Monday, 22 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

22 January

The snow has all gone and the day is sunny and much milder.

Work is hindered again by another trip to the doctor, as my mystery virus reveals itself as......(ta dah!) - Shingles. No wonder it has been so painful!  However, a trip to Lavenham is always welcome.

On the way back from the pharmacy, I pause to stare up at one of the white doves, who is perching, proudly upright, on the ridge of a tiled and mossy roof.  He looks like a small sentinel, gazing out over the ancient settlement, and reminds me of Raphael, standing on the spine of a Venetian roof in the wonderful “Miss Garnet’s Angel”, by Salley Vickers.

During the afternoon I visit the framer and talk to a gallery owner about re-stocking work.

I’m really keen to get back to painting tomorrow.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

21 January

Mist and frost give way to fine snow and light grey cloud, and then finally to a heavier, steadier fall. The landscape becomes almost monochrome, save for the green/grey of trees in the middle distance.

I take my camera upstairs and open wide the window to the panoramic whiteness.  Unfortunately, I am too slow to capture a picture of two hares running across the face of the broad field just beyond the meadow.  The colour of the gulls changes from charcoal grey to dirty white as they pass from the background of snow to that of the trees.

Downstairs again, I focus my lens on the garden birds - not quickly enough to photograph a family of six long-tailed tits that are jostling to gain access to two fat balls.  However, I take shots of the other avian visitors and am amazed to see how colourful the wood pigeon is, when I examine its image up close.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

20 January

A bitterly cold and sleety day.  In a Lavenham garden, we spot snowdrops appearing beneath, and adjacent to, a shrub with vivid scarlet stems. The plant’s interwoven, basket-like structure is both striking and intriguing.  Possibly a type of willow?

We visit friends, and from their sitting room window, gaze out across a sweeping view and see six deer trotting along the line of a hedgerow.  They pause now and then to graze at the edge of the field.

It is definitely a good day to be watching the wildlife from indoors, with convivial company and a mug of hot coffee in hand.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson

Friday, 19 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

19 January

A grey heron stands looking hopefully into Barry’s ice-covered pond, until our door to the garden opens and causes it to lift off, flying languorously away over the meadow.

I am able to take a longer walk in the winter sunshine today, but do not feel well enough to spend a whole day standing at the easel in a cold studio.  Instead, I limit my time, making sketches and ink paintings with simple compositions and a restricted colour palette.

At twilight, Millie and I take a short stroll and I look at the sliver of moon, set against an ice-blue sky.  The silhouettes of the motionless, bare trees are inky black against the translucent background.  A wide and heavy band of purply-blue cloud moves incrementally across the scene and obscures the fingernail of light.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

18 January

I’ve been laid low by a virus for the last couple of days, so today, I am very pleased to get out for a short walk, some fresh air, and to see the sky again. Being outdoors makes me feel so much better. We are surprised to see so few branches down after last night’s winds of 80+ mph.  They must have been weeded out during the last storm.

There are no other buildings for miles in a westerly direction from where we live.  This means that our little cottage takes the full brunt of the west wind.  Being old, it literally moves with the onslaught - a strange sensation when you are lying in bed!  However, the fact that it flexes is probably why it has managed to stand here for so long.

From 3am to 7am, the wind roars over us, dislodging the board that blocks one of the chimneys, and pulling air through the house so strongly that I have to put my shoulder to the old wooden kitchen door in order to latch and bolt it!

A small, Victorian, bedroom fireplace, which we had assumed was decorative, is obviously not, as at 6am it starts clanging loudly.  The metal flap that opens directly into the chimney stack, and which I had thought was welded to the surround, is being pulled open and shut. It sounds like someone is banging a spade with a hammer. On inspection I see that it has a metal eyelet on the flap, which enables me to thread nylon picture twine through it and to tie it to the bars of the grate and impede its movement.  Useful stuff for all sorts of jobs!

I am so grateful to be feeling well again today and that the storm has left us unscathed.  Hopefully, tomorrow, it will be back to business as usual.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson

Monday, 15 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

15 January

A wet and windy start to the day. Grey, grey...grey, grey, grey.

However, it still feels energising to be outside.  The wind blows the fine rain into our faces as we walk in open countryside.  On the right-hand side of the path, a covey of partridges is feeding.  Our arrival disturbs them and they set off running, like the Keystone Cops, along the curving face of the vast field and down, down, to the wooded area below.

In the afternoon, I glance out of the studio window and see the kestrel hovering above the field, flying into the oncoming wind.  The sun plays “Now you see me, now you don’t”, to great effect - one minute throwing a golden spotlight onto the trees, the next hiding behind layers of heavy cloud.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.

14 January

At 2.30am I hear the long, wavering call of a male Tawny owl.  The “hoo, hoo, hooo…” travels across the dark and silent landscape to where I lay listening.  I don’t find the sound remotely spooky; to me it is comforting - the voice of another creature awake at this lonely hour.

We spend a peaceful day walking and reading.  During the early afternoon I go out to the studio and use it as a hide, setting up my camera and taking photographs of the bird of prey and the garden birds.  At one point, I am intrigued to see the kestrel and the woodpecker sitting on adjacent posts, happily ignoring each other and focussing on their respective tasks.

The bird feeders are doing a brisk trade and for some time I concentrate on a female blackbird.  I am very fond of blackbirds.  Their bright eyes and quick movements make them look so alert and inquisitive.  I often have them in mind when making the shapes of birds in my paintings.

All text & images ©2018 Carol Saunderson