A small adventure.





I climbed a tree today. To get a different perspective of the woods. The author Nan Shepherd would have known why. So I found a beech tree with low lying branches and started to climb.

I have forgotten, or rather my body has forgotten how to climb a tree easily or gracefully. It has been a long time and it’s difficult, and I feel scared. Scared I will fall, not so bothered by injury, but rather stupidity if I do. I have also forgotten the feel of the rough bark on my hands and the smell of lichen and moss on my fingers. I climb as high as I can, which to be fair is probably not that high but it feels high. Squally wind rocks the top of the tree as I sit with my back to the trunk and start a sketch of the branches ahead of me. All I can see really is a tanglewood of limbs reaching upwards and if I look down the forest floor tumbles down to the burn. I am caught in the space in between, neither one thing or another. I am suspended. A memory of sitting in a tree with my best friend smoking cigarettes, secretive, queasy, longing for adventure.We left the rest of the packet in a bole in the tree for another time. Sometime later it must have rained and we found them sodden, broken. My legs start to stiffen and decide it’s time to climb down. Near the bottom I hang from the lowest branch my legs kicking the air and jump to the ground. A small adventure and a different perspective of this landscape. At home I can still smell the tree on my skin.




It is mid afternoon. The swollen water from last nights rain has overflowed and lain flat the grasses and ferns. Its a good place to lay down the paper.  The sounds of the sandy coloured burn echo the bustling blue tits that speckle the branches of  sycamores. A cold wind nips at my neck and my fingers as I search out a silence in paint. I think you would like it here.


Mixed media on paper 140 x 60 cm.

Snowdrops and sun.



Mixed media on paper 140 x 60 cm.

Early morning sun catches the very tops of the trees, a golden halo as I look up. Down below green tips of snowdrops are pushing their way through the earth, a sign that the light is slowly returning. And yet the forecast is for snow, so it is far from spring. This January sun has no warmth. The beauty of the day is walking into this landscape, holding my breath. With each mark following mark I cross the border, fixing a memory which, by its very nature remains uncertain, flawed.