Tuesday 27 August 2019

Taking inspiration from nature

When you go for a walk in nature on your own, you observe so much more and can take the time to really delight in the colours, textures and sounds that surround you.

I don’t often take the opportunity to go for a walk on my own as it’s usually something I do with my other half.   When I do it’s always a bit of a treat, as I can stop to take more pictures of random things and actually listen to nature without distraction. Of course walking along quietly, without the noise of chatter, can also reward you with seeing things that might normally be missed.

I recently took a walk around the Cape Cornwall and Cot Valley area, and walking down a quiet lane I stopped and held my breath as there was a little stoat in my path.  It had paused on its journey and went up on its hind legs, meerkat style, to check me out!  It was total cuteness overload, and I couldn’t believe my luck! It scooted back into the grass and then reappeared with another one and they proceeded to scamper across the lane, squeaking away, right in front of me. Well, that was my day made complete! It’s moments like that I wish I could take pictures with my eyes...do you know what I mean!? I didn’t dare move to reach for my phone to try to get a picture, but just to observe them for what was probably no more than 10 seconds was wonderful.

I found this image on google of a stoat, and it's sourced from worldatlas.com .

sourced from worldatlas.com

Continuing on my walk I reached the cove, Porth Nanven, that I stopped at for a while just to watch the sea coming in over the big rounded boulders there.

Back up on the coast path, there were lovely colour combinations of the heather and gorse against the blue of the sea, and leading up to a brick chimney. Whilst admiring the views I heard and saw two choughs wheeling about in the sky above me.

Heather and gorse along the coastline

Can you spot the bird on top of the chimney?

Further along my walk, the coloured boats at Priests Cove made a nice composition leading down to the water.

The piece of grassland left at Cape Cornwall is giving lots of seed heads for birds to feed on, and  was a nice foreground to the little white house on the cliff in the distance.

Whilst I couldn't take a reference picture, as I was driving it was striking to see the mass of crocosmia in the hedgerows alongside the roads. That wonderful pop of orange against the green of grass and bracken.  There were a few isolated crocosmia along the path in the Cot Valley - not quite so impactful as the roadside hedgerows, but pretty nonetheless.

Lots of inspiration has been taken from just this one walk, and I’ve chosen one of my photos as the basis for a new piece. I’ve been finding the Procreate app on my iPad really useful for getting ideas down quickly - I’m still a complete novice at it, but as I’m only using it to ‘sketch’ there’s no pressure to create a Procreate masterpiece!

So I started with this photo:

I then loaded this onto Procreate and using the tools ‘painted’ over it, adding more and more layers, creating a sky and popping in a chough, just like the one I saw and heard on my walk.  I have a long thin frame to use, so that's the reasoning behind the dimensions of this sketch.

I'm really liking  Procreate - there's so much to learn, but it's perfect to use just as a reference guide - and no need to get the paints out (although it's nice to do that as well!).

So I am now gathering materials and colours to use for this piece - but it may be a week or two before I get around to actually doing it.  There's a busy time ahead - my daughter is off to university (I think I'm in complete denial about that one!) and we're hoping to get caught up with the 'day job' to have a few days away, so I'm going to wait until I have some quality time in my workroom to really immerse myself in this one.  I can also see other pieces in my head inspired by some of the photos in this blog post, which is great - I may well get some more sketches done on my iPad to bank those ideas for the future!


So, that's it for now...thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope you've enjoyed sharing my walk in nature - hopefully I'll have a finished piece of inspired work to show you before too long!

Feel free to leave a comment or just say 'hello' - it's always great to have feedback!

Best wishes

xx  Tanya xx