without dust the rainbows would not be

Cathy said...

Thanks Juliet.

Cathy said...

Ha ha that is a good one Melissa. As you say we have to take the good and bad together. I hope your pollen lessens soon. I get my sniffles when the oilseed rape season approaches, but luckily it doesn't last too long.

Debrina said...

You always post the most inspiring things on your blog :-)
I love the rookery and I esp. love the Garden Angel! We are at polar ends of the seasonal spectrum. My blog posting sees to be the reflection in the pond of your magical garden angel's garden :-) Perhaps the swans and ducks know something we do not!

Oh and I just love your fantastical rooster!! Cockadoodle doo!!

Cathy said...

Thanks Debrina. I love that garden angel too but sadly it is not mine but Linda Gourley's artwork. The rooster is mine though and looks like he could do a lot of very early morning crowing to wake everyone up. Obviously a ladies' man I think.

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

So much to like and enjoy Cathy! Mythic cat and fish friend is great and, like you, I love watching rooks nest building and the patterns they make with branches against a bright sky. The pink blossom is pretty and uplifting. x

Caroline said...

Love your kitty (but then I would, wouldn't I?!) and the snazzy cockerel is very upbeat! I enjoyed your terrific series of photos of those rooks and their nests and as usual loved what you turned up in the charity shop!

Cathy said...

Thanks Lesley. I love all the signs of approaching spring too. Rooks and lambs and blossom spell springtime for me.

Cathy said...

Thanks Caroline. I don't know where I would be without charity shops. I would certainly have a lot less on my blog anyway.