Ghost of a Tree

ghost

Bit of a spooky one this week.

This little creature came to me while I was observing a recently fallen beech tree. From one particular angle the branches seemed like frozen lightning bolts, suggesting great energy; a stark contrast to the fact that it was thoroughly rootless and deceased.

I suddenly imagined a slightly alarming figure amongst the twigs. I couldn’t get the image out of my head, so I made a picture. Better out than in, I say; the last thing you need is to be haunted by a dead beech tree.

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High Tor Guardian

High Tor Guardianb

We start with an extreme close up, as one of the joys of painting for me lies with the textures that seem to occur naturally in the very act of lobbing pigments at a bit of blank paper. Here you can get a better impression of that. To give a sense of scale, in real life her face is about the size of a fat bumblebee.

High Tor Guardian

This Local Character came to me fully formed (more or less) on a Christmas walk out in the wilds of Dartmoor. I must admit I got into a pickle with the face as she looked a little too much like Bruce Spence from Mad Max 2, and even though there’s still a touch of the Brucies about her, I’m reasonably satisfied with her look of benign disdain. In my mind, she had much greener lips, but it looked ridiculous when I came to paint them so they had to be subdued somewhat. The only other deviation from my initial vision came when I stole her twiggy head piece from this awesome lady:

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