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The Wood in Winter

Sunday, 23rd December 2001, West Yorkshire

the wood in winterAFTER A DAY of pre-Christmas calls there's little daylight left. I could find a pebble or a pot plant to draw in the house but, at this time of year when I'm spending so much time indoors, I'm keen to have some kind of contact with the natural world outside.

From the studio window I catch sight of the dark bare branches of oaks on the woodland bank and the brown tangle of willows following the stream below. A few streaks of pale birch break up the slope between.

By the time I've grabbed a sketchbook and dug out the watercolours it has started raining in a desultory fashion. As the light fades the wood merges into an amorphous mass of smoky sepia. An old hedgerow, overgrown with ivy adds a few blobs of dark page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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