We drove through an estate of static homes before our walk. What interesting places static-home estates are. Fascinating – but a blog for another day perhaps. It was a woodland walk again for me and Fred this morning. Woodlands being such a large part of my life, for so long now I stayed with my plan to walk in The Blean Woods. We said hello to a silent man, who I assume was a jogger who was not jogging, just a silent man. It was very green, very leafy and very unlike the woodland scene I created yesterday.
I made a model house of sticks, it was a replica of the one I made all those years ago when my two daughters were young, along with one of our neighbours’ children. It disappeared many many years ago when forestry volunteers cleared the coppiced area of logs. The area now is tall with trees and I might revisit the spot with Fred soon.
I have drawn so many green drawings in recent years that I consciously resisted the initial urge to create a summer woodland scene like the ones I experience with Fred. I had an exhibition of my maps and seeing all the work together, realised then that the huge majority of my drawings were green. I still wanted to do a green drawing, but felt compelled to resist. My drawing changed course barely after starting. It came out nearly black and white, nearly a greyscale drawing. It was not the sunny summer woodland I had just walked with Fred, it was the woodlands of fairy tales with birds that talk, and feelings of the unknown, uncertain and the unexpected about them. They were the dark woodlands we have in Northern and Eastern Europe, populated with spirits and magic. All mumbo jumbo, yet somehow deep in the back of the mind woodlands still hold archetypal other-world events! These were the woodlands that came out in my drawing. Not the scene I had in my minds eye when I was embarking on constructing my model.
Then I remembered a woman in the woods mistaking Fred for a fox and shouting out in surprise. This is what woodlands do, they change perceptions.