The Swallows Return

We really enjoy hiking in the countryside. Not only is it a good form of exercise but it’s a great way to explore new places, enjoy beautiful scenery and make wonderful discoveries! My page today is inspired by a line of swallows sitting on a telegraph wire in a farmyard which we discovered on a recent countryside walk.

The swallows return - Art Journal Page

The background is painted with watercolour paint in blues and yellows, and then covered in a thick layer of white gesso. I had some left over alphabet transfers so added these in random patches over the page, I like the way the letters have only partially transferred. The little birds sitting on the line is washi tape, which I tore along the edges so there were no straight borders making it blend into the background more. The music sheet is taken from a song called “The Swallows Return” which inspired the title for this page. I tore pieces of music sheet and stuck them to the page with Liquitex matte gel medium then doodled along the edges. The white mesh is plasterboard/drywall tape, which I cut into strips and distressed to get an uneven finish. The title of the page and the post marks are stamped using black Archival Ink, I also added some coloured post marks, cut from decoupage paper, which represent travel and distance. I stuck pieces of black decorative tape around the edge of the page and I think they look a bit like wrought iron. The swallows are fussy cut from a Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) leaflet which I collected from the local bird sanctuary and also card topper images, which are stuck to the page using a UHU Stic. I added more detail to the large swallow image using a red Derwent Inktense ink pencil, a navy Spectrum Aqua marker and a black Uni Pin marker. As swallows travel back to South Africa from the UK, I added a South African stamp to finish.

New Image

To me, swallows signify summer and it is not surprising that we discovered them as we were deep in the heart of open countryside, alongside a river where they like to feed. We were also walking through a farmyard and were surrounded by agricultural buildings where they often nest. Swallows migrate during daylight covering about 200 miles (320 km) each day and from the UK their return journey South takes about six weeks. They travel down through western France and eastern Spain into Morocco, before crossing the Sahara Desert and the Congo rainforest – finally reaching South Africa and Namibia.

With this month’s theme being “Nature’s Wonders”, I’m very happy to join Gill over at Art Journal Journey again.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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

  • Pébéo White Gesso
  • Winsor & Newton Cotman Watercolours (Cobalt Blue Hue, Ultramarine, Cadmium Yellow Pale Hue)
  • Spectrum Aqua Artist’s Markers (Navy)
  • Derwent Inktense Ink Pencils (Poppy Red 0400)
  • Ranger Archival Ink (Jet Black)
  • Uni Pin Fine Line Marker (Black 0.1mm)
  • Hampton Arts 7 Gypsies cling mounted rubber stamps (Birdsong IC0151)
  • The Works clear stamps (CR0274/TW3)
  • Docrafts A5 clear stamp set (Alphas Folk DCE 907115)
  • Letraset Transfer (Helvetica Bold Condensed 5mm RDC0251)
  • Hobbycraft Decorative Tape (Assorted Black and White 5971481007)
  • Poundland (Decorative Border Tape 15111867)
  • 151 Adhesives Plasterboard/Drywall tape
  • First Edition Deco Maché Decoupage Paper (D/M Postage FEDEC060)
  • Hunkydory Eastern Promise Luxury Card Collection (Eastern Promise)
  • Music paper
  • RSPB information leaflet
  • Postage stamp (from my Hubby’s childhood collection)
  • UHU Stic

24 thoughts on “The Swallows Return

  1. Another beautiful page, swallows are lovely birds, I enjoy seeing them swoop over the fields or water. Walking /hiking is really a great way to get out and enjoy the surroundings. Thanks for another great page for AJJ, have a nice weekend, hugs, Valerie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Valerie! I was so excited to see them in the farmyard, they are beautiful birds :-). I know how much you enjoy walking and I’m always in awe of the number of steps you do daily! Wishing you a great weekend!J 🙂


  2. aww I love this Jo – beautiful page for such an amazing little bird and that it started with a sheet of music – brilliant!
    Love how you created this – the works have had some great clear stamps lately haven’t they.
    As always I adore all the wonderful details you add and the great info/instructions.
    Its incredible that such a small bird has the energy to fly so far – a wonder of nature for sure 🙂
    Have a lovely weekend…. Gill xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Gill! Yes I’m very lucky to have my hubby’s stamp collection – there are two albums so there are lots to choose from :-). I find pages with lots of detail and meaning are always a joy to create! Have a lovely weekend too! J 🙂


  3. A wonderful page Jo! Wonderful made – I love the texture the drywall-tape adds to the music sheet scraps!
    So interesting about the swallows – thanks for sharing! I didn’t know that they fly sooo far – wow!
    Thank you for another fantastic entry to Art Journal Journey!
    oxo Susi
    Happy weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A beautiful page Jo. Swallows are a favourite of mine as well. Migrating birds really are amazing, the miles they fly is mind blowing . I often wonder how many miles they actually fly in their lifetime.
    Yvonne xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this page with the swallows.I like how you showed some in the air and one landed, just swallows really do. And that photo is great inspiration. I didn’t know how far they travel in a day, but it makes sense the way the swoop and sweep through the air. And who knew they migrated so far either. Have a fantastic weekend Jo. Hugs-Erika

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this page for several reasons. Even though we live across the pond in a different hemisphere from each other, we have a lot in common. There is a legend that the “Swallows” of Capistrano return each year to Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th. There is always a big celebration with people coming from all over the world to see the swallows as they migrate north from Argentina. The swallows live in the mission until October 23rd. Ironic that your swallows return to Africa, while our swallows return to Argentina.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful journal page. I love the birds on a wire, and how you have captured them in your journal, as well as on camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Rike! I love art journaling and when I started my site I wanted to help others to Art Journal too. So I decided to describe my method and list my materials, it’s so much fun. Thanks again and have a lovely weekend! J 🙂


  7. It’s great to read how you make your wonderful pages, they are so well designed and so complex and yet make a beautiful complete picture. I like how you tore the washi tape so that it doesn’t just look like a strip as washi tape can often do, and the torn music looks really good too. Nice hubby donating his postage stamps to Art.
    Isn’t it marvellous to see the swallows screaming and racing at high speed, I wish they could stay here for the winter and be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh another gorgeous spread Jo!
    Your swallows really speak to me (I was just reminiscing about my father and his purple martins which look a bit like swallows).
    It is a real treat how you pull elements together to tell a story with your collages.
    The music sheet is inspiring and the brochure cutout birds just perfect too.
    AND your sweet husband’s stamp collection is a font of goodness for the perfect touch(es).
    Walking out in nature is all around wonderful for sure.
    Hope you’re having a lovely weekend. oxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks very much Patty! I love the thought of purple martins, how beautiful that journal page would be and such fond memories too :-). It’s funny how things come together – the music sheet has been waiting for the right artwork and I collected the leaflet when we last visited the bird sanctuary. As you know the stamp collection is so very special and I just love to use them :-). Thank you, we’re having a quiet and relaxing weekend for a change and I have to say it’s been wonderful! Wishing you a lovely weekend too! J 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s