I'm posting a photo of Guillemot eggs from The Learning Centre - the colour varies tremendously apparently. I'm continuing today to develop work with an element of the 'Guillemot blue' as seen in the egg I found a couple of days ago. The painting here is just beginning to be built up - and it's focus is the Hawthorn and Blackthorn bushes wind - bent on the exposed slopes. I went on the morning patrol with Ranger Katie Black who mentioned the way in which the form of the bushes is influenced by their orientation: South side grows and greens more. The contours of the Hawthorn bush we had paused to ponder perfectly demonstrated the plant's dependence on light.
Robin was drawing at the Lighthouse the other evening and caught sight of me against the skyline. I'm working in response to the wind formed bushes that run up the valley. It's such a privilege to work here....
This painting- maybe I should call it: 'May with Blackbird and the Isle of Wight' is a piece I'm working on this morning in the lovely studio here. The May Blossom is so abundant...I keep returning to it- again I have sprinkled it in the painting. The Isle of Wight is in the distance. The blue is the colour of the guillemot egg I found yesterday. The brown is the earth and the white - chalk. The binder is Rabbitskin size.
Walking with Ranger, Ben Wallbridge this morning we paused to look at a Holm Oak - one of the many in Durlston. We considered observing tree growth in terms of the tree's search for daylight. The unhindered tree branches develop in the usual 'open fork' structure. If branches compete and collide a 'compressed fork' results- and there are implications for the tree... A breaking off - distortion - change of direction -(see drawing). I stopped and drew for a few minutes. This kind of information is helpful to me as an artist. I'll be aware of an aspect of tree growth that was hitherto unknown to me and it'll make the next drawing a little better informed.
The ground under these oaks is bare of green. These evergreen trees are continually shedding leaves- the attached drawing is a reponse to the leaf litter under the Holm Oaks.
7.30am. Light rain becoming forceful from the southwest- May blossom from the Hawthorn like constellations on the ground in the dark paths of the woodland.
I gather materials from the wet car park - add Purbeck Limestone dust- shake the mature May flowers over the paper and try to reflect the wind direction and moist abundance.
I'm just about to enter into an intense time of work involving a residency during Dorset Art Weeks (the link details information about my involvement) which will include meeting with the general public as well as intentional Dorset Art Week visitors and finding ways of responding to some of what the Country Park is offering over those two weeks. I'm going to be spending time with specialists, enthusiasts, holiday makers, artists and walkers and this is going to open up new ways of seeing.
As a way 'in' to the experience of joining this community I intend to accompany the rangers on their daily 'walk'. They take turns to write 'The Daily Diary' as they make observations at the beginning of each day and it is printed and posted up for the general public to see as well as posted on the website and Facebook. My intention is to paint/ draw/ write in response to whatever crops up each day. I feel it is important to engage with the experience as it unfolds rather than try to do what might naturally be wanting to do in a site such as that...
But before all this kicks off I felt I wanted to make shape of some of the last year before I open up my practice to new influences. The link below to an e book I've just put together is an attempt to do just that. Do let me know what you think. I have never made an e book before alongside a printed version but it does look well on my iPad. It is possible to preview the whole book on the Blurb website.
This digital platform offers a forum for me to reflect further on what informs my material practice.