My drawing skills are very rusty, it’s been a long time since I sat and drew just for myself. I’ve been focusing on the doing rather than the outcomes, and enjoying every minute of it. Being able to loose myself in the paint, pencil, line, texture. Todays painting is just a tiny starting point, on what I hope will be a year long project. And writing about it, going public, I hope will help keep me committed, as I know it will be a bumpy ride ahead.

I’m aiming for a collection of 50 foraged plants. So that’s roughly 1 a week, a whole year of foraging for edibles and botanicals. My inspiration? Spending so long working on illuminated manuscripts for A Book of Ours, falling in love with medieval botanical drawings, such as the Tractatus de Herbis (ca.1440 my love of Elizabethan textiles, I planning to bring them all together in one big art piece, a follow on piece of my quilt Blood, Sweat and Tears.

So here I am, day one.

Walking to dog the other day I started chatting to a man gathering leaves to add to tea. He introduced me to ‘Jack by the Hedge’. I tried it, it’s delicious- with a flavour of mustard and garlic, with a bitter edge.

Both the illuminated manuscripts that have been so much part of my life recently, and the Elizabethan embroidery, mix foliage with imagery of animals, beasts, insects. For the first page of my sketch book, a dead goose. Near where I foraged the Jack by the Hedge, sadly lies a shot dead Canada Goose. Life in the country…

Next week, maybe dandelions? nettles? hopefully not more dead birds.

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