Fungi and acorn – Ink painting – Jenny Hill

Fungi and acorn - Ink painting - Jenny Hill

A photograph taken on a fungi hunt was used for an oil pastel sketch, which was then reworked for my ink painting – ‘Fungi and acorn’.
Exmoor ponies are now kept on Tiptree Heath to help maintain the balance of plants and growth specific to heathland. 2013 has been described as a ‘mast year’ for England – heavy crops of nuts and fruit. This is evident on the heath where the bumper crop of acorns are cleared from areas grazed by the ponies, limiting the amount of nuts eaten.
Reference for mast years visit
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/newsrele.nsf/AllByUNID/CA9C50439BE651A980257BD000474590

Fungi on oak twig – Jenny Hill – acrylic ink, indian ink

Fungi on oak twig - Jenny Hill - acrylic ink, indian ink

My seasonal studies continue after I went on a fungi hunt at Tiptree Heath organized by the Essex Wildlife Trust and supervised by a Mycologist from Colchester Natural History Museum. Approximately twenty people searched the heathland and in two hours collected 50 different fungi. Of these only a handful are good to eat, a few more are edible (would not make you ill), but some are highly toxic.
With very little time to draw I took photographs for reference. I find working from a print out of the photograph restricts my preferred way of working so I make quick sketches from the image on my computer, using pens or oil pastels. This approximates to drawings made outside and is my starting point for further development into an ink painting.
Essex Wildlife Trust
http://www.essexwt.org.uk/
Colchester and Ipswich Museums
http://www.cimuseums.org.uk/home.html

Plant form – Agapanthus no.2 – Jenny Hill

Plant form - Agapanthus no.2 - Jenny Hill

Agapanthus plant form – individual flower heads emerging from the bud.
Agapanthus no.2 is an ink painting developed from a sketchbook study. I draw with colour in my sketchbooks as it is another responsive element for expression of light, weather, heat, colour of the subject or my energy. I use the black ink in the paintings as a network, loosely overlaying the colour beneath, defining the form.

Jenny Hill ink painting – Plant form – Agapanthus bud no.1

Jenny Hill ink painting - Plant form - Agapanthus bud no.1

Continuing my seasonal studies through sketching or photographs, I look most days for any changes in the garden, something that has done its thing, a fling of colour or shape, maturing into another form or the promise of a new happening. This is the fat flower bud of an Agapanthus still tightly closed against the unstoppable spilling out of the individual flower heads.
Agapanthus bud no.1 is an acrylic ink and indian ink painting developed from an oil pastel sketch.

Plant form – Rose hips ripening no.2 – Jenny Hill

Plant form - Rose hips ripening no.2 - Jenny Hill

On a walk with sketchbook and pens you can get a lot of drawing done that may also be useful for artwork development, (plus it gives you a reason to stand still and look without other people thinking you are a bit odd). If I have a focus and an idea of what I might see, this is a walk of attention and observation, trying to get the most from being somewhere at a particular time and not missing the moment.
Rose hips ripening no.2 is an ink painting developed from sketches made using brush pens and chunky felt tip pens. For any painting I want it to be as light resistant as possible, but in my sketch books this is not an important factor.

Plant form – Honesty ripening no.2

Plant form - Honesty ripening no.2

Continuing my current series of ink work this is the second plant form study of Honesty (Lunaria), seed head ripening. These self seed around the garden and I feel are a useful addition in the early summer with the white or purple flowers. The tender green seed pod discs evolve picking up purples, pinks and reds as it matures to its end of season form. The silver translucent remains now stand, having shed the brown seeds.
Wikipedia has interesting information for the origin of both names – Lunaria and Honesty but there many other names this plant is also known by.

Plants growing in the shingle at Cockle spit beach

Plants growing in the shingle at Cockle spit beach

This is visual research for images and ideas for development in ink and as you can see, pages from my sketchbook. Two early mornings outings this week to St. Peters Chapel and Cockle spit beach with the intention of drawing seashore and coastal plants flowering and seeding. But other subjects also caught my eye and were too interesting to not draw if only as a sketch reminder to return another day for further study.