Charcoal and sepia ink on 650gsm Arches paper.  103cm X 153cm

I’ve been working on this drawing all summer and now it is finally finished and off to the framers ready for the Beaux Arts show in October.

The first spark of inspiration for the piece came from a walk down to Frenchman’s creek with my dear friend Louise McClary However, this is in fact my local river, the Dart.

I was sustained throughout its long making by a poem pinned to the studio wall.  It seems to me to resonate  perfectly with the drawing and echo the experience surely common to all of us – the ability of light and place to move the heart.

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfilment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this; the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.

Mary Oliver


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