My time painting Cherry Blossom on the Stray, Harrogate April 2017
I get so excited when Spring is in the air and the Stray comes to life. First the Crocuses, then the simply stunning Cherry Blossom Trees come into full bloom in April.
For two weeks, in between icy cold winds coming from the Arctic, I ventured to the Stray and set up my equipment. As a Harrogate Artist, I am absolutely drawn to these iconic Harrogate trees, reminiscent of the trees you see in the Far East. There are two walkways on the Stray each one lined with many Cherry Blossom trees which form archways.
The pink blossom in all its shades is simply breath-taking and as an artist in love with colour it is a joy to behold.
I always take Poppy my Sheepdog with me when painting outside, she’s great company and a good guard dog. She will lie down next to me, or have a sniff nearby. She has really soft fur which people love to stroke.
A gentleman came up to me and said that “it’s disgusting that the whole Stray is dead”. The council’s groundsmen spray the roots of the trees so the grass doesn’t grow. Consequently there are no Hedgehogs, Bees and other wildlife. It’s true that I did not see one Bee, so why don’t they get the pollen from these abundant blossom. Just find out.
Another man told me he had raised the money to replant dozens of trees. Apparently after 60 years the Cherry trees just die. So since they were planted for the Queen’s Coronation, many are due to expire.
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when, Simon Hulme, photographer for the Yorkshire Post passed me as I was painting. I had met him recently as he took the photos for the interior shots of our house for the Yorkshire Post. I was the only Painter on the Stray and he loved the painting I was creating and the fact I had Poppy the Sheepdog. So I balanced my pictures on the paste table I was using. The next thing was to get Poppy to pose which took about 5 minutes. Every time I got her to sit under my table and let go of her collar she would walk towards Simon! What do they say “don’t work with dogs and children” I muttered under my breath, don’t you want to be in the paper, to Poppy.
Anyway after about the tenth take, Simon managed to get the shot. Subsequently it appeared in the Yorkshire Post newspaper on Wednesday April 19th page 9. Apparently I was knocked off the front cover since Theresa May called the election that day!! I was so happy just to be in there. Poppy took such a great picture.
It has been a fabulous two weeks, I have enjoyed talking to lots of people some more than once. I have painted 5 canvases with acrylic paint just using a twig. Bluebells next……
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