…King rules or barons rule; we have suffered various oppression, but mostly we are left to our own devices, and we are content if we are left alone.
We try to keep our households in order; the merchant, sly and cautious, tries to compile a little fortune, and the labourer bends to his piece of earth, earth colour, his own colour, preferring to pass unobserved.
Now I fear disturbance of the quiet seasons: winter shall come bringing death from the sea, ruinous spring shall beat at our doors, root and shoot shall eat at our eyes and our ears, disastrous summer burn up the beds of our streams and the poor shall wait for another decaying October.
Murder in the cathedral: part I. T.S. Eliot
My wife is practicing the flute in the room above my head while I make this post. A year ago, I bought her a handful of lessons and a flute, and I think this ranks up near our assorted children and a time-wasting dog as a positively life-changing event. It helps, I think, that I set the bar low by learning to play guitar – she surpassed me within months.
On our holiday, I had a purpose. I knew of a place where the olive trees grow gnarled and twisted among limestone, so that rock, trunk, roots and branches seem sculpted from the same stuff, a setting for scrawny sheep and goats gently clanging their muted off-key bells.
This was the first attempt, in black grey and flesh crayon on brown card.
This was an attempt on toned paper to capture the dark reflections of trees in a brook running through the woods.
I see this drawing was done two years to the day from this reflection on the outcome of the 2015 general election. Then, fear of a progressive coalition including the Scots drove the English to give the Conservatives the majority it needed to blunder into the pit of deceit and despair that is Brexit.
This time Labour stand out with a brave and hopeful manifesto of investment in people.
Sadly, the polls still suggest that people will choose the bleakness and self-serving incompetence of the Conservatives: perhaps hope hurts more than savage certainty.
Siden Hill Woods on my left, a view over fields in late afternoon sunshine in April.
Drawn on A5 dark blue Ingres textured paper in conte crayon
Whitby Abbey drawn while the children hunted for quiz clues.
A complex surface dappled with sunshine and shadow.
An attempt to simplify and abstract in a few tones on Strathmore tan paper.