The spindle trees in the woodland are looking spectacular. Earlier in the year the flowers are a rich source of nectar and pollen for insects, now the fruits are bright pink with an orange seed-case.
‘Spindle timber is creamy white, hard and dense. In the past it was used to make ‘spindles’ for spinning and holding wool (hence its name), as well as skewers, toothpicks, pegs and knitting needles. The fruits were baked and powdered, and used to treat head lice, or mange in cattle. Both the leaves and fruit are toxic to humans – the berries have a laxative effect. Today spindle timber is used to make high-quality charcoal, for artists. Cultivated forms of the tree are also grown in gardens for autumn colour.’ Read more on the Woodland Trust website.
So having taken a wonderful walk around the woods and photographed the spindle, I’ve now taken a painting that I thought I’d completed yesterday but today feels unsatisfactory, I’ve added stronger colours over what had become too detailed and not achieving what I’m looking for, then scraped some off again…. these will be the underlying colours and I’ll come back to it when it’s drier.