Friday, 9 October 2015

Autumn colours.

October already. The summer lingered, September rewarded us with late sunshine and still warm days which helped ripen the garden harvest. And, for now it continues, though as the month changed so the dusk brought a chill in the air. Autumn for us means thoughts turn to logs - hopefully lots of dry wood stacked to the roof in the garden log store. As our only source of heat our wood stove is primed to keep us toasty throughout the coming Winter. It's also about filling the freezer with home grown veg and gleaming jars of pickle, chutney and homemade jam. This year our tiny pumpkin patch has produced three enormous orange orbs of unknown origin, (alas the label was lost), which will be transformed into soups, ravioli, risotto and the - as yet untried Pumpkin bread recipe.

Taxi rank for Cinderella

As much of our work life is spent cooped up in our Studio we recently decided we really needed to get out on a regular basis if only to turn our faces to the sun and stretch our legs. So instead of lunch at our desks we decided the time would be better spent taking a lunchtime stomp. Living in a village means we have lots of walks on our doorstep, quite literally as there is a footpath straight across the lane from here which leads to the village duck pond and then further into the surrounding countryside. It was on one of our walks around the edge of the village that we stumbled across a little hidden gem of a ramble, known locally as the old railway walk. This walk of just a couple of miles follows the line of the long defunct village railway line once used to take farmers to the local market town and village children to school. Now it is a secluded green tunnel that cuts through arable fields with enticing glimpses of the rolling Yorkshire Wolds on the horizon. It is a complete joy, we cannot wait to experience how the change in the seasons alters the colours and vista on the walk. Just now the walk is a bejeweled delight of fruits and berries, the boughs of the trees almost creaking under the weight of their cargo. To date we have been accompanied there by clouds of Goldfinch, Pheasants, Greenfinches, numerous Wrens and Buzzards overhead. The Long Tailed Tits are a particular favourite, we spy them with their distinct dipping flight in groups of twos and threes which then all congregate in the top most branches of a tree with a chorus of happy chatter. Just yesterday we were treated to the briefest of encounters with a Roe deer, it turned and looked at us before gracefully bouncing off, it's white bottom disappearing into a maize field.

The path has an abundance of apple trees, all sorts of varieties, the belief is these have grown from all the apple cores thrown out of the train windows! However they came to be there we can vouch for their taste as most days we come back with a couple in our pockets! They have found their way into cakes, crumbles and muffins and recently featured in an apple trifle.

The twisting secret path of the old Railway line

An exuberant harvest of Hawthorn berries
Apples festoon the sides of the path

Apple trifle - a real treat after a long walk

Back in the Studio we have both been inspired by the Summer walks we've enjoyed this year. On a trip out to the Yorkshire Wolds Gary was impressed by the brickwork in the 18th century workers cottages in the village of Sledmere, high in the Wolds. The tall chimneys were home to a family of Jackdaws which, on return to the Studio, found their way onto Gary's lino along with the weathered brickwork of those chimneys.

The latest dog prints in Gary's 'kennel' are inspired by a friend's two Whippets. Their long, sinewed bodies and well shaped faces full of character make perfect studies.

My summer memories of walking on the Wolds Way lead to my most recent print, a snap shot of a perfect day in mid June, looking over fields of green barley interspersed with flashes of red field poppies. 

Jackdaws skimming the chimney tops
Whippet Ears - always listening
Whippet Dreams - limited edition linocut print

Summer on the Yorkshire Wolds.

And now it's back to the printing press, with new work almost ready to be revealed.

Enjoy your weekend.

'Winter is an etching, Spring is a watercolour, Summer an oil painting and Autumn a mosaic of all of them.'
Stanley Horowitz.