April, Standing Back From Blossom.
I wonder if I have a bit of bee in me? I’m attracted to blossom like an iron filing to a magnet. The minute I see any, I have an insatiable desire to get right up into it. Nectar’s not my aim, no, I just want to feast my eyes. Look at the shape and number of petals, the stamens, the way it sits on the branch. The smell of it. Watch the insects on it. Loose myself, swoon at this perfect moment, and then I invariably try to draw or paint it. I have hundreds of unsuccessful drawings of mad frothiness., with no structure, no edge, no tone and absolutely no merit. I desperately want to convey the thrilling intoxication I feel for this fleeting beauty, but I never do, I just make a mess.
So this year I’ve decided to stand back from blossom. To look at it in the landscape. First there’s the blackthorn, little pin pricks swelling into smoke that drifts through cold, dark woods and along dead hedges. Then the wild cherry blossom twinned with tiny mustard leaves. Echoing the white April clouds, pot bellied with rain. Punching holes in the material world for the sky to fill. There’s the pear, blossoming thick and creamy against the large, three stemmed birch, dripping with ochre catkins. As the sky darkens behind a landscape of bud, young leaf, blossom, twig and trunk., it sings it’s frilly tune in harmony with the rest. It illuminates rain drops and dares to compete with rainbows. So with the dainty crab apple serving up it’s pink delights at the moment and the blossom of all blossoms, the may, yet to come, I’ll keep my distance and try to remember that what makes blossom so achingly sweet is its temporary part in the whole.
Well, maybe I might, just once, bury myself deep within an apple tree, but I’m definitely not taking my paints with me this year.