Abstract Landscape Painter. Rural Dweller. Lover of Modernist Art and Design.
The Heat Of Summer
We are having the perfect English summer (apart from those random thunderstorms!). It is the best that I can remember for years. The temperature is already up by 8am, and as I walk Millie along paths that cut through and run alongside the cornfields, I hear the wheat "crackle" in the heat and the air is filled with the lazy "bzzzzzz" of grasshoppers. We walk from shade to shade between the large hedgerow trees. The skies are a cloudless blue canopy and a bright red line of poppies hovers over the top of the final field of grain.
When we return, I take coffee and water into the studio, and work in the morning when it is cooler. The doors are flung wide open and the light is filtered through the muslin curtains that cover them. These move gently in any passing breeze. Just a couple of metres beyond the white haze of this layer, the birds "tap" and "click" on the bird feeder which hangs on the fence. They are oblivious of my presence, which enables me to get a close look at them or to sketch them quickly.
Between 1 and 2pm, it is getting very hot and I retreat to the shade of the old house, walking barefoot across the terracotta tiles of the kitchen floor to feel their cool surfaces beneath my burning feet. In the afternoon I will work on admin and household chores until the temperatures begin to drop again. At around 6pm we will have another walk - but no running this time, it is still too hot! After that we will cook dinner and watch the sun sink, in a golden and crimson glow, below the woods on the opposite side of the valley.
The heat and the intense colours of the summer flowers have been featuring heavily in my work during this past month. Crimson and Cadmium red, golden yellow, fiery orange and fuchsia pink. It seems right to work with these searingly hot and energetic colours at this time of year. I find them vibrant and visually exciting to look at.
At the end of the day, we retreat to bed, with all the upstairs windows open. It is too hot to sleep and as I lie drowsily in the darkness, I hear the distant hum of combines working late into the night.
All text & images ©2014 Carol Saunderson