Well the first couple of pages are completed in my sketchbook, ready to head off not too far down the road along the south coast of the UK.
Being a botanical and natural history artist means we are often prone to collecting lots of treasures - that's what I consider them to be anyway.
Amongst my boxes of treasures at home I have numerous shells that I have collected on my travels and I thought what an ideal subject this would be for the first pages of my sketchbook - along with a little piece of driftwood.
It was whist completing this sketch that I was wondering whether there was a name for the collecting of shells. After a search on the internet I came up with 'conchology'. I think it is a lovely sounding word. As I read further of the description, the word actually means the study and collecting of shells - studying from a scientific / morphological aspect.
One place that I do like to visit is not too far from home and I expect that I will be visiting there a lot more often to collect items to sketch for my friend's sketchbooks. It is called Meon Shore and is on the south coast of England, looking out over the Solent, which is the stretch of sea between the mainland coast and the Isle of Wight.
It is a delightful place and I adore visiting there in the winter, when it is more peaceful, with less people on the beach. On one side of the road is the shoreline and on the other side is Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve, where I often visit and sit in the hides viewing and sketching the birds.
To give you some idea where subjects for the sketches will originate from, here are a couple of pictures of Meon Shore and the nature reserve.
Looking along the shore towards Southampton Water, which is the channel of water leading up to the port of Southampton
A view looking into Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve