28 May 2016

May Oak. The modest buds of.

The oak tree I selected for my sixth painting of a series has a rather auspicious presence about him. He’s probably the oldest of the twelve I have chosen to depict, and bears many scars. Nevertheless, come the month of May, he still rises to the challenge of the new season ahead, producing fresh buds, stimulating new ideas. I like to think I can identify with that.

As one might expect from such a cantankerous old character, set deep in his roots and his ways, his “portrait” didn’t come easy. Oak trees would seem to show their foliage later than most, and extra visits to Sherwood Forest were necessary to see how far to go when depicting the leaves. Also, in reality his bark is so deep in its texture that the marks I first made were a distraction to the overall picture. However, in the end our relationship was one of compromise and it’s safe to say we were both very happy with the outcome.

You can watch a video of “May Oak” in progress on THIS LINK.

Away from the canvas I've been putting my house back in some kind of order, unpacking everything I had prepared for moving out. CDs back on shelves, paintings back on walls. Half the year gone. On course with my paintings, need more fun elsewhere.

 Above: This month I also took great pleasure in presenting my Big Sister with “The Night Me and Christine Watched the Barn Owls”. It depicts us both in our childhood, and is indeed based on an actual event, living as we did amidst woodlands. I like all my paintings to have their “day in the sun”, and this one was once accepted for exhibition in Nottingham Castle, as well as a more recent on-line publication. So it’s now time to pass it on.

Above: The first Art I can distinctly remember seeing and really trying to analyze was when, at the age of only four years old, I discovered the water colours of my Great (Great Great?) Grandfather William Catto of Aberdeen. During those weeks whilst my pregnant mother was in bed preparing for the home birth of my brother, I would sit at the foot of her bed in a blue wicker chair, staring up at those paintings of the Aberdeen shoreline, convinced the artist had tried to suggest the shape of a human figure in the rocks. (I remain convinced). I like to think now that as the decades or maybe a century goes by, my Big Sister’s descendants will find themselves looking up at my painting in a similar manner, and wondering...

Copyright Ian Gordon Craig.