"There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion" Francis Bacon 1561-1626

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Still leafless in Linconshire: Weeping Ash & Two Rooks

Sitting sketching in the dining room, I had a good view of the other magnificent weeping tree in our Lincolnshire garden. This weeping ash has been the same as long as I can remember and we moved to this garden thirty two years ago. In the summer this beautiful old tree makes an almost perfect enclosed circle with its leafy branches, a secret den of shade, dark and cool inside. In the spring when the light can get to the ground under the bare branches, aconites and snowdrops push up between the ivy and fallen twigs. We always watch the tree for its first leaves.
" Ash before oak, we shall have a soak.
Oak before ash we shall have a splash"..
Thankfully the black buds of the ash are normally the last to appear. When I went home last year in May it was just getting its first leaves. Weather lore is another fascinating subject which I will no doubt return to and the superstitions about trees are legion. A couple of rooks kept returning to caw in the branches. I am very fond of rooks.

Again with this drawing I misjudged the size of the tree and it is spilling off the edges of page. I have taken some photos of the twisted stems of the trunk which I hope to use for a large painting in due time.
I am still regarding these sketches as warm ups. Its just a good discipline to try to do something every day..this one is with a felt tip pen. It was a difficult job scanning it, as the paper is just slightly bigger than A4. I had to do it in 2 halves and deal with shadows on the paper, but I think it's OK for a sketch.
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Weeping Ash..with rooks!


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