caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

Common Ground

A painting so much less linear than the illustrations I am working on, just a small painting, I think it is a moor in the Borders, and it is no longer summer, and there are no people. Sometimes in the country when you walk out into less inhabited landscapes, gradually your relationship to yourself changes. Any other living creatures seem to own the place, they have their ways of living, and you are a stranger, and to be jinked away from. But being a stranger feels like a privilege, and one wants to go quietly, not to disturb the natural world going about its business.

January 2, 2021 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

Liddesdale

This is from a few years ago, which is not my usual practice. Lockdown has made me look into imagery, emails, letters – I am sorting out correspondence, turning up such a trove from the past. I know that many people throw things away, but I am not one of them. In a big chest, recently recovered from storage, layers of documents lie, and reading them ressurects something of what has vanished, including letters that my mother left behind when she moved down south; they are all higgledy-piggeldy at the moment, but trawling them throws scintillas into the darkness. There are letters from before my son was born. Maybe it is not healthy to dwell on the past, but then we are none of us that healthy at the moment. This photograph is from the place where my soul still lives, Liddesdale. The River Liddel (Liddle) is one of the Scottish/English rivers, though it is the Liddel Burn that marks the Border a few minutes walk from the old house where I used to live. Now I live in Coldstream, on the Scottish side, still a few minutes walk from the Border Bridge that crosses River Tweed. What will happen if we secede from England? Strange days indeed.

August 24, 2020 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Flowers of Liddesdale

 

flowers1These are a fraction of the flowers seen in over a few days staying in an old house in hill-farming country. In the arable countryside where I now live, I have not seen a fraction of this diversity. In a space of about a mile I found, without looking hard, close on a hundred species of flowers, just along the roadside. There are also merlin, deer, barn owls, hawkmoths, linnets, blue butterflies…. Up the hillsides among the stones are small flowers I have not seen elsewhere. The fields have been left to rushes once more, and many of the sheep are unfenced. The place is quite empty of people, though there are enough in the area around to keep many businesses open in the nearby village of Newcastleton. I used to live here, and was working to try and survive, illustrating books mainly, and I never appreciated the diversity of the land (I used to copy pictures of flowers out of books!) – though the barn owls were a constant spirit of the place, and to go out at night and hear the foxes barking and see the autumn moon rising enormous over the hillside is something I remember clearly. My son, when I tried to tell him the names of some flowers, said: “Don’t give me bloody nature study.” I realised that at primary school they were getting information out of books, whereas he was roaming free (accompanied by the cat) and seeing badgers, foxes, deer, the birds, close up. Going back, many years later, I see the place more clearly. I want more of the world to be more like this.

February 12, 2019 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hare in the Garth, Evening

hare in the garth

June 23, 2018 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Merlin’s Crags, Liddesdale

DSCF7072

September 5, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Liddesdale

DSCF7109

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Holy Orders

new churchyard regulations

August 29, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cattle in Liddesdale

DSCF7029

August 28, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Liddesdale: Honeysuckle

honeysuckle

August 13, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Liddesdale: The Road to Nicholforest

the road to Penton

August 11, 2017 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

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