Last Sunday I went for a walk around the wood to see what was happening spring-wise. The bluebell leaves are pushing up through the dead oak leaves. Honeysuckle has the first new leaves at the top of its climbing stems. On the trees, buds are thickening, colouring, preparing. Birds are busy and pursuing conversations across hedgerows. No primroses yet, although in the city the verges are already full of them.
I had an idea to paint the trees that I've been scrutinising and drawing for the last weeks, determined to capture their winter shapes. Around here the trees stand against the skyline, often growing out of hedges, and when they are bare, the different shapes are very clear. The stag-headed oaks have branches that die off and remain amongst the living tree, sharp and spiky. On the road to town, there is a copper beech whose branches curve around and go back the way they came, creating the most beautiful fluid shape.
To make the miniatures, I take small sheets watercolour paper -- about 8" x 4" -- and draw a rectangle inside them. I use the acrylics very wet on the moistened rectangle to make country skies and rolling fields. When they are dry, I use my pen or paint to whisper a hedge, to grow a tree. Some of the trees grow out of their rectangular screen. The stag-headed oaks spike against their skies. Mostly the trees insist on remaining alone.
I want to add writing but can't yet work out how to do it. Scared of spoiling what I have done.