Old contorted oaks at the base of Burbage Edge near Sheffield.
It was a relaxed but very informative first day at the 'Shadows and Ghosts' event, the rain held off for our site visits and the hightlight for me were these amazing oaks, with their mossy confusion of branches. I managed a very swift drawing - I'll be back here with more paper and more time!
I'm on my way south to sunny Sheffield!
Sheffield may not seem like the obvious place to hold a conference about old trees - it's such a lively, youthful feeling city I think, probably because much was destroyed in wartime bombing so the buildings are relatively recent. It's also had a huge investment in its public spaces with some amazing public art, as well as the trams of course.
It's a city I know quite well having grown up next door in Derbyshire and having a sister living there now. And because it's so close to the Peak National Park there is actually very easy access to some really interesting wooded landscapes which I'm hoping to find out more about at the 'Shadows and Ghosts: Lost woods in the landscape' event this weekend, hosted by Sheffield Hallam University.
There's a field trip to two sites on Friday and a busy programme of speakers and discussions all day Saturday so my head will be buzzing with new knowledge and crazy ideas on the train home on Sunday, which will help to feed my work for the coming months.
So here I am in my native habitat nestled amongst the honeysuckle, rewarding myself with a nice cup of tea after some drawing and feeling very pleased to have been offered a solo show at the Meffan Gallery next year.
Angus council's museum and art gallery is in the busy town of Forfar and it's a lovely space to exhibit in. I'm really excited about the opportunity to think big and have plenty of time to work towards the show, which will be October/November time 2014.
I'm just starting to research some possible drawing sites in the area so that I'll be prepared to make the most of the late Autumn drawing season - it's all getting a bit leafy now so I'll be concentrating on studio work over the summer and waiting for the wind to blow in October to reveal some new trees to fall in love with!