Tag: essex

Blake’s Wood

This is Blake’s Wood, local nature reserve of predominantly Sweet Chestnut, Hornbeam and Oak. I’m in the small parking lot, using the bonnet of my car to double up both as an easel and a table to set out my gear. All quiet, sun low but still bright, the different spring greens now merging into similar mid tones as they mature. The faint aroma of the honeysuckle climbing up the tree next to the sign board is attractive enough, but not the subject of this picture. Instead it’s the evening dappled sunlight, the loud, warbling burble from the Blackcap who seems to circle me, first behind, then here, then over there.
It’s the light falling through the leaves and onto the ground. The sign board invites you to engage, you are here on the map…have you seen all the woodland creatures they mention in the text? Yes of course.

A stranger arrives and parks up. He comes over “can I see?” Yes of course. “Nice”. We chat about wildlife in general, and conclude we have both heard a cuckoo nearby, an ever rarer treat that was once much more common. With camera equipment and a natty camo t-shirt, Adam explains he’s off around the corner where there is some remnant heather heath, hoping to capture a shot of some adders that he’s seen there, bathing in the evening sun. Just great.



Water, water everywhere

A very wet July. Buttsbury ford, Billericay became a local attraction as the
rising water level rendered the road impassable for many days. Local
photographer Roger Whitlock and I payed a visit one evening. While Roj
set about capturing the evening sky I made this rapid sketch in watercolour
and felt tip, propping the sketchbook on my easel. I was interested in the
colours and the overall feeling of sodden, all pervading wetness, and that
river, road and lush vegetation all seemed to merge together.

I had no mixing water with me, but as I was stood in the wheat field with flood
water slowly rising up over my boots, I realised I could improvise! As a consequence,
the picture has a rough texture to it, which is the silt in the water dried onto the page.
Roj took this photo when I had started laying on the colour (See more on Roger’s
photostream by checking local photographer in the sidebar).

Alan by Roger Oct 2012
This pencil drawing was made a couple of weeks later, looking a little further
down the lane, with the river behind me.