Arty journeys...


Friday, 30 January 2015

Dancing on the inside

I'm sure I look as if I'm just wandering slowly around Coombe Wood (carefully so as not to jar my back - just had MRI results - prolapsed and torn disc) but inside I'm dancing. There's always something different to notice and it doesn't matter what state of mind I'm in before I get there, while I'm there my mood lifts. (There must be something in the last sentence that could be used for the beginnings of our art group project on mood.)

This morning was dull and grey while I waited for a parcel delivery but as soon as I was able to go out the sky very kindly turned blue.

Magnolia buds against the blue sky
Spring bulbs pushing their way up into the sunshine
Bronze papery Golden Rain Tree pods shining against the blue sky
Grasses in the newly planted prairie bed
I love the snowdrops
The explosion of spores from this puffball must
have been very powerful to create a hole like that at the top
Very short pastel coloured irises
Iris tubers beginning to shoot
- looks like a frog or a crab with some legs missing
Moss in the sunshine
In a few months this wall will be covered with foliage and flowers
More moss
 It was a real bonus to enjoy a walk in the sunshine.

Thank you very much for joining me.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Thinking about journeys

Some journeys are physical - travelling from one place to another e.g. my Coombe Wood walks. They're also an exciting journey of discovery and hopefully part of my journey to better health. (My doctor has told me to go for gentle walks as often as possible.)
Delicate Mahonia flowers with a delightful scent like lily of the valley
Snowdrops popping up
Pheasants strutting. I saw a group of three there this morning.
A welcome warming cuppa by the fire with a friend
I am also thinking about other kinds of journey e.g. a journey of learning as we practice something like scales on the piano or in my case daily drawings . . .
Little daily drawings of anything that grabs my attention

and weekly drawings of things picked up on a Coombe Wood walk
Then there are other journeys - the journey through life, through emotional or spiritual experiences etc. With my art group we are working on some artwork connected with moods. I haven't got off the starting blocks with that one yet. One step at a time - another journey about to start. 

Thank you for joining me. 

Friday, 23 January 2015

Another cold and frosty walk

What a surprise to see frost flowers again this morning at Coombe Wood. The conditions have to be just right for them to be produced - I'd never seen them before Tuesday but there were new ones there again this morning.

Ribbon-like shapes

Very long frost crystals

Beginning to thaw
Frost on a curly fern leaf
"Steam" coming from a frosty roof in the sunshine
When I got home again the frost still hadn't melted so I went out for a closer look and took this photo of an old shed window (double glazed) with beautiful frosty patterns on.

Thank you for joining me. 

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Another little frosty journey

Coombe Wood again - blue sky but very cold with a heavy very frost that glittered in the sunlight (I do like a bit of sparkle).
Jerusalem sage with frosty stars
Frost on concrete
Frost on wild carrot seed head
Not sure what this plant is but it had clusters of ice crystals on it.
Frosty leaf in the sunlight
The gardener, who is used to seeing me around the gardens taking photos, called me over to see some unusual ice structures which he had noticed. I've never seen anything like these before and didn't even know they existed. I had passed them by earlier thinking they were little petals among the cut off plant stems. 
I would have missed them if the gardener hadn't drawn my attention to them, They were tiny little fragile ice structures, which I found out later are frost flowers.

You can find out more about frost flowers here if you're interested in how they're formed.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Frosty walk

I wasn't going to go to Coombe Wood this morning, having been there yesterday, but it was a crisp frosty morning and I couldn't resist wrapping up well and going to take some photos.

Magical garden sprinkled with crystals
No frost on these but I love the lacy skeletonised petals
Long crystals on the central vein of this leaf
Frosty moss on corrugated roof
Frost crystals on tiny plant
One thing I love about taking photos is that with the help of a camera I can see things I wouldn't be able to see with the naked eye unless they were very close up - e.g. the frost crystals, the skeletonised hydrangea petals in the second photo and the skeletonised sycamore seed below.
There are so many terrible things going on in the world - I find it refreshing to take a break and search out some of the beauty that's around - it helps me to restore my perspective.

My third Coombe Wood weekly drawing has been done - and I'm also working on daily quick drawings which are related to anything I notice during the day. I'll just give you a glimpse of those for now.

Thank you for joining me on today's little arty journey.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Cold gentle stroll in Coombe Wood

I always find it so encouraging to see flowers blossoming in winter. 
These are really tiny flowers - I love the colours
Puff ball mushrooms after their spores have exploded out
Rhododendron bud already showing its colour
(woops - a friend has since told me she thinks its a camelia)
Giant mushroom gills
With their heads hung so low it's easy to miss
the flamboyant structure in the middle of these flowers. 

So much happening under the soil.
In a couple of months the flower beds either
side of the lawn will be bursting with life

More signs of life
Crazy seed head (wild carrot)
Jerusalem sage (?) flowers beginning to show
A lot has been going on under the surface
and things are already beginning to burst into life again.