Beneath these daffodils

Beneath these daffodils my mother rests.  She had been gardening to within a day of her death.

In July last year, all the family took a hand to carry her casket up this hill, sliding slightly in the mud.  In the autumn, my sister and nephew planted bulbs above her.  Last weekend, I sat on the bench looking down across patches of spring flowers and shrubs marking graves, set among taller trees, looking west across farmland to the distant Malvern Hills.

I struggled to capture this view with conte crayon on dark textured Ingres paper.  It is too bright, with too many colours.  At home, I kept coming back to this until I had to repair a hole in the paper and the chalked surface would take no more.  I cropped the image so the broken trees lead the eyes out beyond the edge.  It no longer resembles the true image but feels a better representation to me.

 

 

 

low wall, Skye

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Here is another small sketch, started in the café during my son’s swimming lesion, using conte crayons and a cool grey brushpen.  Later, I re-suspended and covered the dry pigments in white gouache and scraped back into this to build the sky and loch.  I recreated the white highlights and the bright white wall with knife and eraser, lifting off the paper surface.

The photograph is nearly 60 years old, monochrome of course, and shows my mother, perhaps on honeymoon, in Scotland.