Thursday, 29 August 2013

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.


It's suddenly become Autumn.  First, there was a slight change in the smell of the morning air a couple of weeks ago, together with a subtle change in the light to a crisper and cooler hue, and now it seems to have fully changed.  How do the seasons overlap like that?  The transition is almost imperceptible, but so fast!  Suddenly I realise that it's happened even though I've been watching for it.  Every seasonal change is a pleasant surprise and every time I look around and think, "Ah yes, this is" ….Spring / Summer / Autumn / Winter…."I remember what that's like!"

The days are still warm and blue, but the afternoon light is more golden now.  It was a beautiful day to see Hidcote Manor on Tuesday.  I've only been once before, and that was in late Autumn, so there were many less flowers.  But this week it was gorgeous!  Masses of mauve hydrangeas, the fiery red borders with their flowers shaped like star bursts, and the cool and dreamlike white garden.  I loved going around the kitchen garden areas too - seeing all the fruit, vegetables and flowers.  One huge patch had golden-yellow pumpkins growing in it, and it was a languorous delight to walk through the slightly wild orchard area, with the boughs above full of apples.  At that point, with the golden light, it seemed as if we were in southern France or Italy but then it was back into the Long Borders again, with the heady smell of sweet peas and the echoing thud of tennis balls from the garden court, and back into a very English afternoon.

I love the light, but I've become used to the nights being darker.  The one streetlight that we used to have in the hamlet was switched off some time ago due to council cut-backs.  So now we have only moonlight, when it is available.  But the dark nights have become cosy and the silence a welcome peace, wrapped around us like a blanket.  Lately I've been waking between 4 and 5 am, before any sounds of human activity have begun, and regularly heard the female tawny owl calling out for her mate - "ke-wick, ke-wick" - a slightly eerie but beautiful sound.

I have another long day ahead today, as I put the finishing touches to the last two paintings for an exhibition, which is due to be delivered next week.  After that, I expect my palette will change again, subconsciously matching the landscape that I see around me and no doubt featuring some of those wonderful memories of Hidcote.

All text and images ©2013 Carol Saunderson