Do you remember those little brown books? Hard backs with shiny slip covers, or perhaps the slip covers came later. I remember the soft suede feel of the boards. Dainty pastel roundels of our woodland friends.
Nidderdale and swallowtail laundry maid hedgehog in a bonnet. Running down the green swathe. Rabbits in waistcoats with tall pointed ears. Defiant against the landlord.
And bold red Nutkin with the fluffy tail. Memories of a fifties childhood. Arcane springboard for a lifetime passion for our small wild neighbours who share this shrinking Earth
Two more poems, ‘Buddleia’ from another train journey
And ‘Pwll y wrach’ ( which means ‘witch’s pool)
bursting out bravely from crevices and chimney pots round the rough edges of abandoned plots of land behind razor wire and barbed wire on bomb sites
round broken concrete bunkers and crumbling wartime airstrips, army camps and waste dumps sooty spaces and looted places
into all these the grey green leaves reach their arms of new growth and so the buddleia bush embraces debris and decay and deathly ancient traces
and stretches up her waving arms towards the blue blue sky and without help or nurture or encouragement attracts with her nectar the humble hope filled butterfly
Pwll y Wrach
‘pwll y wrach’
I read it in my book just now ‘Witch’s pool’ How evocative Did she drown? Herself Or her cat Perhaps Or did she use The glassy surface To reflect Her face Or read her future Or just wash her tired feet
I wrote this short piece when I read the place name ‘Pwll y wrach’ in Richard Gwyn’s marvelous book, ‘The Blue Tent’
I have been away from home, visiting family and being a Granny in Wales, for two months, as well as a ten day break in Portugal
So I’ve been away from my studio and not painting
During the last couple of weeks I have begun to crave paint and canvas. So I bought a few materials from local shops and made these two small works on the floor in my daughter’s spare bedroom. In between visits, and in between layers, they’ve been drying in the shed.
My bedroom at my daughter’s home has sliding doors out onto the garden, with views into the trees beyond. And a view out of the side windows to a stand of Scotch Pines. From my bed I can see both dawn and dusk through these trees.
The paintings are not at all a representation of these photos of views. In fact they have more of an essence of a walk in the woods. I even embedded a fern leaf in the paint, removed it the next day to leave its impression, then rolled over it again with more layers.
However, some of the colours are there. A friend of mine said of these two latest pieces that they were a return for me of a ‘confident enigma’. I like that
If you are interested in having some time there yourself for your art (including writing) you can email for an application form to firstname.lastname@example.org
The 5 paintings in the top image are all also available through the same email. Funds from any sale of donated works goes both towards the ongoing costs of the residency programme and helps to fund the artist’s next residency!
The other image is of a 65cm painting on canvas that I completed on the residency which is on its way to @greenfusegallery in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland for their next show opening mid November