(It may be an old cliché but it is true)
My design was chosen to illustrate the cover of this anthology of poems and short stories. May 2019
As a student I was fascinated by Japanese prints and I used to copy elements of them in my sketch books. An example from that period is on the right. More recently I have been studying the work of Katsushika Hokusai and this has set me off on a new path.
Below are two paintings which have develpoed from this latest interest.
Elisabeth Frink Exhibitions
At the beginning of 2019 I visited two exhibtions showing the work of Elisabeth Frink. I found her sketches of horses, on display in the 'Lightbox Gallery' in Woking, particularly inspiring. The two paintings below were inspired by her work.
Recently completed project
On-going Ancient Tree project
After an impromtu visit to Castle Howard to catch sight of a flock of waxwings I was intriqued by the number of 'ancient trees' with in the grounds. After a closer examination I became captivated by the textures, shape, patterns and colours caused by centuries of growth and decline.
This led to some exciting research and I discovered that 'ancient trees' are in the third and final stage of their life ... esssentiallhy they are in the process of dieback and decay. This means that they are of interest not only aesthetically, but also biologically and culturally. This stage of their life can go on for a long time.
The age at which a tree becomes ancient varies
Trees such as oak and yew, are more long-lived than others. One of the oldest trees in the UK is in Perthshire, Scotland (the Fortingall Yew) and it has been estimated to be at least 2,000 and 3,000 years old.
Castle Howard and Duncombe Park
So far I have been able to explore locally in the grounds of Castle Howard and Duncombe Park and I have begun the process of preparatory sketches for a design. With over 100,000 'ancient, veteran and notable trees' recorded across the country this could become an obsession!!
Where will I have to look?
These trees can be found in urban parks, on farms, in ancient hunting forests, wood pasture and parkland, in hedgerows and even in churchyards.