Sunset on Monday night – the sky and the trees go crazy – in a good way.
The River Wharfe at Harewood Bridge a week or two ago, still roaring from all the rain it drank at Christmas.
No sun – no moon!
No morn – no noon!
No dawn – no dusk – no proper time of day –
No sky – no earthly view –
No distance looking blue –
No road – no street – no “t’other side this way” –
No end to any Row –
No indications where the Crescents go –
No top to any steeple –
No recognitions of familiar people –
No courtesies for showing ’em –
No knowing ’em!
No traveling at all – no locomotion –
No inkling of the way – no notion –
“No go” by land or ocean –
No mail – no post –
No news from any foreign coast –
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility –
No company – no nobility –
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member –
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds –
England women’s football team in the World Cup semi-final tonight…
Cars 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 artists looking for inspiration –
Only the commuters taking short cuts and
the school children
on their way home
the yellow spots.
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).
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.