Thursday, 11 August 2011

Rather an unusual nature post....

During the last few months I've been drawing and painting every day, and have begun to keep an artist's journal, something I've always wanted to do for years - well, since Edith Holden's wonderful 'Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady', but never seem to have had the time.

I've received much inspiration from Cathy Johnson's fabulous new book 'Artist's Journal Workshop', and the excellent and highly talented members of the Facebook group she's set up. I never normally sign up to groups on Facebook, but made an exception in this case! There is some fantastic and inspiring work in the book from many well known artists/journal keepers, and it's a wonderful book simply to look at if you have any interest in art.

I've decided to use my journal to primarily, record the local wildlife and natural history where I live. I know some readers have their homes in amazingly beautiful and remote places, and I'd so love to be in that situation. I realised, though, while walking at the weekend that there's an incredible diversity of life around me, despite living practically next door to a major British motorway! We have a huge area of scrub land/wetland behind our garden, which is choc a bloc full of plant life, birds and animals - and at the top of the hill opposite us we have some wonderful woodland/parkland, as regular visitors will know.

Ten minutes walk away from my home is Lawrence Weston Moor, which is a nature reserve and a remnant of the Somerset Levels - who would have though so much beauty could be found next to the busy M5! Local people don't tend to go there, so the wildlife knows it is safe - it doesn't care about the roar of traffic.

A busy Friday afternoon - I am standing on the motorway bridge over the M5.

Just beyond the hedge is all that traffic, but looking at this tranquil scene you'd never know!
The old willow trees have left strange and interesting shapes.

Bees are everywhere!

I came upon this spot with the sunlight playing through the leaves of this lovely oak tree, and it was just magical! The stream here is crystal clear, which seems amazing when you think I am only 7 miles from the centre of Bristol! Noted this spot for future sketching.
The area is a mass of flowers; I love these thistles!

Another tranquil view, with some splendid teasels taking centre stage.
I've put a link to my Flikr webstream in the sidebar iso you can see my journaling progress. I love the way there is always something new to learn, and journaling is helping me to view my world differently! x


  1. How fun Jules! I know your journal will be an incredible work of art and you'll have such a wonderful time creating it.
    Your blog looks so pretty!
    xx, shell

  2. You are so right, Jules. Nature is everywhere if you look for it. Lovely photos.

  3. it sounds as though your journaling is inspiring an intimate relationship with the nature you find. how wonderful that it is a ten minute walk.

  4. I am teaching myself to paint with watercolours,I think it will take some time as it is very difficult. I've only got as far as flowers but hope to move on when i am happy with what I am doing. I would like to do a journal with illustrations in watercolour of the wood and marshlands round here. Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. Hi Jules! So sorry I have been missing this summer. My Mom faced a serious illness but we have been blessed and she is doing much better! Things are beginning to get back to what we call normal:) Wow what a great journal and your first exhibits are fabulous! I hope this finds you well. Blessings and thanks so much for your friendship!

  6. You have such diversified interests Jules but of course, most of them have to do with art. The journal that you are creating is so lovely. I enjoyed visiting the moor that you took me to this morning (and I love the word 'moor') I'll have to looking into 'Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady.' It sounds intriguing.

  7. Hi Jules, trying to catch up on a year or 2 of what people have been up to:) I would love to see your flickr stream for your journal but can't see the link in the sidebar.
    Liz (UKClothDollMakers co mod!!)


If you have time please leave me a comment. I love to hear what you think.x