Preparing for the Marchmont commission

the front of Marchmont House Scottish Borders
Marchmont House

For the last couple of months I’ve had the opportunity to explore the grounds and wider estate at Marchmont House, hunting for trees and foraging for images to feed into the development of my commissioned works.

artist Tansy Lee Moir sketching a tree on the edge of a field

I was open to surprises and there have been many. The estate’s landscapes include formal avenues, open parkland, plantation and moorland and the trees are just as varied. Added to this diversity of form are the after effects of Storm Arwen – so many fallen, broken and beheaded trees. A sorry sight but perhaps also an artistic opportunity.

feet up in a hammock with a sketchbook

After just one visit I realised I’d need a way to keep track of all these characters, so have invented a ‘log book’ system (pun sort of intended) with a photo, a sketch, location details and my notes on what I found. I don’t know why I didn’t do this before, it’s made getting to know the new location much easier. Combining this with my growing photo archive, I feel like I’m getting closer to knowing these trees well enough to start a deeper dialogue now.

a sketchbook drwing on the ground with dead leaves and a tree in the distance

If you’d like to follow my progress while I’m on residency, join me on Instagram where I’ll be sharing some stories.

Read the full Marchmont story here.