30 Jun 2016

June Oak. More loon than bloom.

The month started cold, dark and breezy. I’m in tune with the cold dark bit. Perhaps not the breezy. On days like that my motivation is low, as if painting wasn’t hard enough at the best of times.

I completed my “June Oak” painting within the first week of the month, not pausing for breath after producing the first two illustrations for “my intended novel”. I don’t say this as a good thing. Such pieces normally take two or three weeks, working reasonable hours. I think the result is a good one, but one has to question the pressure and isolation caused by such self-imposed deadlines.

A typical day these past few weeks might be:

Get out of bed at 9.00a.m. Porridge breakfast with Sky News. Small coffee. Check Twitter.

Start painting about 10.30a.m. Break for 30 minute snack lunch as and when. Resume painting and work until about 8.00p.m. Background music is chosen to match any current rock biography reading matter.

Then simple, late night T.V. or a movie on Youtube. Bedtime between midnight and 1.00a.m. Read a chapter on kindle, probably a game of pool on my phone.

And so it goes. It gets things done.

When June did indeed come “busting out all over” it necessitated further visits to the ancient forest of Sherwood. My resources for this series of twelve paintings were mostly gathered in the winter months, and didn’t address the problem of depicting the fresh leaves and foliage now before me; a pictorial challenge I find quite daunting. However, I am really happy with the solution I came up with and look forward to July and August presenting more of the same. Further insight into my technique can be seen on the video below.

June Oak, Sherwood Forest, work in progress video on THIS LINK.

Also this month: Went to see Brian Wilson in concert. Not quite as good as previous shows I’ve seen, but delighted to see Beach Boy Al Jardine with him. Another hero of mine, Muhammed Ali, has died.

And came across no less than two wild bees nests. One in Sherwood Forest, one on Thoresby Estate.  See videos on THIS LINK and THIS LINK.

The end of the month saw a significant event in British history as the U.K. voted to leave the European Union. Purely on grounds of sovereignty, and nothing else, I voted to leave.