Sunday, 29 April 2012

Larch trees, Westonbirt

I've been working on a drawing of some Larch trees drawn on wood from the same trees and I've been wondering how to post the results. Then I read Gail Brodholt's recent post and thought how nice it was to see some progress in a piece and to see where it came from:

Capturing the strong shadows

2 photos, taken on different days, layered and with some erasing

The piece of larch, sanded ready to be primed
It seems a crying shame to cover up that grain doesn't it - it may re-appear

Primed, early stage of drawing

Starting to work into the shadows

The frst finish of the drawing. I have other plans for this piece,
but this is to all intents at a finished stage.
I like how some of the grain still shows through, and the bark
either side of the wood creates an interesting frame.

As part of this set of work I have been asking people about their feelings about walking in woodland, why are people drawn to trees, what is their magic? Responses have ranged from benefitting from the increased oxygen levels to feeling that the trees soothe the stresses of everday life.
I would be really pleased and interested to hear any of your feelings of walking among trees...


Sara Bowen said...

I love walking through trees, especially in English woodland. There are lots of attractions: one, for me at least, is a change of line. Trees often have strong vertical shapes that are different and less regular than the square planes of buildings, and on a different scale, which I do find soothing. Then there's the accompanying soundscape: swishing leaves, snapping twigs, birdsong, wind. I love just standing still, feeling the breeze on my face and (hopefully!) sunshine on my shoulders, and carrying my mind away on a distant birdsong. I find it all cleansing, almost meditative and definitely stress-reducing... unless I'm accompanied by grumpy adults and/or children, in which case it sadly changes to being more about loo stops, mud and insects. * sigh *

I do love your drawing and will be very interested to hear what other people say about walking in woodland and responding to trees.

Printed Material said...

Wendy, this is a beautiful piece of work. Thank you for taking us through the stages of it's creation. I cannot imagine how long it has taken from start to finish. I wish I had that level of patience and vision. I think Sara summed up walking in woodland for me too. I visit my local woods ususally in the early morning, on my own for the peace and solitude and to listen to the sounds. Somehow it just sets me up for the day when I'm able to do that.

Wendy Rhodes said...

Thank you, Sara and Printed Material, such thoughtful comments, and how good of you to take the time. Trees do touch us deep inside.
An artist I met recently portrayed her trees far off in the distance because the countryside was unattainable at that time, sometimes our relationship with nature is displaced, sometimes immediate...Please keep the comments coming...

Jill said...

Wendy, found your blog through Lesley, and I know this is rather late, but walking in trees is certainly a meaningful experience for me - Sara has summed it up beautifully. I have enjoyed many holidays walking gently through the New Forest - surrounded by ancient trees it is easy to forget the outside world and the effect can be similar to standing in a cathedral, I'm not talking about a religious experience, but an atmosphere that makes your spirits soar. You want ago speak in gentle tones and surround yourself in the sounds Sara speaks of. Even in our local park I feel uplifted when walking through the mature trees.
Your work is very evocative and the work on wood gives the feeling of glimpsing a view between the trunks of trees.