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Snowdrops in the Churchyard

It’s been a long time since I used my watercolor pencils, so I thought I’d bring them out with me on this day (in March). The snowdrops were out in a thick blanket at the “St. John the Baptist” churchyard, Edlingham and the view in the distance with “Edlingham Castle”, the Viaduct and “Corby Crags” was great; so I thought I’d try to capture a bit of it.

Beginning sketch I did while sitting on the wall of the churchyard.

Beginning sketch I did while sitting on the wall of the churchyard.

I took this picture with my cell phone as I sat on the cold stone wall of the churchyard, cold enough I was drawing with fingerless mittens on!

This is how far I got working outside.

This is how far I got working outside.

Above shows how far I got working on it outside sitting on the churchwall. I got most of the important things drawn in the right place and color for a lot of it. I was very stiff and cold so had to stop!

This shows a bit more color laid on

This shows a bit more color laid on

This shows a bit more color layers put on, more on the trees and background detailed a bit. You can’t see it but I also put some color on the castle.

Finished! In all it's vividness and rich greens!

Finished! In all it’s vividness and rich greens! That’s Edlingham Castle and the Viaduct in the background.

This little painting really tidied up nicely! The fence ended up being a bit different than I planned but I think it’s ok. I wanted to leave the whites to show the snowdrops; I mostly showed them by using the greens around them. When I was done I used a white gel type pen and touched here and there helped really pull the flowers out more. I’m also experimenting with using Doc Martin’s Bleed Proof White, a non permanent white ink, to add touches of white (tree trunks).

I hope your Spring is shaping up nicely where-ever you may be! Happy Spring!

"There is Dawn" (Sept.19, 2011)

Sketch at dawn in watercolor pencils

Today I stepped outside quite early, before the sun was up in fact. I took my sketch journal, waterbrush, watercolor pencils and ink pen and left the camera behind (but not Ginger of course). I sat on the edge of a very damp and cold picnic table that wobbles from age, and used watercolor pencils to quickly record what I could see.

This was easier than watercolors because I could just sketch across the paper quickly trying to guess at how it’ll look once I wet it. I laid down as much of the color as I could before adding water, once you wet it you can’t just scribble color on. Once it’s wet you can add color in two ways, using the tip of your brush to pick up color from the pencil tip, painting with it like watercolors or you can draw directly on the damp paper but the color will be intense and hard to blend or lift off. This is what I planned on to put the darker trees at the bottom, I wanted some of their branches to stay as drawing and fuzz out around it to look like foliage and mist.

The thing about plein air painting a sunrise is it changes so fast. Try to work as quickly as you can then either don’t look any more or peek for ideas to check colors and see cloud shapes etc. I try to avoid one problem that I run into, that’s adding yellow to the clouds then having blue sky wash over it or mix with it….and as you learned in elementary school…yellow and blue makes green! So…a bit of green tint sometimes appears in my sky! Try to blot up mistakes or intense color right away with paper towel and re-wet and blot as you need to.

I wrote the words before I did the drawing,  just words of what I could hear, not a poem but kind of a way to get into the moment. If you don’t think you can write poetry or something clever, just write what you can hear. In case it’s hard to read, here’s my words on my painting above typed out:

“Sept. 19, 2011 – There is dawn. There are bird songs.

There are cars and trucks from morning traffic.

There are birds.

I look out over the fields, wet with dew.

Feel the cold dampness on my hands + face.

Dawn gets pinker.

The cloak of mist starts to lift off the field.

Blue Jay, Crow, Song Sparrow song.

Robin call + Yellow Throat makes it click call.

My day starts in peace.”

Well my day started in peace and ended with some stress I guess, my laptop died again and this time I think it’s permanent. I’m having burial services soon, in the meantime I got a Netbook…tiny little thing! We’ll see how we do with it. I had to get something portable as I’ll be leaving very soon for ENGLAND!!! YAYYY!! Please tune in to my blog page (you can subscribe to posts in the right column) and see what I find on my adventures. I’ll be studying nature and taking pictures and we’ll see what else. Eventually I’ll be doing some classes and if you want to come to England to do some sketching, I’ll be doing a tour or two this coming summer there. More on that later, if your interested in that idea email me so I get a feel for what people might like.

That’s all folks! Hope you enjoyed my post today. I have lots of new caterpillar discoveries to share soon, I just have to organize all the photos I shot to go with the paintings I did.

Visit with a Friend (black and white studies)

Trees at Nancy's - Inktense 'Ink Black' watercolor pencil

(Please click on the pictures to see them clearer, use the back button to return)

I had a chance to visit with my friend Nancy the other day and we sat on her back deck to do some sketching. We had a nice view; just behind her place is a small pond with trees on the other side. I was showing her how to do something simple by just using one watercolor pencil, the Inktense “Ink Black” by Derwent Pencils. I keep one in my kit always because sometimes it’s nice to just do a sketch with a waterbrush using this one pencil. The nice thing is you can go back over your black and white study with color after, the Inktense pencils will not lift off like watercolor can.  It IS a VERY intense pencil, go very lightly at first and see what it does when you wet it. I started with the simple border as kind of a warm up, just draw a line around your page then use your waterbrush to wet it. To get it to look like mine, keep your brush ‘inside’ the line with the tip always touching and rubbing the line, letting the color run into the wetness left behind from the brush.

Sketch your scene lightly, trying to do most of it before you wet it. Once you wet the paper you’ll have a hard time adding more lines because they will be very dark and intense! If you need to just touch your waterbrush to the tip of the pencil to pick up more ink, then use your brush to add it to the sketch. Test how dark it is on a piece of scrap paper before you touch your sketch, this will help you avoid mistakes. I really like the look of this, sort of like an old antique picture.

Sketch of Cullernose Point from the south

Here’s a sketch I did in England last year, along the coast of Northumberland, of Cullernose Point as viewed from the south. I had my sketch journal with me (OF COURSE!!) and because we wanted to keep walking, just sitting a bit and doing a sketch with no color worked well.  I used my waterbrush and especially like how the clouds came out.

Alnmouth, Northumberland -water soluble graphite

Alnmouth, Northumberland -water soluble graphite

Now I thought I’d add this one too just to show how nice it can be to do non color studies. This was done with water soluble graphite, not the colored type, just plain old graphite color! We were at Alnmouth, Northumberland England; a beautiful coastal spot! I did it in my tiny sketch journal which was so much fun to use! It was a wonderful experience to stand on the hill at the coast and capture the scene forever in my memory. Please read my post about it here to see the wonderful photos I took that day! I loved being there and can’t wait to go back for more! I love, love, love England!

I hope you enjoyed my little ‘non color’ sketches, as I said they’re a great way to capture a scene without the worry and time of adding color. And thanks to my friend Nancy for a nice visit! (ps. I photographed lots of dragonflies at her place and two of them were new for me!) I created a really nice print and greeting cards in my shop, see the links below! I love the dark grey background with it.

Make your own card at Zazzle

When you see this print in my shop (below) don’t be scared by the price! It shows you the huggest size but can be ordered as a 16×11 for only $11.20 too!

“Stink Bug…What a Name!”

Yes I know, what a name! This bug is a type of “Shield Bug”, so named because when viewed from above it looks like a shield. I don’t have a definitive identification on it but closest I could come was a type of Stink Bug.

My sketch page with finished paintings of Stink Bug

This one I found was much smaller than others I’ve seen in the garden, you can see from the picture below.  I put my subject into the “Crisco” container that I like to use for bug study and photographing. It crawled around constantly and was a real challenge to draw!

Stink Bug and sketch book

Below you can see an experiment I tried, I colored swatches of watercolor pencil on a heavy piece of watercolor paper. I used it with a waterbrush to paint the Stink Bug studies. I wanted to try it because it’d be great to take along right in my sketchbook into the field. It worked pretty good for small studies and I’m going to try it out some more.  It helped to mix the colors on a small metal palette to the side to keep this color palette clean.

Watercolor pencil palette and waterbrush

Another tip, if you need to show some white highlights you can carefully scrape off layers of paint using a very sharp blade. This was just a small penknife I sometimes have in my field bag. Scrape sideways, gently and repeatedly to remove layers; sometimes scrape the opposite direction to remove it.

Scraping with a sharp blade

Here’s a bunch of pictures of the interesting little bug. If bugs aren’t your ‘thing’ I want you to just take notice of a few things.  You can appreciate some things in insects that you may also appreciate in birds. What catches me about birds is how you identify them by checking their shape, patterns, colors and behavior. Well the same is true of insects; you can identify species by their special shape, patterns, colors and behavior!

Stink Bug 5

This guy has an interesting shape from every angle you look at him. Just check out those red antennae!

Stink Bug 4

And the spotted legs! Looks like he needs a shave! But isn’t it fascinating that it has such pattern?

Stink Bug 3

This angle is very interesting, his head seems to streamline right into his body, and the eyes are right along the edge.

Stink Bug 2

Stink Bug 1

Here we see his pointy shoulders, like he’s wearing football shoulder pads! And I love the pattern along the edges of his back. Can you see the fine veins patterns in that little section at the bottom of his back, that’s part of his wings folded up. His underside was a gorgeous light green that reminded me of marble, but it was hard for me to capture as he kept running around! After I took all these photos in the garden, he flew away, I think just to show off!

Hope you enjoyed my insect study, I’ve been on a real bug kick this summer! More coming!

PS. I have a Flickr page that I’m trying to add to when I can. Check it out here.

"April Poem" 4-15-11

April is coming to a close soon, hopefully lets say goodbye to a wet, cold month!

April Poem

The last post I did a drawing on a very cold, damp day then I wrote this word “April” in my sketch journal and later colored it in while watching a movie. I had fun making it 3 dimensional and coloring it. Then two days later I wrote the poem while sitting in “Aspen Hall” while out for a walk on my land. I wrote it in the back of my journal first on lined paper then re-wrote it with watercolor pencil on the page here, and added the swirlies. I took a waterbrush and washed over it all to ‘release’ the color.

Here’s the short, simple poem, one of my un-serious poems!


April is the time of year
When cold winds blow,
And sun does cheer.

Buds are out and grass is greening,
Love sick birdies
All are preening.

Mary McAndrew 4-15-11

Enjoy the following photos from my walk.

Bush Blossoms

These bushes would have been easy to walk right by, their blooms aren’t showy like our garden shrubs. But if you stop to take notice and look a little closer they are really beautiful. Soft and delicate, with yellow tips, and then the sun shone through them they almost glowed like magic.

One of my really old oak trees

I have a line of really old oak trees, my farm is around 200 years old so I figure that’s how old these are. Their girth is such it would take several people to reach around their base. I love hugging this tree!

My seat in Aspen Hall

Just a simple pile of dead branches and small trees I have been adding to during the early spring. Aspen Hall is an area on my land that we used to sit in for picnics (my boys and I) and it’s been neglected over the past years. I’ve been going out to it whenever I go for a walk with Ginger.

Sap like a red jewel in the scar of a tree

I had to look closely at this red jelly like jewel in the tree scar. I took this picture using the closeup setting and making the camera look through my magnifier.

Old farm equipment in the woods

Another interesting find, some really old farm equipment! I think it’s so cool looking how it blends into the forest colors.

Old farm equipment in my woods

One last shot of the farm equipment; anyone know what it might be? It had plow ‘thingys’ on the back.

“Walk with Peepers and Golden Snails”

(if you are viewing this from your email subscription, please visit my blog on the actual website to see the video and links properly)

Today I went for a walk with Ginger. We ventured forth out into the wet lanes and fields, the mud sucking at our feet, water swirling as we waded. Not all my land is wet mind you, but this time of year it certainly is in some areas.  I start my post off today with my drawings of the little snail I met while out walking, because I knew you’d be curious to see him.

Little Golden Snail Sketches

I did these studies actually back at my studio while looking at him under a magnifying glass. I did some while in the field (you’ll see below) but it was so small it was hard to really get a good look at him while I sat on a log! So he came home for a visit. I first lightly sketched him with pencil then drew with a permanent ink pen and then watercolor on that. After I drew the swirly curly border I drew over it with one watercolor pencil then just dragged a wet waterbrush over all of it to soften it and make the color bleed out a bit.

Now back to our walk.

Secret Circle Lane

This is “Secret Circle Lane”, as wet as it always is in springtime; (click it for high res. view in my shop) how pretty reflecting the sky like that! Ginger and I crept quietly along through this water because I heard an interesting call from some kind of frog along with the zillions of peepers that were singing.

Here’s a short video clip I shot while standing in the water,  just to let you hear the sound of the Peepers calling.

my boots

Ah yes, the trusty boots! Can’t go anywhere without these mud boots or “Wellies”. Well these boots weren’t made for “walkin” they were made for “sloshin”!! I did see some interesting little critters in the water before our feet disturbed it, some snails and a few water beetles.


Oh, and there’s me…had to show you my favorite hat of all time and my Dad’s hunting coat! The hat I bought in England at a farm supply shop, where they sell the expensive horsey equipment and clothes. Well it WAS expensive too, BUT well worth ever penny! It’s waterproof, lined for warmth, has a flap that drops down over your ears and makes it fit your head like a helmet and has an elastic cord that goes under your chin for high winds. When the wind blew hard on the high hills of Northumberland, my wonderful hat stayed put!! The other nifty thing is it has a little button on the brim you click and you get two settings of led lights! High power beams!! I’m telling you we’ve used it to find our way on paths past dusk and it’s great for visiting old castle ruins because you can point your beam into dark places that you wouldn’t have seen before. I should get paid money to promote this hat!

And the wonderful old Woolrich hunting coat my dad gave me so I love it. He used to put it on when going out hunting, I still remember seeing him in the kitchen with the pants on with bright red suspenders and laughing playing like he was Santa! It is covered with pockets and has a special pocket at the back for carrying your ‘game’ home in. I have been known to carry sketchbooks there and always keep a spare kitchen size garbage bag for sitting on wet ground.

Crocuses in Aspen Hall

I told you before that we planted flowers in “Aspen Hall”, here’s two little crocuses I wanted to sketch.  Click to see a note card of it where you can zoom in and see it bigger.

golden snail

I love the close up pictures of this pretty little golden snail. I spotted him on the ground amongst the leaf litter, but in the sun he glistened like gold. I took my tiny Olympus camera on the macro setting and shot this picture through a close up part of my magnifying glass! It really works at getting a little closer. Click on the pictures to view note cards that you can view close up.

golde snail pointy end up!

Here’s another shot of him, I love the form of the shell twisting up like that.

Studying the snail closely for sketches

Now this picture is important because it shows you how tiny he was and when you need reading glasses to see things better, it doesn’t help. The other thing that made it difficult to draw him in the field was sitting on one little log made my back hurt terribly so I was not comfortable. I wrote my notes and did some little sketches anyways.

golden snail peeking at me

Another great shot, I love the patterns in the shell that the sunlight catches. And notice the subtle color that runs up through those eye stalks? I notice how well it matches the dead stick he was crawling on.

My Journal page

Here’s my actual journal page from my time sitting in “Aspen Hall”, go ahead and click it to read it.

Tiny Golden Snail with metallic gold watercolor paint added.

Now I had a little more fun with the snail studies I did by using some metallic watercolor paint on them. I took some pictures of the snail paintings tipped at an angle to catch the sun and really show the metallic watercolor paint I added on top. It was a lot of fun using it and really made it look like the snail did, it sparkled in the sun!

Golden Snails in watercolor with gold metallic watercolor over.

And one more shot showing the glitter in the full sun.

I hope you enjoyed our walk today and you didn’t even have to get your feet wet! 😉 Don’t forget to visit my SHOP by clicking the pictures above to see note cards of the little golden snail or the landscape photos in this post.

Here’s a note card using the watercolor studies:

Speaking of snails I’m honored to say there’s a wonderful blog written by two talented women one of which was inspired by my posts about the snail I found and did studies of while I was in England! Have a look here: “The Dao of Doing”

“The Journals’ Answer”

Today the sun was out so warm and I eventually found myself in the backyard in a lawn chair for the first time this season. I pondered my journal and things going on in my life, then before you know it I was writing a poem. So I’m sharing it with you here, hope you like it. (I also typed it at the end so you can read it minus the typo’s!  😉

“The Journals’ Answer” by Mary McAndrew

My poem "The Journals' Answer" on parchment

As usual I like to share with you a little about how I did something. Below are color swatches to show what color’s I used making this parchment. The top five are water soluble crayons, the bottom one is Derwent’s Inktense black water soluble pencil. I used the top four mostly, and at the end I added some black right next to the edge of the paper. I then added some black water soluble crayon over it just to try it. The paper was Bristol Vellum and it’s great for a journal you’ll paint in but it only handles a so much ‘rubbing’ when you’re blending layers of colors.

Color chart for what I used making the parchment

I jotted the poem on some lined paper I keep at the back of my journal then started to write it ‘neatly’ (hahah) on the journal page. I didn’t realize it was going to grow to be so long so I drew the parchment borders after I got the whole thing written. Oh and as a side note, I didn’t really cry though I felt a frustration with some things on my mind. Writing about crying was like crying for real.


“The Journals’ Answer”

Holding my journal in my hands,
I think of things I don’t understand.
Breezes warm upon my face,
Leave behind  no sign or trace.

Of feelings that welled from inside.
Tracks of wet tears that from my eyes
Ran freely down upon my cheek.
Leaving nothing for me to speak.

Where will this future take me now?
I ask my book, my pages, “how?”
Can they not give me some support?
I listen hard for it’s retort,

Is it my book I hear replying
Or the breeze in yon willow sighing?
My heart tells me what I’m feeling
Write it, draw it, find your healing.

Pages open wide for me
Put to paper what I see.
Draw and write what I hold dear
Focusing on these makes it clear.

Leaving my writing for all to see
Nature drawings now history.
My world is your world, this my gift,
To hope it gives a little lift.

No time for tears or heavy sighs
Lift your spirits to the skies.
Find your path, do what you will
Just remember “don’t sit still”!

Futures come and futures go
This you can be sure to know.
Thank you journal, you showed me how
To stop and see what’s here now.

Now is all that matters much
The rest is all “out of touch”.
Draw it, share it, live it, breath it,
In my journal I will leave it.

(c) Mary McAndrew 2011

I may change the line that reads “Futures come and futures go” to “The future comes then it goes”? Usually when I write a poem I finish it pretty fast, all in one sitting because it just kind of flows out at that time. Sometimes I go back and rearrange a bit.

Well leave me a comment and let me know what you think. Ponderings of a poet-naturalist-artist!

Creative Journaling Class was so much FUN!

Well my “Creative Journaling Spring 2011” class has ended after 4 weeks; it passed very quickly! Some of my students had never drawn anything before and others were used to doing some art or crafts. What I found the most interesting was how certain areas of what I taught really suited different students or ‘caught’ their imaginations. (Please CLICK on pictures to see them enlarged)

Great job Helen!

I’m happy to say Helen, who has never drawn before but is an EXCELLENT quilter, tried drawing and did quite well. I went over comparative measurements and gesture sketching with her and I think she’s getting the hang of it! She said she loved using the watercolor pencils. I can see her love of color in her quilts and could see she loved using color with the watercolor pencils.

Helen used her love of fabric and made a cover for her journal.

This of course, is Helen’s journal…she couldn’t help but get creative with fabric and cover her sketchbook journal that we made. She glued it on with rubber cement.

Linda and Paula working on poems and painting.

These ladies are very involved with their pages. Linda created some beautiful twig letters when we did creative lettering. I showed how to start with a simple outline then embellish your lines. Paula was inspired to write a poem during class after I introduced using poetry in your journal and gave a little talk about how I write a poem. Paula already liked writing poems so it really caught her interest and here is the wonderful poem she penned about our class!


Painting what I see,
Seeing sky through the tree,
Climbing the incline,
Writing poetry with rhyme.

Enjoying Nature:
Through art and poetry,
With experimentation and camaraderie,
Is easy, fun, natural and free!

by Paula Minklai 2011

Paula followed just what I was encouraging by doing a little painting in her journal and incorporated the poem on the page. Her little painting was of an incline with trees on it and she likened learning to going up the incline, enjoying what we experience as we go. Great job Paula!

I showed the class how to use the twig look for letters, Linda did a great job!

I love the blue color of the twigs Linda used.

Please enjoy the rest of the photos taken over the last few weeks.

Linda working on watercolor pencil landscape in a circle.

Helen used the watercolor pencils so nicely here for the first time ever!

Creative Journaling class 2 - making coffee stained paper

Creative Journaling class 2 - making coffee stained paper

Creative Journaling class 3 - drawing

Creative Journaling class 3 - drawing

I hope someday you’ll take a class with me! Sign up your email in the subscribe box to see when I’ll be teaching near you or just follow my posts about my journaling adventures!

“Limpets, Periwinkles and Bladder Wrack”

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack

Well you can see by the date on my sketch page above, that I’m way behind on my posts! I had another very nice visit to the sea on this day, at Howick Haven in Northumberland England, one of our favorites. There are many rock pools to explore when the tide goes out and that’s just what I did before settling down on a rock perch to draw the above sketch. (Click on it to see it as a glossy note card with text removed) You can read my little note about how it’s damp and chilly, my hands got so stiff it was hard to draw. Then there were too many people walking around for my liking, when they see someone sitting alone on some rocks sketching they get curious and come out pretending to explore just to peek over your shoulder. Well I don’t mind really, many times I chat with nice folks this way. (Hey if you ever see someone out drawing in nature and you think it’s me, introduce yourself!!)

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack

Limpets, Periwinkle and Bladder Wrack full page

This is a picture of the whole sketch page to show you my list of what we saw there, I also listed my pencil colors. When you look closer at little things around you, you’ll be amazed at how much more you see. When you start to identify and learn about these things you will see them many more times. One of the new ‘discoveries’ of the day was a Green Chiton, wow it was so cool!  (see below)

Green Chiton in the water

Green Chiton in the water

This Chiton was a gorgeous green with black trimming. Gary found it when I coaxed him out to have a ‘play’ like me around the rock pools, looking for interesting things. It was settled under water in a shallow pool, looking similar to a Limpet that clings tightly to rocks. This was unique in that it was oval shaped, and segmented like a pill bug, it could curl it’s shell! I want to do a little color study of it when I have time.

Green Chiton curled up

Green Chiton curled up

This is what it looked like when touched, it curled slowly. Don’t worry, it was soon placed safely back into the tidal pool.

pencils + drawing of seaweed with limpet

pencils + drawing of seaweed with limpet

I wanted to show you my set up with the laptop because the weather was so damp and chilly it was impossible for me to finish my color sketch on the spot. I took lots of photos and then at home just referred to my laptop screen to finish details and colors. Those are all the watercolor pencils I used laid out on the side. I had the sketch book and pencils on a little board on top of the keyboard. I used a variety of watercolor pencil types, mostly Derwent with a few Prismcolor, both great brands to use. As I studied the colors in the Bladder Wrack, this sort of ugly seaweed became more interesting to me. I liked the subtle colors of olive and yellow, the form of the leaves as they lay curling on the rocks and the fascinating little ‘bladders’ of air sacs on them to help them float, with little bumps all over them. What perked up the painting was adding light blue washes here and there where the light was hitting the wet surfaces.

I ended up using the permanent black marker to really define the drawing forms, to ‘dig in’ to dark areas and make them stand out more. I also like the way ink can loosen up a drawing and keep it from looking stiff.

Below I’ve added lots of random photos from my short visit to the coast here in Northumberland England, please have a look and enjoy my day with me! (Some I’ve made note cards of, you’ll see them in my shop when you click on those photos; you can hover over them in the shop to see close up views!)

The Beach-Tides going Out

The Beach-Tides going Out

You see some of the pools here, the beach and high dunes where we park the car are in the distance. Not a very sunny day!

Limpets along a rock

Limpets along a rock

A nice photo showing the Limpets and Bladder Wrack (so named for the little ‘bladders’ on their leaves).

Wading bird

Dunlin wading in the water

My birdy expert friend Stuart over at “The Boulmer Birder” helped me out with this ID, it’s a Dunlin.


Immature Pied Wagtail

This Pied Wagtail had my scratching my head, I’m still new to the birds of England but thought this was a Wagtail but it had no bib. Thanks to Stuart for telling me it is a Wagtail but the immature ones lack the bib.

Cormorant + Friends

Cormorant + Friends

Some more popular shore birds, a Cormorant, Gulls and an Oystercatcher. I love the Oyster-catcher’s red beak and very black and white plumage when they fly.

Grey Heron and Oyster Catcher

Grey Heron and Oyster Catcher

Can’t forget the Grey Heron, sorry he’s a bit blurry, I had to zoom in a lot to get him. They are incredibly shy, hard to get near so the zoom comes in handy.

Dunstanburgh Castle

Dunstanburgh Castle

This is Dunstanburgh Castle, it’s just north of Craster along the coast. From Howick Haven you can see it in the distance, I zoomed again for this one.

My Boots at the Beach

My Boots at the Beach

Then there’s the ‘ol boot picture! Just to show I do kick back sometimes and take in the beautiful scenery. (I have a bunch of cool boot note cards for those people who like hiking, click on the picture to check ’em out in my shop, more coming all the time!)

I think its Pipit

Meadow Pipit singing up in the dunes

One more bird, we saw this one while we were walking up on the dunes and as the caption says, it’s a Meadow Pipit.

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly

The final beautiful picture I leave you with today is the Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly. I spotted him flying around in the grasses, also up on the dunes. Just love his furry little body and gorgeous colors! Click on the picture to see many photos I’ve taken of these beauties!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the walk with me at the coast. I hope you visit my shop to see the note cards I made, explore my many categories there to see other photographs and paintings.*

If you subscribe to my posts and read this in your email, please do visit my website to read it, it looks so much nicer!

“Windows + Doors of Alnwick”

Alnwick Doors + Windows

Alnwick Doors + Windows

Some more sketches of architectural elements from about Alnwick (pronounced Annick). The page above is my entire sketchbook page, I drew the boarded window, then much later added the doorway. I kept the page just for windows and doors or things like that. Then even later than that I played around with decorating the page with scrolly bits and made up lettering for the word “Alnwick”

Window in Alnwick

Window in Alnwick

I did this sketch using an inktense watercolor pencil and my waterbrush while standing looking over a stone wall into an abandoned yard.

"Number 8"

"Number 8"

This “Number 8” was done with a permanent ink pen when I was sitting in the car waiting. People might think that I’m secret police studying their houses! I drew some of the leaves at top (vines) and bottom in the hedge then left it to finish later by repeating mostly. This was a little cottage with a white door, dark stone walls and pink roses and greenery all around, very sweet!



Playing around with the name “Alnwick” using my watercolor pencils.  I like to make up my own lettering, it’s fun to do this on your pages. Check out some note cards and prints I made using my photos and drawings of architectural elements here.