Friday, January 31, 2014


Trust the grand and gentle trees,
Never will their welcome fade;
All that lives may lie at ease
In the haven of their shade;
Treasuries of tranquil air
Keep they for the burning days;
And their boughs ascend like prayer,
And their leaves break forth like praise.

Patient are they, for they wait
On the humours of the year;
Noble, for they keep their state
When the winter leaves them sere;
Brave to suffer heat and cold,
And the tempest's war-alarms;
Very tender, for they hold
All bird-babies in their arms.
Where the winter silence hears
No voice louder than a brook's,
There was built for many years
A great city of the rooks;

Excerpt from The lady and the rooks by Menella Bute Smedley 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Recipe to awaken your sleepy winter self.

It's that time of year when the bear dna in me just wants to curl up indoors and sleep. The hibernating time. Do humans even have any bear dna? I'm sure they do, even if scientists haven't found it yet? ;)
Outside is grey and wet and walks are paths of muddy puddles and rain soaked fields.
I am waiting and dreaming of the clear, sharp scent of icy days. Crisp under boot, decorated with Jack Frost's art work. I'm hoping for snow, just a little before too many Spring flowers arrive, but the rain still falls and falls At least there are rainbows in between though.
Anyway enough about the weather! Here's what else I've been doing...

         'Recipe to awaken your sleepy winter self'
1: Take one slice of wood that you've had for a year and not done anything with.
2: Prime it.
3: Trace a rough sketch that you've had a while in your sketchbook onto the wood.
4: Begin painting.
5: Keep painting and photograph in between to show process which can be interesting at times for yourself and others. :)
6: Paint some more and drink tea.
7: Complete tax return in between and be sure to have matchsticks at hand to support eyelids.
8: Watch birds in between and drink more tea.
9. Daydream and admire the rich glossy paint colours on the palette.
10. Paint until all the bits are coloured in and it looks ok or finished.  :) 
When the sleepiness comes back which it will, because it's January, just repeat the process again, this time on water colour paper or whatever your preferred medium is. :)
I will be making prints of both paintings, which will be available in my shop quite soon and I will also be selling the originals.
Until next time, I'm off to do a snow dance now....

Friday, January 10, 2014

A reflected world

The new year has brought even more water onto the already soaked earth. Fields have turned into glistening lakes once again, gold and silver in the afternoon winter light.
Shining pools that contain shadowy glimpses of a reflected world. A watery looking glass, into a parallel place. 
Sparkling, gentle, quiet, it lays above the sodden cold land slowly being absorbed down. Deep down through the tiny passages that echo earth worms, organisms and the tangle of roots that are blind to the sun. A cascade into the heart of Mother Earth. I hope she is drinking up all the liquid gold and dazzling brightness and that it will flow into her veins and replenish her ancient bones to keep her strong.

What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wildness? Let them be left, O let them be left, wildness and wet; Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.  ~ Gerard Manley Hopkins

 Moles will be relieved to see, as many others will, that this watery world is subsiding now. 
The green has returned for now.
And if you listen, the song of Spring is in the wind.