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!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

bit by bit ...

 Bit by bit, layer by layer a scene emerges from the whiteness. Somewhere there's a hazy, shifting image floating around my head, which like a half remembered dream slips from my grasp just as I think I have it.
 Therefore, what transpires before me is something of a surprise and I often find myself drawing faster and faster as my impatience to see the finished scene takes over.
 I get drawn in to the details of the picture and have to stand back occasionally to make sure that all the pieces are speaking to one another.
 I love the building up process, taking the time to honour each little building block that will make up the whole... reigning in my impatience and allowing time for each piece to form.
I use many different colours to get the right tone, shadow or hue. Paint is mixed on a palette before being applied to the paper, but pencils are mixed on the page, blended, layered and manipulated gradually. The colour is not flat, it has depth which gives the pictures a sense of movement and perspective.
I also love the freedom of expressing in monotone, simply relying on light and shade to communicate. Some shapes are so striking and beautiful that they dont need colours to dress up in. The finished pictures can be found on my Pages (top right links), or on Older Posts.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

colour and space....

For me the winter is a great time for colour. We tend to think of these cold dark months as being grey and lacklustre, but I find they are far from that. When the greens have turned to golds and reds they finish with a slow fade into browns, but then....when ours eyes have readjusted from the bright show of autumn, the world is comprised of a spectrum of colour both subtle and vivid. The silver birches are like slender white maidens with fiery halos, while the giant lime trees wear thick red skirts of suckers. The transient gorse flushes with bright yellow blossom, scented with coconut...a surreal paradox on the wintry moors. In January the witch hazel is covered in hundreds of little sunbursts, and snow drops decorate the banks like little white bonneted crowds gathering beneath the apple trees. The Camellias are beginning to burst open from their fat pink buds, and the fat pink bull finches are feasting on them.

Without the bulky green foliage of summer the world seems full of space and intricate forms. The delicate tree skeletons, the curves of the endless green fields and hills, the ever shifting canvas of the huge winter sky. Winter sunsets are magical displays in the far northern hemisphere during mid winter. The suns rays travel far through the atmosphere, the rising mist and the falling dew, collecting colour and shade on their way and producing such colour that ones eyes can barely drink it all in. It is dreamlike, supernatural, so spectacular that it feels like some surprise gift, to have us lift up our eyes and stop in wonder; to pause from our bustling and busyness and really look, really see the wonder of life.

and as Joni Mitchell said:

The seasons are changing
In every way
Sometimes it is spring,
Sometimes it is not anything
A poet can sing
Sometimes we try
Yes we always try.

We always try, and I always try to capture it all on paper.....or at least celebrate it!

Here are some bold experimental paintings to illustrate a children's poem, inspired by these big winter skies.