Started in the spring just as the wild flowers, bluebells and campions are beginning to show there colour. Most of this summer has been filled with early morning mists and fogs that fall from the Cornish cliffs near where I live, and this is another in that series of early morning paintings started after cycling with sketchbooks along the coast just after dawn, drawing this coastline and then back to the studio to start painting….
Oh and it is painted close to Tregeseal stone circle.
I love drawing trees, it’s that simple and it’s that difficult. It’s difficult to keep track of the seeming chaotic growth of different trees. I like the character of trees, sometimes they take on personalities of there own, that is a conceit of course, but a positive one I hope…… a trick of the human mind that tries to impose a familiarity with the shapes and growth of particular trees. Useful enough to the artist for exploring different atmospheres and weathers .
These drawings are fun, yet they can take hours and hours to achieve. That is when you find one that you wish to draw, that can also take hours and hours……thats fun to because usually it means I am cycling with sketchbooks and exploring the world. here I can make a parallel with stone balancing……it’s not like you are looking for a stone that you think you can balance, it’s more like you notice something out of the corner of your eye….something that there are no words for……or rather it’s more like its that the creative part of your mind that does not use this kind of language that see’s something.
All the same you know when you find that stone…..or when you see that particular tree that almost asks to be drawn.
Oddly I have never felt the need to paint them…..they lend themselves perfectly to drawing. Usually I am using 9b graphite pencils and although I do not paint them in oils I do use graphite washes to add atmosphere and texture
This one – ‘Willow Tree’ (left) is one I did many years ago in a park in Krakow Poland not far from the student halls of residence. Just across the road in fact. On the whole I spent 2 years on and off visiting Krakow and 10 months doing a postgraduate in fine art at the academy of fine arts in Krakow.
A favorite place to draw trees is Australia. I do not get there as often as I would like……I particularly like the ghost gums and the paper bark eucalyptus trees. And the scent of the eucalyptus forests is quite wonderful. I think again it is the messiness of these forests that attracts me. But also with the ghost gums the contrast in bright sunlight is extreme.
At some point in the future…..for plans are afoot…… I will return but on that occasion I will be with my bike cycling and exploring with my sketchbooks.