The trees really speeded up in changing from green to yellow in the week spanning the end of October and the start of November we are well into November now and there is a golden atmosphere amongst the sweet chestnut trees in my local woodlands. Still some green left and a hint of the red yet to come. A really great time for me as I love colour and yellow always been a key favourite. The general vista has transitions from the dark interior of the wood through all kinds of ochres, bit of green, bit of white (silver birch trunks) and blue sky. It’s a series of paintings I never do, the contrasts against predominantly yellow is where the excitement lies. Sadly, for several years I have constantly used green through, this has been an involuntary happening, like a tune stuck in one’s head. I think partly led by the need to represent grass in all of my drawings. Fred is an earthy orange and I’m looking to him for help to break the green spell. A change of content and subject matter and possibly a new medium all required to move through the green.
The transition form Oct to Nov reminds me of a folk song called the January Man where the year is described month by month. ‘The man of new October takes the reins and early frost is on his shoulder’. I have not seen a frost yet and we are now a week or more into Nov. The song continues with ‘The poor November man sees fire and wind and mist and rain and winter air’. Might have had a bit of rain but that’s about it.
We have a newly discovered path in East Blean Woods which was spectacular in colour yesterday I have walked this path twice before and it is not well defined at all in some places. The leaves on the ground making it impossible to know which is path and which is not. Some guess work required at a few key points but its fine and we have navigated it without mishap. This time I discover a newly fallen tree right across the path. We pass around the obstacle but it takes us through quite a bit of deep undergrowth. The fallen tree has most of its leaves and they are a deep reddish brown having died long ago. It is now a dark dense obstacle and will be in the way for years to come.
There are perhaps a dozen hollowed out pumpkins with faces on at the side of the path. A few intact but most smashed and broken now. I have never seen this Halloween tradition extended into the woods before. I have seen some impressive urban displays in people’s front porches this year, again a first, tableaux or are they still life? Arrangements of skulls, pumpkins and ghoulish figures arranged for passers by to see. I have been working with early Celtic imagery lately and the spirit world seems high in my consciousness at the moment.
It’s a shame as deep down I can only process this as mumbo jumbo, as everything is explained and scientifically straight jacketed. The world has less meaning, as I arrange my trees, horse riders, guardian creatures, suns and moons around the paper.