Thursday, 15 July 2010

St. Swithin's Day

Rain yesterday and overnight has swollen the gills for the first time since I started this project. The sound was noticeable immediately. Rushing, splattering and gurgling, it was as if someone had placed new batteries in a wrap-round ghetto-blaster, bringing the earth itself to life. I wasn't sure what to expect at the shelter. Sure enough the cover had slipped again. Not much, but in wet conditions enough to give my art materials a good soaking for the first time. With yet more wood and yet another length of string, I made good best I could. This is teaching me about adaptation; how necessary it is to work with natural forces and not against them.

Knowing that the ground would be wetter than before, I donned boots and shorts, enjoying the sensation of the long grass licking my shins and calves as I swished through, feeling slightly smug that I wouldn't have to endure wet clammy trouser-legs. The rain has also enlivened the colours of the wildflowers around, especially a very delicate geranium. Nothing seems to upstage the garish yellow buttercup, but closer looking reveals a diverse chorus of more modest plants.

Biting insects are on the increase, including clegs which have sucked more than their fair share of my blood in the last couple of days. The act of drawing is distracted every few seconds by the need to brush an insect away. Even so, the intense observation and what it reveals is hugely rewarding, and the sense of merging into the immediate landscape is palpable; refreshing and invigorating. I was reminded of life-drawing sessions, and would like to do some at the shelter. Perhaps because I've been so stimulated by creative people recently, I feel I want to share this place more than this blog allows.

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