December is when our lives get bombarded by endless retail appetizers full of bright lights, excess and images to promote domestic bliss.  In contrast,  December is when our landscape drains of colour….

…to reveal the  skeletal components that when dressed give the shape to our stunning British summers.
Here in the heart of the country, the rhythms of nature as ever dictate our daily routines to varying degrees. The every day tasks of these short dark days differ tremendously for the long hazy days of June.
I observe the routines of the local farmers with their twice daily chores feeding their stock and ensuring vital fresh water.  Hedgerows are laid and the fields that have been ploughed and planted with their winter crops begin to tinge green around the edges.  Then there are the many hours spent gathering and chopping the all important wood to keep our houses snug and warm.

Of course that is not where my attention lies.
Wood yes, but fire wood, no.  For some time now i have had my eye on this beauty and at last now that the vegetation has died back i can get to it. When i was a kid this huge cherry was where we built our first tree house, so it seems only fitting that it lends itself to some more of my fun.

I have cut the trunk into two and transported both pieces to the studio where many hours will be spent carving the pieces with the chainsaw, chisels and sanders.

I think the term used is ‘site conditioned.’
I am not adverse to 8 hour days working outside on a biting winters day but the key to success is one’s diversity and ability to be able to adjust to all the conditions thrown at you. Working with wood is therefore perfect as it consumers vast amounts of energy to keep you warm and is not affected by the inevitable frost.

I will of course show you the resulting sculptures produced from these chunks of timber when they are finished.

I would also like to share with you this link,
This week I met up with two dear friends of mine who i have not seen for sometime. In response to seeing my website Nicolas and Frances bestowed the greatest kindness and invested energy and time drafting their November blog to celebrate a mural that I painted for them a few years ago. I would like to thank them for this great complement and hope you enjoy it too.