Creative freedom

I overdid it last Saturday in my “current condition” when I was weeding out the big veg plot, so had to opt for something a little less physical on Sunday to pass the time. So for the first time in about 10 years I picked up some pastels I found in the cupboard and did a few sketches.

My first attempt at a blue tit sketch was going well until I bungled the feet… smudging out and trying to redraw just resulted in some big black oversized blobs.

Blue tit sketch by Lucy

So I tried again, this time with another one of my favourite British garden birds, a wren. Was more pleased with this one. More surprised than anything that I could still pick up a drawing medium, make some marks, and create something that resembles something else.. that’s actually recognisable.

Wren sketch by Lucy
One thing I’ve realised is that I really, really miss “doing art” and being freely creative. I definitely need more of it in my life, where it’s not restricted by client briefs, timesheets or deadlines. Just me doing some art because I feel like it and because it makes me happy.

I was originally thinking of doing some small pictures to hang in the nursery when we start to move things around. I’ll probably still do that but now I’m thinking I could make a few Smallest Smallholding-inspired things and see if I can tempt some buyers to part with a little cash in return for a jaunty, rather sketchy and messy picture of things in nature. What do you think?

Woodland wandering

Woodland light

Sacred light in the woodland

“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair…

– J.R.R. Tolkien

Last Sunday was a glorious day. Mum, Rich and I took ourselves out for an amble amongst the crisp autumn leaves, exploring our local Wildlife Trust site. The ancient woodland area is like a little secret, tucked away on a sandy ridge with unexpected heather heaths and dense gorse mixed with birch, beech and chestnut trees. It feels like taking a step back in time when we visit, like stepping into an alternative world that sits quietly next to our busy, modern and noisy one.

Woodland in autumn

It was lunchtime when we took our walk and the sun was already sinking in the sky. But the effect was startling and beautiful, as the ‘sacred light’ shone through the tangled boughs and rusty autumn leaves. Squirrels were still burying acorns below the rows of lime trees, which looked stoic and majestic in all their autumn glory.

Lime trees in autumn

These kinds of days are amongst my favourite sorts of days, along with the first truly warm days of spring. I just love experiencing the different seasons that we’re so fortunate to have here in England. Soon we’ll be enveloped in winter, when the garden goes to sleep and hours of daylight are even more precious.

For me, a wander in nature, when it’s at its most magnificent, is just the best kind of food for the soul.

A carpet of autumn leaves