January Leaves

I'm noticing that despite harsh frosts and whipping winds, a few leaves are clinging on to their parent trees along the banks of Hebden Water. A far cry from the vigour of summer and the glory of Autumn these tortured survivors are a pierced and twisted remnant of last year. I've enjoyed observing them closely and taking their photographs.  They have an insectoid quality that I like and I imagine could lead to some interesting drawings. And of course they bring to mind Shakespeare's sonnet 73 with its lines...

When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

More Graphite

Been spending some time down by my local river - Hebden Water, alongside Salem Field, making a series of drawings, playing around with different kinds of mark making.  The winter weed skeletons are complex and beautiful.  They held my attention for many an hour, as my drawings moved towards abstraction.  The mild Graphite Days have been replaced by diamond bright ice and sun, but the softer form of Carbon still suits my mood for now.

Graphite Days

These dim days of January could easily bring on a bout of melancholia and unrealistic longings for warmer climes.

But instead I've decided to adopt an attitude of acceptance and even celebration of what I call the Graphite Days of late Winter.

Whether focussing on my sketchbook or staring at the land, its the same muted silvery greys of a 2B pencil on soft white and pale buff papers.