Bearah Tor trees

A walk to Bearah Tor on Bodmin Moor, not far from my studio. Very hot, each low hawthorn tree was providing shelter to a sheep with her lamb.  Stopped to make a few quick sketches on my phone pad (new to me – I like it, though it’s very small and maybe use a pointed tool rather than my finger)     Then in water colours.                                Back in the studio I made a series of small oil paintings:                     see the tree series      … Read More

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Notter Tor on Bodmin Moor

A morning walk on Bodmin Moor through woodlands to Notter Tor, the colours were beautiful – these will be on my palette for new paintings in the coming weeks: greys of granite and lichen, yellow-green of moss and crimson-pinks stonecrop, and of course the brilliant bluebells creating a carpet across the side of the tor and springing up amongst the boulders:             Related Images:

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nature deficit syndrome

On my early morning walk this morning – as I marvelled at the number of small woodland flowers, blossom on the blackthorn (above) and wild cherry, the sound of the woodpecker and an owl calling, and listened to beautiful birdsong –  I reflected two articles I’ve recently read, voicing concerns that children are ‘retreating from the world of outside’. A local GP, writing in a Tavistock publication, urging more outdoor activity for health and wellbeing benefits. Also trumpeting the need to keep our footpaths easy to use and help people to get out and use them more! Great – I’ve done various voluntary work to help keep footpaths open, and well done to the Ramblers for all… Read More

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lichen and clean air

Trees on Bodmin Moor – and in my garden – are draped with lichen, testament to the clean air that we are very fortunate to enjoy here in Cornwall.  Another lichen in wonderful ochre colours is on the granite in my studio, on granite pillars that were originally the outside of the barn. Lichens are highly sensitive to air quality, some are sensitive to nitrogen though some are nitrogen-loving  – see this lichen identification guide. Air pollution is one of the major environmental issues in the UK – recently on TV news about schools in cities where the children are exposed to illegal levels of damaging air pollution from diesel vehicles. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) levels in… Read More

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lexicon

I walked around the woodland today, looking for the shapes that emerge, the lines that criss-cross, the marks that I accept in a painting. These are ‘found’ as I work on the paintings, rather than pre-determined. I learn as I go, trying to work out how much to include or overpaint, add a veil over, scratch through or re-state. I see these marks recurring in my paintings: my lexicon that I draw on.     Related Images:

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winter landscape

Series 1: landscapes These winter landscapes (January-February) have a basis in a loose grid. Blocks of colour have been scraped over the original marks and colours, in horizontal or vertical gestures. Lines added or scraped through, perhaps derived from patterns of field boundaries, tracks or trees. An arching shape again laid over with a spreader, and other shapes re-stated. see gallery 1         Related Images:

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stillness

I love the different moods of winter. For a few days now there has been a grey mist across the valley, shrouding the hills. It’s very quiet. The trees veiled, motionless; steadfast; enduring. So for these paintings I’m using cold wax as a medium so that I can layer a veil over the darker tree-like shapes, than making marks either through the wax, or adding another layer.     Related Images:

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owls

Owls are calling in the evenings and early morning, definitely Tawny owls and perhaps also Little owls. So I’m listening now to the different owl calls on BBC radio iPlayer. Tawny owls are in our woodland, and also come to the trees here near to the house, a few times I seen one when I walk around in the early evening. The woodland includes very old oak trees providing cover and the rough ground good for hunting. My grandfather used to call the owls, as I am hearing the expert in the programme is doing to attract the owls to defend their territory. I think that the calls we have been… Read More

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