We have been out and about at the weekend. This is Symond's Yat - Forest of Dean for a bird's eye view over the Wye valley. Peregrine falcons nest on the cliffs there and we were lucky to see the male perching in a tree. The lovely RSPB volunteers keep watch and have a telescope there so you can see any activity they spot. They still aren't sure if the pair have chicks yet. They are a new young pair of birds so only time will tell.
While we were looking out we saw a buzzard and a red kite pass by. The wonderful thing about being up so high is that you see the birds below in all their wonderful colours, rather than staring up at their tummies, which is the usual stance.
We had a walk along the Brecon canal with a friend and she was the one who stopped and pointed out the dappled light on these wonderful grasses. We had been trying to name all the wild flowers and grasses we knew.
I started a new piece the next day. It is long and thin so same problem (Liz!) with photos. 11x30cm.
Close up of first stitches.
This isn't cow parsley but water dropwort hemlock- which we had to search the books and internet to find. Poisonous and only grows near water or mud. The pom-poms of white flowers and parsley shaped leaves were quite distinctive.
The green lanes look at their best now - edged with cow parsley and wild flowers.
We are lucky to have hay fields nearby to walk through. I adore them each year. This is a before shot
and here the after ......the hay has been cut and spun out to dry. I hope he ( farmer next door) got it in before this mornings rain!
So I collected some grasses and laid them out to identify and draw. The sycamore keys were like scattered ys on the path floor. We were shown some at Westonbirt last week which helped with identification but I don't know them all.
I have finished all the birds. I have chosen a selection, sea birds, waders, swifts and swallows that we see from the garden. Some are endangered. We have to keep the habitats for them all. Sea clean and air unpolluted. It is all about Mo's theme mending this beautiful broken world.
Lapwing and avocet.
The bottom part. Now it is cloud stitching and backing to finish.
So I am thinking about mending this world (so much to do, so little time) and the birds have to endure so much pollution, climate change, plastic waste etc. etc. The migrating birds could really tell us a story. Do they sit on their nests and moan about the weather, poor fish stocks and tummy ache from plastic beads inside them? No they just get on with life. I digress! This is a Bewick swan that migrates from tundra to our WWT Slimbridge ( and other areas)
Then a gannet, because I love their diving. I am choosing birds that I have a connection with. I only stitch ones that I have seen, although a wandering albatross would be a good one for this project.
There will be about 10 birds in all I think. I am sprinkling some seeding stitches in the sky for supporting the fabric and adding texture to the sky. Then I will back the whole piece and stitch through all the layers and fold back the edging. See other pennants and Mo Crows project on her blog ( see my side bar)
P.S. The summer book sold straight away in Cheltenham! Always a good boost to the ego and encouragement to keep working.
The exhibition in Bristol is finished and was a great success. I sold Winter into Spring and two of the little sketchbooks, Winter and Spring. These two summer pieces have gone to the Guild at 51 in Cheltenham. ( Summer flowers and the Summer Book.
I am now working on Mo's pennant. I painted the long thin triangular piece, called Mending the Sky and embroidered the first bird, an oystercatcher. This is a piece that will fly off to Australia to be part of a wonderful installation - see the label below and look at Mo Crows blog to find out more. Pennants are winging their way from all over the world!
The cottage we stayed in was very close to Charleston, home to the Bloomsbury group. Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant decorated everything at Charleston, walls, furniture, doors etc. etc. They also decorated this church at Berwick.
This is Virginia Woolfs bedroom at Monk's House. It had a lovely peaceful feeling in the house and garden. ( Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell were sisters and they lived just 4 miles apart)
This is her writing room, a garden shed with views of the downs.(Through glass )
Charleston from the garden ( no photos allowed in the house) I have wanted to go there for years and it was a real wow! Very inspired by the lovely bright colours and loose painting styles.
A picture of me, on the right with 2 of my sisters in the garden at Monk's House.