18. Channel from Lewesden Hill, 194x194mm, watercolour, 2018, £40

Happy New Year, 2019!

I’ve been taking a break from framing. I’ve been up on Mowsbury hill. The January sun creates dramatic effects in the landscape – bright green branches against blue-grey cloud. Fallen leaves show red-gold and, close-up, the shadows are inky blue. Gulls in the sky and brittle stalks of cow parsley are often the brightest things visible.

I have not got the watercolours out today. Instead, I’m remembering some advice from the Royal Drawing school and have picked up an HB pencil. After walking around the hill, returned to what caught my eye earlier and trusting that instinct, not fighting it: the shades and shapes of new growth on the apple trees in the orchard. It’s hard work trying to understand their architecture, to represent their curves and angles accurately, and to restrain myself from putting too much pressure on the page before I’m certain.

Time for some new year’s resolution, perhaps.

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