Tuesday, June 28, 2005

A little bit of Zen.

I was out on a field trip last Sunday walking in the woods around Silverdale doing some drawings of trees, rocks, plants, etc. The light was constantly shifting and changing as the sun coursed across the sky. I felt there was something timeless, etrernal in all this. I wrote a haiku :

Watching the unfolding seasons,
The ebb and flow of the tide;
One calls and one replies,-
The Golden Bell.

Do you understand?

Monday, June 20, 2005

Harrogate's Greatest Secret?

Some time back I was in Knaresborough and in my blog for the day was a bit disparaging about its neighbour, Harrogate. I still maintain that as a town centre it is not over inspiring but today I discovered the Town Green.
This is and area of mixed forest land which, so I have been told, had been under threat of development by the local council. However the good citizens of Harrogate united and ultimately uncovered an ancient bylaw which gave this area protection from such things. Consequently it is open to all and with totally free access. Oh, and by the way, residents have the right to allow their pigs to eat acorns there!
A group of us wandered through this small peice of forest land in the sultry heat of the hottest summer day so far this year. There's oak, ash, beech and scots pine, all growing randomly. No ordered planting. No evidence of timberwork of any sort, not even coppicing. Wonderful. There are a couple of brackish ponds with moorhens swimming around. Lots of grey squirrels. Well there would be, in broadleaf areas, wouldn't there? There is a newly restored footbridge and a couple of park benches. Otherwise it all looks quite natural.
A peaceful place. It was a good day. The only thing was, I hadn't brought my camera nor had I my sketchbook with me.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Annulus


Annulus
Originally uploaded by Thole Man.

About this time last year, I was up at Byrness, (where else?) and had Liam, my eldest grandson, for company. We'd taken our bicycles along and on this particular day set off up through Cottonshope Forest to the Hart of Toe on the Border and then on to the bothy at Spithope which is run by the MBA On the way there we stopped to take some photos and do a few drawings of an area that had been felled. Most of the timber had been cleared away leaving a desolate area of muddy pools which were quite deep in places plus lots of tree stumps and the usual detritus of logging operations. But standing alone and in a strange way, aloof, was this felled trunk of a Douglas Fir. The bole was a good three feet (1 metre for those who insist we measure in French) in diameter. I took several photos of if and this picture, "Annulus" was completed in the studio. The huge knot on the left is interesting. This is the start of a branch. Its amazing how big these knots can be. It is normal foresry practice to lop off these lower branches to prevent knot growth and ensure good quality straight grained timber. If the trees are intended for pulp then the knots are not such an impotant factor.

This Douglas Fir poses something of an enigma I think. All the other trees around were Sitkas. Its obvious this specimen had been around much longer than the Sitka plantation. Had it been felled in error? And why have they left it there? Has it been singled out for something else? If nothing else it has given me some good subject matter to work on. Compare it with "Double Annulus" in an earlier posting.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

A Lady of Letters

Last night I went to the private view of Hilda Birchall's exhibition at Ludus, called "A Lady of Letters." It is a collection of work using old correspondence as an art form and shown in a really imaginitive way, Her exhibition is the follow on from "Naturescape" which ended on June 3. It will be up for the next six weeks or so.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Group.1


Group.1
Originally uploaded by Thole Man.
Here is one of the drawings in the "Group" series to compare with the painting. It is 30" square.

Group


Group
Originally uploaded by Thole Man.
A group of Sitkas silhouetted against the sky. Very typical of Northumberland, even to the single tree standing to one side. All these groups seem to have this feature but now I've mentioned it, I shall try and make a point of seing if I can find a group without its solo sentinel.
This work was the logical conclusion from a series of drawings. This is painted in acrylic on canvas and is 30" square

Muddy Road


Muddy Road
Originally uploaded by Thole Man.

Forest trails are generaly dry and easy to walk along. But not always. This is how it looks in winter.

This graphite drawing on paper is about 27" square

Watch Where You Put Yourfeet


North Pennine.1
Originally uploaded by Thole Man.
There you are walking across the moors admiring the distant landscape. But what's those two pools in front? Bottomless bog if I know the Pennines.
This is what I am trying to get across in my work, Its not the grand view we are always looking at. Usually we spend most of the time looking to where we put our feet. Modern boots may be waterproof. But once the water is over the boot tops those boots are really waterproof. They keep all the water in as you squelch along your merry way.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Sunrise at NY680947


Sunrise at NY680947
Originally uploaded by Thole Man.
Early morning. The promise of a new day. Warm and sunny? Perhaps. Plagued by midges? Definitely.