Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Field Notes

Once again, I'm on a mission to discover exactly what it is I want to create and what it is I want to say. In fact, this whole blog, particularly the early days, is record of my attempts to do just that. After a few years, teaching took over, then producing work for Art Trail and other exhibitions, and I got caught up in the doing and demonstrating and trying to keep up with all the things I said yes to; I lost the time to reflect on what I actually want to do. So here we go again.

This week I've been paying attention to what I pay attention to...kinda circular! I've been out trespassing away, noticing what I notice. I've taken a lot of photos of weeds, and I've even sat in the middle of a field of them and sketched them.

I like the empty skies, the empty fields, the physical mass of the woods as viewed from the track approaching them. I like the sound and feel of the wind in the trees, the smell of the morning air, the airy spaciousness of it all, and the cloistered hush of the different spaces in the woods. There's one particular space, under the canopy of the tallest trees, that we've always called "the cathedral" because that's exactly what it feels like. Even the light's the same, dappled, as if through stained glass. 

field path under oak branches, looking towards the woods

But I'm also absolutely fascinated by the structure of dandelion and groundsel seedheads. Properly obsessed. I kicked myself for not having a camera with me the morning each fluffy seedhead was full of glassy droplets of dew. Also kicking myself for not starting a record of how the field is changing over the weeks. It's been abandoned, no agriculture, and it's fascinating to see how it's changing with no intervention. 

It's also very parched, because we've had no rain. It's almost desert-like. The old dried up corn stalks are like bleached bones or branches. 

There are some lovely tiny flowers, if you look closely. 
Scarlet pimpernels and speedwell. 

 I like them, but not as much as the dandelions and groundsel 
(the one I'm holding in the first photo).

For me to get as far as sketchbook pages, that's really something. Here's a little video I made.

Music: The Nest, Josh Woodward @


  1. Paying attention is where everything starts, isn't it! It will be good to see what develops from this!

    1. Yes, I'm good at the introspection but less good on actually getting going!

  2. I'm with you and the weeds;loved the sketches.......

  3. I'm with you and the weeds;loved the sketches.......


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