Concernant la Destruction de la Ripisylve de la Riviére Dropt dans les Cantons de Villeréal, Castillonnès et Eymet.

Le Dropt à St. Quentin (avant la coups de hiver 2011)
oil on canvas
46 x 38 cm
© adam cope

I went downstream to the next commune to paint.Wild wood. Tangle wood. Quiet days dreaming besides the sluggish flow. An intimate space of tangles & branches. You climb inside it & leave the wide & bare fields behind.

These trees will be destroyed in next winter. 2011.

Condemned beings. Death row, the calmness of the alders, ashes & poplars unaware.



The Dropt at St.Dizier before & after the cutting in winter 2009

The three deer that lived here are now flushed out & run for their lives around the neighbourhood. Looking for shelter, of which there is precious little. Their homes are steadily being destroyed. “tué habitat, tué animal” (to kill the habit is to kill the animal). It was the same with the nightingales when hedgerows were all grubbed out in 2006. How I miss their song!


‘Berges du Dropt, St.Dizier’
38 x 46 cm
oil on canvas
©adam cope

SAME SPOT (looking downriver) AFTER THE DESTRUCTION OF 2010


Some of the coppices have grown back, not all. The plot on the left hand side of the river is now entire grubbed out. No more nightingales nor deer. Some regeneration. the canton is now replanting with a budget of 7200 euros… funny old world. The upside is that no flooding has occurred these last years, even if the wild life is dying. I hope teh land can regenerate & reclaiming it’s biodiversity

after we’ve gone

we shall be litter and leaves

– a lyrebird’s song

Harry Laing , ‘Forest Meditations’




Legislation now requires a 6 meter grass band either side of the river. This serves to filter the ground water as it flows off the farm land. The Dropt is green with nitrates & slurry from cow farming (domestic grey-water isn’t always properly filtered either). Not much bio-diversity in a grass band in comparison to a riparian zone.

Machines have great power to sculpt the landscape. But what type of landscape are we making?

A square mile field without hedges? How much more public money via agricultural subsidies will be spent on this?

Is this a  river with bio-diversity?

No space for nature in the countryside…. pretty isn’t it?

“Contempt for Small Places, Minor Destructions Add Up” – WENDELL BERRY


The basic idea of a green corridor is to leave a corridor through which animals can migrate from one safe place to another. Good for nature, good for tourism, good for the soul.

A green corridor = Une trame verte


A well preserved riparian strip on a tributary to Lake Erie.

riparian zone – wiki


oil on canvas
©adam cope

Observe the band of trees each side of the river.

The banks of the river Dordogne are a classified nature reserve: Natura 2000, part of the European government’s legislation to protect nature. The banks of the river Dropt are also classified down river from Allemans sur Dropt, just after Eymet.

The basic idea of a green corridor is to leave a corridor through which animals can migrate from one safe place to another. It also has the happy advantage that humans can walk or canoe along these passages. This is very good for tourism, which is the second economic activity of the Dordogne department & IMO, would become more important for the Lot & Garonne if the people in power had a better vision of how they take care of nature.

” Great problems call for many small solutions.” – Wendell Berry



“In Human culture lies the preservation of wildness.” – Wendell Berry

“The question we must deal with is not whether the domestic and the wild are separate or can be separated; it is how, in the human economy, their indissoluble and necessary connection can be properly maintained.” Wendell Berry For Love of the Land, Sierra magazine, May/June 2002

“The awareness that we are slowly growing into now is that the earthly wildness that we are so complexly dependent upon is at our mercy. It has become, in a sense, our artifact because it can only survive by a human understanding and forbearance that we now must make. The only thing we have to preserve nature with is culture; the only thing we have to preserve wildness with is domesticity.

“To me, this means simply that we are not safe in assuming that we can preserve wildness by making wilderness preserves. Those of us who see that wildness and wilderness need to be preserved are going to have to understand the dependence of these things upon our domestic economy and our domestic behavior. If we do not have an economy capable of valuing in particular terms the durable good of localities and communities, then we are not going to be able to preserve anything. We are going to have to see that, if we want our forests to last, then we must make wood products that last, for our forests are more threatened by shoddy workmanship than by clear-cutting or by fire. Good workmanship–that is, careful, considerate, and loving work–requires us to think considerately of the whole process, natural and cultural, involved in the making of wooden artifacts, because the good worker does not share the industrial contempt for ‘raw material.’ The good worker loves the board before it becomes a table, loves the tree before it yields the board, loves the forest before it gives up the tree. The good worker understands that a badly made artifact is both an insult to its user and a danger to its source. We could say, then, that good forestry begins with the respectful husbanding of the forest that we call stewardship and ends with well-made tables and chairs and houses, just as good agriculture begins with stewardship of the fields and ends with good meals.”
– Exerpt from ‘Home Economics’ by Wendell BERRY

“…. the great causes of agrarianism and conservation, despite local victories, have suffered an accumulation of losses, some of them probably irreparable-while the third side, that of the land-exploiting corporations, has appeared to grow ever richer.” —For Love of the Land by Wendell Berry

Futher Reading:

Natura 2000
European Union Water Framework Directive
A green corridor.
Une trame verte

Wendell Berry

For Love of the Land by Wendell Berry
Contempt for Small Places Minor Destructions Add Up – WENDELL BERRY

Read more in this blog in the artists & ecology categories.


3 Birthday – Domine Quo Vadis?

Today is the third birthday of this blog.Thank you everybody for commenting & the in-depth feedback.

I note that 25th January is the festival day of the conversion of Paul.

To celebrate, here’s a page from my ‘Carnet de Voyage en Rome’ 2002.

‘Domino Quo Vadis’ where are you going.. me at the church in Rome… yes, if ound it moving to be where an individual overcame his fear of a cruel & merciless empire …

photo: enrico virdis
Nyiad – Le Dropt à St.Dizier (avant les’
oil on canvas
38 x 46 cm
© adam cope

An ash tree growing out of the middle of an old crack willow, not coppiced for many a year.

pen & ink
©adam cope

Wild Wood. Tangle Wood.

Nyiad. Dryiad. River. Tree. Older things than you & I.

This is a condemned being. These trees will be cut down in a week’s time or so.
Death row.

the execution has now been done

Great sadness as all the little pockets of tangle wood are irradiated & ‘cleaned up. “Pas propre”…
developed into agriculture, money, gardens & water supply.

No space for nature in the countryside.


Tangle Wood. Wild Wood. Mole & Ratty – if you listen, you can hear the wind in the willows.


Some photos from

Le Dropt à St.Dizier avant les coups de 2010A green corridor.  =  une trame verte”To write a love song, you have to be love” Henry Hensche (Cape Cod School of Art).

‘Berges du Dropt, St.Dizier’
38 x 46 cm
oil on canvas
©adam cope

 Le Dropt, Castillonnès – une trame verte?

The river Dropt downriver from Allemans de Dropt is a Natura 2000 site.

Up River, near Castillonnès, things are different. The banks are privately owned but the water board owns the water. Agricultors pay for irrigation water for their crops. Trees drink the water. Tangle wood block the water.

‘Le Dropt à St.Dizier’
quarter sheet
©adam cope

No space for nature in the countryside.

Berges du Dropt 3′ – S.Quentin
Oil on Masonite
30 x 40 cm
©adam cope
No home now for the deers, water rats, moles, rabbits & others who try & find their place in a human landscape that has no place left for pests & those who dare eat crops.

Beautiful tanglewood, wildwood. Not the garden of Le Notre. Versailles. All clipped. Perfect. The hand of man dominating the profusion of nature.

Man vs. Nature?

Over 30 kilometres of river bank cleared. Not cut to the bone, true … but cut to the quick.


Brave New World?

coppicing = taillus
Pray that the willows, alders & ashes may regenerate. Wild Wood no more. The hand of man decides who shall be left to attain a wild old age & who shall be ‘restored’.


Happily  most of the willows have regenerated, some of the alders, less of the alders 🙂  However, little scrub & bramble & cover for animals remain. It took me three years wait befoore I could face going down to the river again & see what had become of my friends. When shall I regain the courage to paint this brave new world?  These little wold places where you can breathe & feel close to nature, the nature that man allows to persist… these spots help us live happily.

Fichier:Coppice stool2.JPG

A coppiced alder stool after one year’s growth. photo :wikicommons

Alnus glutinosa (English: Black Alder, European Alder or Common Alder)

“In celtic mythology, Bran the Blessed is associated with the alder tree “The Alder deity is considered to be Bran the Blessed, God of the Underworld. He was also known as the God of Prophecy, Arts, War and Writing. With the size of a giant, it was impossible for Bran to fit in a house or in a boat. According to medieval Christian writings, Bran the Blessed is considered to be the first British man. ” – WIKI

Look at this 300 year old ‘têtard’ or coppiced willow, a survivor, here in St.Dizier. Regeneration?

‘Têtard, Saule, St.Dizier’
Oil on Masonite
30 x 40cm
©adam cope

Futher Reading:

Natura 2000
European Union Water Framework Directive
A green corridor.
Une trame verte

Read more artists & ecology in this blog:

Artists & Ecology #1 – Festival Flore Faune
Artists and Ecology #2 – Robert HAINARD – how to ‘blind contour draw’
Artists & Ecology #3 – Constable, Corn & the Destruction of Hedgerows
Artists & Ecology # 4 – Paintings of Potatoes, Semances & Homage à José Bové
Artists & Ecology # 5 -Le Dropt, Castillonnés , a green corridor?
Artists & Ecology # 6 – No Space for Nature in the Countryside? Wendell Berry

Bed Time Story 10 & 11

‘Bed Time Story 10 & 11’
Pencil & Ink
© Adam Cope

‘….. After months at sea, they found themselves in Baghdad.
” What a gorgeous city!” cried Emira.
“Isn’t it! ” agreed Sinbad. He was delighted to be home… at least for a while.’

Sinbad the Sailor, retold by Katie Daynes. Usborne Ilustrated Stories for Boys.


Wishing you all a great 2010. Hope you all create well this year, work hard & make real a few of your dreams.Sorry about the belated wishes. I’ve been very occupied off-line recently.

It’s been wonderful getting to know some fellow art bloggers & fellow art lovers over these last three years. Thanks for your comments & dialogue.

Quelques Hommages…

I take the pleasure of sharing with you a few images made in 2009 of ‘mes chers confréres et consœurs des bloggeurs d’art’. Please understand that this is only a personal selection & is very far from being complete, as we all know a lot of gems & jewels are forgotten, neglected & lost in the blogosphere.

Maurice Denis (1870-1943)
Hommage à Cézanne
Huile sur toile
H. 1,8 ; L. 2,4 m
© ADAGP, Paris – photo RMN, Hervé Lewandowski

Giving homage to a fellow artist is a lovely French tradition, where the achievements & talent of an artist is celebrated by another artist. Sometimes by simply just painting a painting for that artist. Good old Maurice Denis 🙂

So here goes (in no particular order) :

Casey Klahn
The Colorist
Blue & Gray River
10″ x 14.5″
Casey Klahn 

Hommage à Casey ‘fauve’ Klahn

Don’t miss the wisdom in Casey’s writings, sound advice & above all, the beauty in his images.

Vitali Komarov


‘Sunlit Tree’
Oil on canvas, 30 x 30 cm, $US 200

Hommage à Vitali Komarov

Vitali seems to have gone ‘off-blog’ as a lot of exceptionally good & talented mid-career professional artists seem to do (lack of comments? lack of sales? lack of web visits? wrong idea about what art blogging is about? who knows?) … but what ever you do, do check out website.

Loriann Signori
Lorainn Signori’s A Painting A Day

‘Uncompleted Dreams’

Hommage à Loriann Signori

I have never thought of myself as an activist or environmentalist, simply as an artist who loves the outdoors. This has changed since that one day when the bulldozers and big machines arrived in “my field.

I was deeply touched to read this, as it made feel less alone. As I write the trees along the banks of ‘my’ local little river are being cut down.


Hommage à Dawdlr


“dawdlr is a global community of friends and strangers answering one simple question: what are you doing, you know, more generally?

answers on a postcard please to:

dawdlr, 77 beak street, london, W1F 9DB

next update may 21st, 2010″


Both strange as only “the truth” can be as well as side-splitting arty, post-modernist web-based laughter.


Fàbio Cembranelli


Two Roses…/ Duas Rosas….

Roses 88, Watercolor, 22 x 15 inches, sold.

Rosas 88, Aquarela, 56 x 38 cm, vendida.

Hommage à Fàbio
This brazilan watercolourist is just going exponential. His art is getting stronger & stronger. Beautiful watercolours…that I confess spark a twinge of jealousy in me as he works incredibly hard, restricts himself to a limited repertoire of subjects, isn’t scared of digging deep into the same subject… & has reaped the benefits of a strict regime of ‘a painting a day’. He also has that lightest of touch & finesse de précision that great watercolours require – WOW!

Cathy Gatland
a sketch in time


Talking of Walks
Sketchbook, wc & pen

Hommage à Cathy Gatland

I love checking-in to read Cathy’s posts & to enjoy her very enjoyable images. Her writing is as clear & as generous as her drawing skills. Her blog is a rich mix of place (jo’burg, SA), family, gardens (ahh, those SA gardens!) & her blogging & art journey. And what’s more she sketches – YIPPEE! Cathy has embraced art blogging with verve, daring & intelligence. What progress! Sorry Cathy if this hommage seems a little bit teacherly ‘(we painted together in France a few years back ) but really, mes sinceres hommages.

Images en Périgord


banner collage (split into two two parts)
photo boguy

Hommage à Boguy

Ohh la la! Quels images! Quel phographie!
Boguy’s photos do justice to Périgord, SW France, the same part of the world where find both findselves. I refind our landscape through his photos but as if anew & from a slightly different viewpoint. He has a vision & it’s that vision that raises his photos to ‘art status’ IMO. His photos makes me pack my kit in the car & get out painting ASAP.On the technical level, my personal favourites are where he focuses on colour plus place. He’s something of a ‘fauve’ with a delicious use of heightened colour. To prove the point, here’s one of his non-place based photos, so that you can just enjoy the beauty of his artistry without having to know Périgord (aka Dordogne).

Frousfrous d’Iris
photo boguy