I have been a member of the Woodland Trust for many years and so was very pleased that they planted a wood within half a mile of my house.
This mixed media painting was completed using sketches I made in July 2001. They had been lying about for ages until I came across them this year. Needless to say, due to the maturity of the wood, this view does not exist anymore!
Sir Roy Strong is so right about the English landscape. It is intrinsically wound up with English identity; no matter how urbanised we get, all of us who are English, or who may want to be, are attached to the open views of England, the hills, the mountains, the coasts and the fens.
I believe he is right. Scotland and Wales have their own measure of independence. We must discover our own identity and the process has begun, although England and Englishness never went away. She has been patient, waiting for us to open our eyes. The English rebirth has indeed begun in a profound, sustained, inward, but ultimately legitimate way. I hope to play my part in it.
At one time, when I was much younger, I didn’t like the flat, south Lincolnshire landscape, even though I was born and raised in it. Yes, it can be drab, especially in the winter, but as visitors are quick to point out, the skies are indeed tremendous.
A Fenland landscape, like any land or seascape, needs a focal point and I have a particular liking for whitewashed farmhouses. Spring is a very good time, as there is a welcome splash of colour with the yellow and white daffodils and narcissi.
In fact, fenland landscapes and especially Lincolnshire landscapes, I regard as a combination of land and seascape. Someone once said that the south Lincolnshire churches sail passed like ships at sea. Quite so.