February 2012 -Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60cm
Perhaps there won’t be too many more winter paintings now I’ve finished this. Today finally feels like Spring- the mimosa is in full bloom, it’s getting light in the morning when I leave home & there are blackbirds singing. This evening I’ve heard lots of midwife toads making their bell like music. When I first lived here I wondered what they were as I hadn’t heard them elsewhere. The male carries the eggs on his back before releasing them in water. We’ve got a small pond in the garden so we see lots of their tadpoles there. I don’t have much time for gardening these days – or I woudn’t get any painting done. Anyway I like having a slightly wild garden – though it seems to be getting more & more difficult as we get built around & a lot of people’s ideas of gardens is to my mind seriously lacking in imagination. I think some of our neighbours must prefer the idea of looking at more appartments rather than appreciate the fact that they overlook our garden.
Recently I tried painting something based on lichens on rock but it didn’t work out because I couldn’t relate to it properly . But it made me reflect on how when I’m painting I have to somehow create a feeling which must come about from my memory from the sort of experience I’m trying to recall. Although I usually start off with a photo that I have taken, the photo itself doesn’t give me a feeling of how I remember the experience of the place. (Also the printer is bad so the colours are never as I think they should be) . So I also tend to work more intuitively to somehow try to recreate a similar emotion that I can start to recognise as the painting developes. I realise that I have far more experience of looking at & being in trees ( I walk through a small tunnel of trees every day on my way to work in fact). Whereas I’m not surrounded by lichens as an experience!
Oh dear – no time to translate all his now ! Anway I’d probably make far too many mistakes – one of my sons has just told me you can’t translate “into the forest ” in French – apparantly you don’t say “a la forêt” . So probably the Spanish is wrong too. Anyone who knows what it should be- feel free to let me know!