I’ve been in the clean, cool freshness of the Cumbrian fells for a while. It’s a place of rocks, of shale and granite and quartz. Of igneous intrusions and volcanic plugs. And over all this hard surface tumbles water. Fast moving becks, clear swirling rivers, deep cold lakes. And then there’s the space…. Miles and miles of air between you and the horizon. To draw the hills is actually to draw the huge volume of nothing between you and them. Strangely, the invisible in a drawing, is more important than the visible.
It was unexpectedly comforting to slip into the luxuriant leafy embrace and familiar green light of home on my return. The horizon line here is the nearest plant. The sky is only shapes, glimpsed through greenery. Grass brushes against my thighs, ash leaves slap my neck. Here, in summer, I am literally engulfed by plants. The water is slow and green and warm, lazily dispersing golden green light onto the undersides of leaves. I’m swallowed by growth. The air is choked with insects. In this flat featureless place the flora becomes monumental. The poplars are like a mountain range forming an insurmountable barrier to the world beyond. Their tips catch the last of the evening light high above everything else. Mountain dwelling crows perch all- knowing in their crags.
I went blinking like a mole into the clear mountain light of the north. I breathed the fresh air. I stretched my cramped limbs in the endless space. I tried to draw it. It was lovely. But I’m happy to be home, submerged in my beloved myopic vegetable kingdom.