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Spider in the Garden

Now I’ll freely admit, I’m WAY behind on my blog posting! I was doing so well at sketching all the time in my journal this summer and getting out for walks in my fields then sharing it with you, but life has been so busy this winter. I’ve been in Northumberland England the past few months and though I didn’t get as many paintings and sketches done as I would have liked, I do still have sketches and photos to share here. So I’ll try to post them even though they’re a little ‘old’!

This one is about a short walk to the ‘local’ castle, church and a spider in my front yard.

Stone steps into the churchyard, access for people but not for sheep!

Just down the road there’s a Church, St. John the Baptist, built in the 11c, and sometimes I go have a walk around the churchyard. My boyfriend doesn’t know why I think this is interesting but I’m just amazed at how old the gravestones are. I read the names and dates and think of the real people who lived long ago in this village.

Gate latch at the church

I love looking at old gates and this one is especially cool, the metal clasp lifts up so you can swing the gate open. Think of all the people over hundreds of years that have walked this path, maybe not the same gate but it’s been around awhile!

Meet Me There carving on gravestone

This is a popular carving theme on stones, the finger pointing upwards; I just love drawing banners too so I had to sketch it. It’s permanent ink pen, the date on this stone was 1900.

Gate to the castle

This picture was taken just next to the church, the gate on the left goes down a grassy lane to the castle in the distance, the one on the right goes into the farmers field, we won’t go that way! You can see an old viaduct in the distance, that used to be for a small railway that ran through this little town, I wish it was still here. The hills you see in the distance I climbed up with Gary, right to the top and oh what a view! Then we walked all the way back down and came over that viaduct and back to where I shot this picture. That was a looong walk for me!

Edlingham Castle

There’s the castle, not far now. This is Edlingham Castle built in the 12th c. On either side of the grassy path there are usually sheep or cows, remember the red cows I sketched not long ago? Here’s a link to Wikipedia about Edlingham Castle.

Edlingham castle ruins

You can walk all around this castle ruins for free, I like trying to imagine the original layout of it. You can see the viaduct in the background and the crags on the hill above that.

Spider in the garden

So I knew you’d be wondering, what about that spider you mentioned? Well when I got back from my stroll I discovered a spider in the front yard clinging to an old leaf and stem. Now I had to squat down and lean in really close to take this picture, I hope you appreciate how close I got to this spider to take it’s picture! I think spiders are really interesting but I still get scared of them and don’t want to touch them! shudder….

Spider sketch and poem

It had a web woven attached to it. I did a tiny sketch while crouched down to look at it, and I wrote the poem in bed one night after.  I thought his web was like window panes in the air. Here’s the poem:

“Spider in the Garden”

Spider in the garden
What do you see?
A world through a web
Where we are all free.
Through your silver floss
Little windows in the air,
You watch us ignoring you
As if we didn’t care.

Mary McAndrew

October, 11, 2011

Blackbird eating berries

I’ll leave you with one more picture, a Blackbird (female) eating berries in the tree.

8 comments to Spider in the Garden

  • Kel

    A children’s book, your sweet little poems with your illustrations next to them…just sayin. 🙂

    I love old grave stones. When I worked in Maine, I’d ride my horse by some really old family plots. Probably not as old as England but pretty old.
    Take care,

  • hi Kel! Thanks for the comment, I’d love to do a children’s book with my little poems I’ve been writing over the years….it’s like you said on your blog, Just gotta do it! Well I don’t know if that’s what you said but you know what I mean! I feel overwhelmed with too many projects and thoughts, I’m trying to focus on a few things. Maybe if I at least print each poem out I can gather them like a book then visualize the illustrations?? Any tips?

  • Sharon

    fun article 😉

  • thanks Sharon…warming up to catch up on my England blogging! More pics to come…

  • Kel

    Hi Mary,
    I think one of the biggest things that keeps us from doing something is thinkning we need to see or know the WHOLE picture. It’s intimidating thinking about “writing” a children’s books and then getting it published.
    I think all you really need to know is the NEXT step to take. When that is done then just take the NEXT one etc.
    You’ve already said your next step. Print off your poems and get them in one spot, one folder. After that, read through them (that would be the second step. Do they have a common theme (third step)? (My guess is that a lot of them do-nature!) You most likely have already done paintings or sketches that would work with most of them.
    Anyway, everytime I read you darling poems and see your beautiful nature sketches I think that you should do a childrens book. 🙂
    Try just doing the next step.
    Warmest regards,

  • thanks Kel, you ARE so encouraging! And like a good teacher you help me to see how to go about something. I’ll follow through and start getting this worked on, and of course let you know how it goes. 😉

  • Thank you for braving the spider! Lovely poem and artwork.

  • haha…thanks! I really should have done a better drawing but I seriously was crouched down (squatting) and after awhile my legs went to sleep! haha…I had to draw quickly. I don’t love spiders but I DO find them interesting and like most nature creatures even if it’s ‘creepy’ I like to study it to understand it. It’s interesting to see the different behaviour they may have.

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