caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

River, Crows, Flowers, Herons

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Crow Over Cornfield

Whenever I get near the crows, they hop away just too far, or fly away just too quickly – I wanted to get an Adieu Vincent image, but instead managed to capture this serene-looking crow flying  on its lonesome high above the barley. The swallows zip about, coming out in photographs like flyspecks.

I am walking late in the afternoon, feeling a need for some fresh air.  I climb up the muddy path to the Lees, and there is the rustic signpost in the distance.

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Close-up it looks more sinister:

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I take some pictures of the hills beyond the barley, beyond the curve of the river, as when I do the illustrations for The Midnight Hare I want to use authentic scenes, even if I move things around, as there is a difference in atmosphere when real places are used.  I use a kind of generic shorthand for horizons, and I think it is about time to get rid of this generic shorthand way of dong things.

I like the way the coloured fields fold into each other, and the way every angle changes the light:

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This contraption has been sitting at the edge of the barley for some time. The crows perch on it.  What is it for?

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Down by the river, my thoughts change, and I think about other work. Last year I painted a canvas, now sold, based on the flowers that grew on a bank on the other side of the Lees.  Seeing the flowers along the river bank, an idea comes to me to paint a similar canvas, but with for background the deepest colour of the river at the top, fading down to an earthier but still darker colour at the bottom, with some of the pale grasses thrown over this canvas, and the names of the flowers painted on top of this: marsh woundwort, rosebay willow herb, st John’s wort, balsam, ragwort, sorrel, peppermint … won’t think or talk about ths any more, as if I work something out completely beforehand I lose interest in the process and don’t get round to carrying it out….

The High Bank, August Acrylic SOLD

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It is at this pont that I see a heron (that grey blob behind the grasses):

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As I creep nearer, I see that there are two herons, standing on stones in the river shallows:

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Now I am fairly close, but my camera doesn’t have much of a zoom, and also there are all these grass stems in the way.  I am nearly on top of the herons,  going creepy-creepy softly-softly, and am just gtting ready to rise slowly above the grasses and at last get a shot of some herons close up, when a woman and her dog go by on the path above the riverbank, and with a clatter of wings, the herons fly off across the river, and of course when I try to photograph them all I get is empty water.  A tad peeved, I walk on, and just as I get to the spot where the two herons were standing, a third heron flies up from its shelter in the lee of the bank. Off guard, I just shrug and move on.  Foiled again.

By mistake, I take a photograph that is of somethig unrcognisable, but is like some delicate voile in natural dyes, or an abstract watercolour:

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Time to go home. Grass is growing thick and flaxen, it bends in the wind, I wonder how to paint this abundance:

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The fields at ths time of year remind me of opening lines of “The Lady of Shalott”:

                                                 On either side the river lie

                                                 Long fields of barley and of rye

                                                 That clothe the wold and meet the sky

                                                  And thro’ the field the road runs by

                                                  To many-tower’d Camelot….

Nice one, Tennyson.

August 5, 2013 - Posted by | Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. Cara it is so beautiful love visiting you agian and again. You live in a super beautiful area and I enjoy the way you write your posts also.

    Like

    Comment by doronart | August 5, 2013 | Reply

  2. Hi, Doron. I like so much visiting your site as well, and look forward to every new picture. Especially the delicate ones with lilac and blue tints! I still smile at the Titanic bookshelf. Talk to you again soon it is great to hear from you.

    Like

    Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | August 5, 2013 | Reply

  3. Beautiful shots of the corn fields flowing into the soft hills. Lots of us seem drawn to the golden grasses as they ripen into fullness. A beautiful dreamy post 🙂

    Like

    Comment by greenmackenzie | August 12, 2013 | Reply

    • I’ve always liked harvest fields, but this year have noticed them much more, probably because of doing the blog. Yes, I think we are drawn to the same imagery. I like the golden grasses in your blog too. Your blog is beautiful.

      Like

      Comment by Cara Lockhart Smith | August 14, 2013 | Reply


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