Gledhow Valley Road

Gledhow Valley Road, LeedsCars go by.
They cannot see
the yellow spots.
Only the walkers –
the dog walkers,
the lonely walkers,
the walkers in love –
Only the nature lovers,
the poets,
the artists looking for inspiration –
Only the commuters taking short cuts and
the school children
on their way home
can see
the yellow spots.

~

Felling of the beech wood Save Gledhow Valley Woods
FGVW minutes January 2015 (see Selective Tree Felling section)

Rosie’s garden, 1991

wild flowers in the back garden

Rosie’s garden, Bankside Street, Leeds 1991

A hot and sunny day last century, in a friend and neighbour’s garden.

I’m lucky – quite a few people over the years have said to me, “Come and paint in my garden!”. For a long time I lived in places where there were no gardens, only yards – some parts of Leeds 8 are just bricks, cracked concrete and tarmac.

And so it was a kind offer when Rosie said I could paint in her garden and I took it up. She also lent me her car about 500 times before I could afford my own.

This painting is from the summer of 1991 – I remember the oriental poppies that Sumi had planted a few years before, they kept re-seeding themselves. And it looks like broad beans in front of the trellis.

Thanks for the encouragement and all your generosity, Rosie Foster (1953-2015).

Spot the difference

Trees in Gledhow Valley Woods, marked with yellow dots in a proposed Leeds city council private finance initiative felling plan.

Gledhow Valley Woods, Leeds

Also known as the combat tree. Because camouflage is the art of not being seen, practised by predators, prey, plants… and soldiers.

Saving the Beech Wood
Management proposals – Friends of GV Woods

Thirteen spots

Yellow spots spray painted on beech trees in Gledhow Valley Woods, Leeds

Gledhow Valley Woods, Leeds

Beech trees in the local woods, marked with yellow dots in a proposed felling plan. I think the spots are giving the trees stronger identities…

Links:
Felling of the Beech Wood – Save Gledhow Valley Woods
Management Plan – Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods

The Lodge House

Thorn Lodge I
Thorn Lodge drawing
I was commissioned to make a portrait of this former lodge house, built in 1888 by Sir Charles Ryder, one of the original partners of Tetley’s Brewery. I drew the house a few times before I painted it. In the middle of one drawing about 300 or 400 geese flew overhead, very high up. They flew and honked their way west in a giant V-formation that changed shape as they went – but they didn’t make it into the painting.

Thorn Lodge drawing

Thorn Lodge II

Thorn Lodge, Roundhay

Yellow spots on trees

Yellow dot on trees in Gledhow Valley Woods January 2015

Gledhow Valley Woods, horse chestnut trees marked for the axe

More trees spray-painted with fluorescent yellow dots in Gledhow Valley Woods. These three horse chestnuts are included in the proposed felling plan.

Links:
Site analysis – Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods
Save Gledhow Valley Woods

Out, damned spot!

Yellow dots on beech trees in Gledhow Valley Woods, Leeds, January 2015. They are marked for the axe

Gledhow Valley Woods, beech trees marked for the axe

Recently someone has been out spray-painting in the woods. The graffiti takes the form of yellow dots on about 100 trees. It is possible that these trees will be felled this year in a Leeds city council private finance initiative. Allegedly, the council will not benefit from the sale of the timber. The reasons for the axing seem unclear and there is some strong local debate.

This painting is of three beeches on the slope overlooking the lake.

Links:
Save Gledhow Valley Woods
Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods
Leeds Council reveals plans for 66,000 new homes
Plans for homes in Leeds woodland rejected