Welcome to Harvest Moon, a place where the creatures and landscapes of my imagination take form and meet the world. Nestled in beneath the wild craggy tors of Dartmoor inspiration comes on chilly winds from moonlit landscapes of other realms which share this rugged, ancient land of gorse and granite. Living here I sometimes feel on a bridge between worlds and ages as the land speaks from spluttering streams and wind-beaten tors, telling stories of folk and beast, but only in snatches before the endings are whipped away down the valley with the broad river and out to sea. So here I will share these stories and characters and they can dwell in your own imagination, continuing their stories with infinite outcomes. This is how they live, enjoy them!

Monday, 24 October 2011

stillness on the tor...

A fiery autumn sun retreats behind the weather shaped rocks of Haytor.
Haytor quarry just before sunset, mirror still. I have never experienced Haytor so totally devoid of movement. Dartmoor is renowned for wild, gusty winds eddying around the rocky tors, and if not wind, then a thick shroud of mist (see 'Haytor' on my Paintings page). This curious evening was so still that the atmosphere was almost eerie. We could whisper to one another across the water, and the deep throaty croak of a passing raven seemed to echo into infinity. We found ourselves wandering the moor like lost ghosts, unsure of how to interact with this environment without its accompanying weather. But it soon became wonderfully liberating; we ambled, backs straight, chins up, shoulders relaxed. We spoke at a gentle volume and slowly made our way up to the top where we took in the epic panoramic in our own good time. It felt like someone had turned off the wind machine and allowed us to explore the set, and gave our walk a strange, dreamlike quality. I wonder if I will ever see a day like this on Haytor again.... I dont really  mind. The wind is so vital, it gives the tors their wild, rich, untamed life, and that is what we go there for.

Monday, 10 October 2011

long overdue......

well, the summer days have floated past us followed by crisp golden leaves and a chill north wind. The time of outward expression, outdoors, movement, doing, doing and more doing is slowing down and as we pass the equinox, catch up with our feet and catch our breath. I love autumn. Every moment of warm sun of my face, every remaining green leaf on a tree, every summer bird still lingering in the Devon sky is precious, cherished and bid farewell. But there is a sense in the body of a long restful sigh, like laying in bed at the end of a very busy day; the long summer days are over, the weeds are abaiting, the nights draw in and force us to the fireside, away from the garden and its endless distractions. It is the evening of the year, time to walk instead of running and take stock of the year's harvest before returning to the bedtime of winter where we digest it all in our dreams.

This blog has already taught me much about the way in which I work, and I now see that my drawings come out of that winter dreaming. All of the outward adventures of the year arrange themselves into their proper corners in my mind, shuffling about and swapping places before settling in and telling their stories. As the stories emerge, so the characters come alive in vivid colours and find their way into the pages of my sketch books.

One winter friend who stays with us through the cold is the wren. So very, very small, and yet never defeated by dark days and wild weather. I am in awe of their busy chirpiness, always there in the periferal vision going about their little-brown-bird business in the depths of some bare shrub. I have paid homage to the wrens here, although sadly my scanner rejects my softer pencil lines, I hope my celebration comes through!