Sea Swallows

Last week we walked along the seafront to Cleveleys in the sunshine and got covered in sea spray as it was pretty windy too! My page is inspired by our walk.Sea Awallows - Art Journal Page 1

The background is made from diluted Spectrum Aqua Markers, (drawn onto an acrylic block, then spritzed with water) which I then painted onto the page like watercolour, the colours symbolise the sun, sand and the sea. I splashed some blue droplets onto the page to represent the sea spray. The agapanthus is a napkin which I fussy cut and stuck down with a UHU Stic. I have included my interpretation of two sculptures – “Mary’s Shell” and “Sea Swallows”. I drew them both, the shell onto a napkin and the swallows onto paper and added details using black marker and diluted Spectrum Aqua markers, again using it like watercolour paint. The poppies are recycled flowers from an old birthday card and I stamped the outline of the leaves and sentiment, then filled them in to create a watercolour look. To finish I added the words inside the shell using Archival Ink.


On the way we saw a beautiful border of poppies, so we collected a few seed heads while we were there. I’m hoping we will see them bloom in my garden next year. Therefore I’m pleased to be able to join Yvonne again who is hosting the theme “In my garden there is” over at Art Journal Journey.

Agapanthas 1

Although we saw many flowers, my other favourite flower was agapanthus. Their rich deep blue flowers captivated me as they looked so stunning with their sturdy stout stems holding their own against the sea breeze.

Shell 1

Cleveleys has some great sculptures along the sea front which are themed around a book “The Sea Swallow”. The shell is called “Mary’s Shell” and it’s around the size of a minibus!


I love the cut out design of the Sea Swallows sculpture and it is an impressive 33 feet tall!


The super photo above is of a Common Tern and was taken locally by a good friend of mine who is passionate about photography, especially birds and wildlife. She is incredibly talented, so thank you for letting me use this wonderful photo!

Due to the difficulty in telling the difference between Common and Arctic Terns, the informal name ‘Sea Swallow’ is given to both. The Latin for the Common Tern is Sterna Hirundo – Hirundo meaning ‘swallow’ due to the similarity in the light build and the long forked tail.

We had such a fun day out and I really feel this page represents the highlights!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Here is a list of all the materials used to create this art journal page:

  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Aquamarine, Gold, Yellow, Moss, Scarlet, Navy, Purple, Slate, Tan, Charcoal)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line marker (Black 0.1mm & 0.8mm)
  • Uniball Signo gel pen (White)
  • Crafter’s Companion Signature Collection by Sara Davies photopolymer stamp set (Butterfly Lullaby)
  • Docrafts Papermania 4×4 clear stamps (Bellissima – Alphas PMA907212)
  • Dovecraft upper and lower case alphabet stamp set (WDN Alpha Stmp DCVW0050)
  • Caspari napkin (Royal Horticultural Society – Agapanthus)
  • Aldi Alio Napkins
  • Birthday Card
  • UHU Stic
  • The Range double-sided foam tape
  • White paper

26 thoughts on “Sea Swallows

  1. hat a fantastic post, love the photos and the beautiful journal page, with so many lovely details. This is really a fave, just love it! Thanks for joining us again at AJJ, and have a great weekend, hugs, Valerie


    • Thanks Valerie! I loved creating this page and post. I’m not really experienced at using watercolour so it was fun to try out techniques and I really like the results. Wishing you a great weekend too! I’m looking forward to catching up on your posts. J 🙂


  2. OH Jo!
    What a delight to visit this beautiful seaside with you.
    Amazing sculptures and those poppies and agapanthus ♥♥♥
    We can only grow the agapanthus in pots here as it gets too cold for them to overwinter.
    It is something I always look for when we visit California on the west coast of the US.
    YOUR PAGE is gorgeous in every detail …
    drawing on napkin! you are not only talented but very patient too!
    Cutest photo of you like Dorothy from Oz in the poppies 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Patty! I was surprised to see agapanthus growing here too, I can only think the walls surrounding it give shelter and protect it from the cold. Yes the poppy photo was fun, it was lucky there was a gap in the poppies I could fit into. Wishing you a great weekend! J 🙂


  3. What a fabulous page! A very interesting post too. We’re staying on Holy Island, Northumberland, and went out to the Farne Islands yesterday, where we saw arctic terns and their young, as well as puffins, guillemots, shags, razorbills, kittiwakes and grey seals. A wonderful experience! 🙂
    Alison xx


  4. Wow a fabulous mixed media page with all the details you added. I love the awesome doodled shell sculpture and of course the one in the photo on the shore. I’ve found poppies grow real well from seed, hope yours will do too.
    Happy weekend
    Yvonne xx


    • Thanks so much Yvonne! The shell was a spectacular sight and apparently you can climb inside it when the tide is out. The tide was coming in when we arrived and the shell is designed to fill with water so that only the very top of it remains visible, poking through the waves. I have my fingers crossed the seed heads dry ok and we have poppies next year. Thanks again and wishing you a lovely weekend! J 🙂


  5. I was incredibly impressed with your beautiful journal entry, then saw the photos of the shell and agapanthus, a flower I have never seen before. Your shell was drawn so perfectly, it was like I had taken the trip with you and saw all the beautiful things you saw last weekend. This was a marvelous entry and stunning photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE that photo of you in the poppies. What a fun photo. And that is cool beach art. I’ve never seen anything like those. And your piece is beautiful too Jo. I love the swallows-and what a clever way to make a background using your colors on the back of an acrylic block. Smart lady. I think its a great way to remember your day out and walk. Hope it was a fantastic weekend. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much Erica! We really enjoyed the discoveries we made along our walk, the gorgeous poppies and art work too. I love to capture memories in my Art Journal, that way I can look back and appreciate life! Hugs J 🙂


  7. This is a great comprehensive blogpost, I loved everything about it.
    I an so impressed by your art work and how you brought all the Real-Life inspiration to it, and I loved to read your materials list too. Your drawings of the shell and the birds are super.
    The outside sculptures look fantastic especially against the bright blue sky and the sea, great photos.
    Nice to see you among the poppies.

    Liked by 1 person

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