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Why aren’t trees more like humans…or dogs

Pals say to me why don’t you draw from nature? I can take this on board…why don’t I? I grew up in London, I lived and loved in London – all my happy memories particularly with my darling Colin are in London…the smell of the concrete in the South Bank, running down the long escalators in the West End (feels like flying!!!) walking to the Tate Modern from Waterloo hand in hand with my lovely boy. OK Jane pull yourself together you’re in Brighton now next door to a park and a stones throw from the beach….connect with nature! The truth is I love the city feel of Brighton, the buzz of Kemp Town and the shops in the north lanes…..also I can hop on a train to London for lunch with a pal (I can actually see the station from my window total heaven!)…stop it Jane connect with nature.

So I sit in the park and draw trees. How hard can it be? Answer it very hard. For a start they’re not faces they’re so….strange and complicated. Do I draw every leaf? I’II be here FOREVER! Or shall I attempt the overall shape? I go for the overall shape. Then the wind blows I have to put my baseball cap on to stop my hair getting into my eyes. Then a dog approaches, a lovely bounding creature – much rather be drawing you. It knocks my hat off and its owner appears, v friendly asks what I’m doing. I stifle a rude reply she seems lovely. Do I go for the “I’m connecting with nature” reply or the more honest “I wish I knew I’m trying to draw this ****** tree!” My paper starts trying to follow the wind and I suddenly want to go home and draw a face or play with paint. The dog owner asks if I come here often. I shake my head…no! She seems to understand and pats me on the back. I go home look at my tree drawings – is that enough connecting with nature for this week?

I go home and start working on an abstract based on the big, slobbery dog I met in the park…well its nature too!