Walking and the Willow Tree

Yesterday, Sunday, I walked up to Heartwood Forest to see how the newly planted little trees were getting on. I took my sketchbook and paintbox and started out with the intention of finding somewhere to draw. But I found myself walking and watching the changing sky and the light, so many images, so much to look at all around, but my feet kept moving and I kept on walking, up across the fields through the woods and back down the farm track, and then I was home again. I hadn’t drawn anything. Maybe it was getting caught in a rain shower, or was it just that when I got into the rhythm of walking and I didn’t want to stop.

Later, after the rain, I went out again, and painted the willow tree behind Winnies Hill. This morning I went back and drew in the pen lines, two months exactly since I drew it last time. The leaves are down to the ground now.

On reflection, I remembered something said in a wonderful film I found recently, ‘A Dog of Flanders’.
‘The main thing is to keep drawing from your heart. Examine, look at things. The greater part of drawing comes before you even touch the paper….store information for the inner eye, the eye of the intuition’.
That reminded me of something else said to me years ago by an artist in the process of painting on a huge canvas as I looked longingly on,
‘You are always painting, even when you are not’!
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