Welcome to our very first guest blog, written by the talented Liane Tancock - a local artist who uses her pen and paintbrush to explore the wonders of nature.
It was a windblown nest in autumn that changed the direction of my work. I had been a landscape artist for many years but I was going through an artist’s block. While walking my dog in a Devon lane I discovered a nest on the side of a road, I took it home and started to draw it. I started in charcoal and moved to dip pen and ink when I found an old nib and bottle of ink at the bottom of a bag. I was amazed at the amazing engineering of this nest. I found such joy in this discovery that I began to collect more natural objects to draw. I work in dip pen and ink and the pace of working with these traditional tools suits working with nature, with careful and often surprising results.
The move from Devon to Bristol was hard to adapt to at first. I was so used to having nature right on my doorstep. Deer walking through my garden while I was washing the dishes and waiting for the barn owl to reach the field to hunt. But I soon discovered that Bristol has so much nature to offer the careful observer.
I can walk to work which is about a mile and can have a red burnet moth and a range of butterflies accompany me along the way, see cormorants on the river, the crows raising their young and see foxes looking at me from the park. In my local park I have seen a Buzzard hunting and being driven off by a seagull and a crow working in tandem. These are things I didn’t think I would see upon returning to inner city Bristol.
But Bristol is a city teaming with nature. It just takes a careful eye and tuning out the bustle of the city and seeing the lives of nature amongst the busyness. You can walk along a busy high street and have pigeons of such glorious patterning’s walk among you.
I use a sketch book to record my thoughts and the things I see. And if all else fails I draw what I have seen when I get home. Drawing makes you observe more and take care to watch and learn. They don’t have to be master pieces, it’s about your experiences and observations. Stopping and watching and slowing your pace is so important and wonderfully enriching.
Whatever your skill level I wholly recommend sketching and drawing what you see and experience. You will find a deeper connection to nature and in turn to yourself.
A little note from Heather:
Liane, thank you for being our first guest blogger and sharing your beautiful words and drawings. You’ve inspired me to pick up a pen, head out to the woods and draw the things I find beautiful.
If you love Lianes work as much as I do, you can find her on Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/lianetancockartist
), or visit her Etsy page ( https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/LianeTancockArtist
If you would like to feature as a guest blogger, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org with your idea for a nature story.