Warm blustery winds from the west bring a breath of autumn over the hillside. Sun, showers, long grass, wet feet. I get a ride in the tractor up to the top field where Alistair and Raymond dismantle a crow trap. There are no crows. Flocks of spuggies (sparrows), reddening berries, plums and conkers. A field mushroom too, the first I’ve seen this year. Raymond tells me about the old drovers roads, now all but lost save for a couple of places that once connected Kingsbarns to the palace of Falkland away to the west. They start to replace rotten fence posts. In the worst of the showers I sit in the workshop and draw the paraphernalia that accompanies farms – cupboards of tools, implements, bit of things….. The sun streams through skylights in the byre giving the scene an almost biblical look as it falls on the straw strewn floor. I walk back to the village following the burn down the hill. Summer is just beginning to fade, the land here is slowing and softening and ripening. I look forward to lighting the fire and blackberry and apple crumble and feel excitement about working outdoors in the coming months. There’s a skip to my step.
Hello, the Pittenweem Arts Festival finished yesterday and thanks to everyone who came along to look, comment, ask, and buy my work over the last nine days. It been great with so much conversation about art and work, enough to keep me going for a long while. I have been asked about upcoming workshops so I will be doing a workshop at the Centre for Stewardship at Falkland sometime in November. I will let you know through the website when I have the dates and where and how to book. Thanks again for all your support and now it is a day of putting my studio back into some kind of order, so I can make some work this week – it feels like a while !
Sketch of stubble fields.
Early morning, cool. Folds of net curtain clouds, gather, ruched, pleated over the sky, perforating in patches revealing a window of blue. Stubbled fields of wheat stand silent . Swifts and swallows no longer swoon for insects. A sharp memory of running through harvested fields as a child in bare feet. Stabbing, bleeding. Why did I have bare feet ? I probably wanted to know what it felt like. That’s all. At the farm, the grain is drying, and the combine waits for its next field. I asked Ali if it had a name. He laughed, said I could name it if I liked. I draw the yard and feel rain coming on. I pack up and follow the hare down the track. It stops every now and then, turning to see if I am still there.
Charcoal on paper 28 x 19 cm.