If it weren’t for the cold gusting winds, autumn would be my favourite season. We went for a walk in Lilleshall* again the other afternoon on a very blustery day, the wind so strong at times it almost blew us along. I didn’t take any photos because I’ve written often about Lilleshall and will be posting again soon (this picture is from a few weeks ago). The colours of the trees and the carpets of leaves were breathtaking and when the wind gusted, a shower of pale yellow silver birch leaves swirled about us, it was like walking through autumnal confetti. I just wanted to take it all in and not spend all my time framing shots with my camera. Sometimes I feel like I only have the experience secondhand through my photos afterwards rather than in the moment. This once, I wanted to take my time and drink it all up, really feel the wind in my hair, absorb the colours, take in the sounds of the trees, the ducks (all 13 of them) and the birds.
I’ve had a break from online activity recently and have not only been painting Christmas rocks, but also cards using various leaves as templates. It’s a relaxing, peaceful activity and takes no skill, just poster paint or thinned acrylic paint and a paintbrush. Children love to do leaf prints, many of the younger ones do them at school and I remember doing them with my young children.
One of the leaves I used is from the cherry tree I had planted for my dad and brother in our local cemetery – pictured here on a beautifully sunny autumn day a few weeks ago, I tried to catch the squirrel at the bottom of the tree but it ran off as I focused the camera. I made cards from this leaf for upcoming family birthdays. It’s the top left in the photo below.
Here are some of my efforts:
Wash and dry the leaves and flatten them between paper under a heavy object to smooth them out.
With fairly thin but not too runny paint, cover the front of the leaf, working the paint into all the veins.
Turn it over and gently position onto your paper or card, pressing down all over, especially the edges, trying not to smudge it.
Gently ease the leaf from the paper and if there are any gaps in the images, you can touch up with a thin brush.
I added some glitter glue to the holly ones when they were dried as I’m going to use them as Christmas cards. If you enlarge the picture below, you should be able to see the glitter.
No two are ever the same, which makes them all individual and special to those who receive them.
My craft room is getting a little crowded what with all the rocks and cards, my collection of leaves and conkers, my paints and pens, but it is a quiet, calming and light space that overlooks the garden and is warmed by the sun. Virginia Woolf famously said that every woman should have ‘A room of one’s own’, I have waited years to have this space, but finally after all its many previous incarnations, I now have mine.
PS The smoothie is Pomegranate Chia Pudding. Yum!
Copyright: Chris McGowan