A New Leaf, inspired by nature, is a project in partnership with Leeds Museums and Galleries and Arts and Minds.

During February and March packs of materials were delivered to 16 arts and minds members with a sketchbook/journal ready to fill with all things related to nature.  Two Skippko artists Rozi and Anne worked alongside Curators Chris and Rebecca to explore Leeds Museums natural science collection and the great outdoors.

This is a selection of artworks, photographs, sketches, ideas and natural objects that participants have shared via the project Facebook group….


Ladybirds sunning themselves yesterday I have never seen so many before..

Sunshine today to create stars at night using cyanotype, I really enjoyed doing it as the anticipation of how it turns out is exciting..

Sunshine yesterday created the picture not at all like I expected as the wind managed to get under the perspex, but I rather like it and it reminded me that it was the equinox last night. The Spring equinox is a symbol of regrowth. In ancient Italy women used to plant seeds in the garden of Adonis. The flowers from the seeds are placed on graves on Good Friday to symbolise the triumph of life over death.


Really loving everyone’s posts and the sessions – thank you! Slowly starting to allow myself the time and focus to be creative. Here are a few little bits I have done, using flowers and veg to create colour – surprisingly bright!

Little sketch, thinking about silhouettes, inspired by this pic posted earlier by Alayne.

Having a go at embossing on tin foil..


Thank you so much for the art materials, I was expecting just a sketchbook and pencils so was very surprised to see how much time had been invested in a variety of good quality materials! And some amazing suggestions as well which have helped with the old blank page fear! Here’s some of my sketchbook pages.


Receiving the pizza box of treats felt so special and the sessions have been such a great escape over the last couple of months, getting to see things I wouldn’t have got to see and through all your experiences of them.

Here are some pictures of daffodils I drew after the second session, the one in colour is drawn with coffee and turmeric.


Yesterday I brought an ivy leaf home. It’s really taken over the land and trees around the goit at Kirkstall Abbey. It has its uses though, cover for many of the birds that live in the park.

A digital drawing of one of my mud photos..

digital drawing from ivy..


I have written up what plants I have in the house, used a broken Boston fern leaf to paint over and written up the most common visitors to the back garden and the colours I associate most with them..

At the weekend I took my exercise in the form of walks around a couple of cemeteries. There was lots of birdsong, lots of grass, lots of evidence of dogwalkers using it as a loo for their dogs.

There was also quite a lot of carved representations of nature on the tombstones themselves – here’s some close ups which I’ve made black and white.


Really enjoyed the session. Here’s my pages from today. I cheated and dived into my oil pastels- couldn’t resist..

This morning I noticed a robin in the hedge as I put out the squirrels’ peanuts. He or she flew to the ornamental arch and then plucked a seed from the feeder. Robins give me a lot of hope. I decided to make a small collage drawing copying Rebecca’s magnificent field guide. Instead of the identifying marks I put what I like about robins. It’s a happy piece after yesterday..

Inspired by Rebecca’s photo of skulls on Twitter to prep for yesterday- I looked up prehistoric bone art in my World History of Art book. Found this lovely coyote head from Mexico -12,000 years old! Had fun using the different types of pencils- 6B makes such dark marks..

Foil embossing for the Spring equinox – light and dark in equal balance as life bursts forth (including snails in the darkness)


I raided my box of pressed flowers and leaves to make a print. The sky has been very blue recently so that influenced my choice of colour. I’m now sorting through bits and bobs of thread to add some stitch detail..

Inspired by nature collage. I am looking forward to the colours of spring and summer.

I thought I’d share this page from my sketchbook. This weekend we walked to St Adams  nature reserve and caught site of a Kingfisher.  I made a couple of paper feathers which I may use to make Cyanotype prints.

Sunny day yesterday so made some Cyanotypes using pressed flowers from my stash..


Another great session today thanks. One of my favourite silhouettes is of our Tommy against a burning sundown November sky. Others are shapes I’ve come across today including my 1st full fossil that reminds me of the group fun task today.

I had a play with the peg birds from the pack. I tried to use different line strokes we did in a previous session because if you get up close to the real birds their feathers are like patchwork..


feature image: photo by Alayne