Sunday, August 15, 2010

Holly Leaf Colour Reflections

Holly Leaf Colour Bar, originally uploaded by escher....

Only time for a short one.

Today was a remarkable day. The sun shone all day and is still shining. It was very warm and the sun strong. This should be normal in mid-summer but it is probably the first day in 6 weeks where I live where it has been so.

It was remarkable that today the midges came out in droves and were biting. This shouldn't be remarkable but I have barely seen them this year. Where have they been? It is a summer hazard in Britain that you WILL get bitten by midges. But today was the first time this year I have been. Odd.

The hills were remarkable today. The heather is in full flower and the combination of their purple flowers and the strong orange, red and lime green leaves of the billberries, both covering huge swathes of the hillsides, played a pschedelic scene on the senses. It's like a broken telly where the colour has been adjusted wrongly. It is quite a sight to see.

As I went to sleep on Friday night an idea popped into my head. I put the light on and scribbled out my thoughts on my bedside pad. Yesterday I went out to make something but as I walked to a favourite place my head was sparking left, right and centre with the idea that I had. As I walked I thought of more and more and ended up going home to furiously doodle in my sketch pad as my mind raced with exciting new ideas. I went out again later but my creative river had run dry so I ended up making nothing.

But as I walked yesterday I passed a holly tree with the most enthralling purple and red leaves. I knew that I would have to go back today and use them for something.

As I looked harder and harder and became absorbed in understanding this tree, more and more colours leapt out of the void.

I pinned together some dried grass stalks upon which to display the leaves. I found a spot where the sun hit strongly yet there was shadow behind and set up the bar to show off the colours. I would never have believed holly produced these colours and I am surprised by what I found.

I always overlooked holly as drab, too spiky and something only for Christmas. But their lustrous leaves, vibrant colours and the white halo that outlines the green leaves in the sun is something to behold. Working with holly has shown me that there is a huge diversity in size, shape, colour and spikiness of the leaves.

Never dismiss something as drab until you really look with open eyes. You might be missing something.