Nyiad – Le Dropt à St.Dizier (avant les’
oil on canvas
38 x 46 cm
2010
© adam cope

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

Nyiad’
Sketchbook
pen & ink
2010
©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 www.valleedudropt.com

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
2006
©adam cope

 Le Dropt, Castillonnès – une trame verte?

The river Dropt downriver from Allemans de Dropt is a Natura 2000 site. http://natura2000.ecologie.gouv.fr/sites/FR7200692.html

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
2007
©adam cope

No space for nature in the countryside.

Berges du Dropt 3′ – S.Quentin
Oil on Masonite
30 x 40 cm
2007
©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’.

POST SCRIPT 2013

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
2006
©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

‘Pêchers des Vignes 2’
Oil on Canvas
medium size oil – 15 F format francais
54 x 65cm (approx 26 x 22 inches)
© Adam Cope
available


‘Pêchers des Vignes 3’
Oil on Canvas
medium size oil – 15 F format francais
54 x 65cm (approx 26 x 22 inches)
© Adam Cope
available

These two paintings are a pair, or to use the proper word for a pair of paintings, a diptych (OK so the’re not hinged together as most medieval Diptychs were). Right from the beginning, in the conception phase of making a picture (“There are two things in the painter, the eye and the mind; each of them should aid the other.”-Cezanne), they were conceived of as a being together. The same subject but from a slightly different view point.
They look something like this when proper hung side by sides as I intended, Doesn’t internet rip paintings apart!

Not the first inkling of this idea for me:

‘2 Truffiers, 1 Verger de Pruniers’
2009
8F, 12 F, 8F
© Adam Cope
(Sadly broken up & (part) sold-off in parts)

This diptych from 2007 (happily sold together & still hanging together)

PARALLAX

Cézanne said he could find a hundred different paintings just by slightly inclining his neck & seeing the same subject from a different angle. The quote starts off ‘here by the river bank…” so he’s talking about a more humble subject than the grand Mont St. Victoire of which he mamnged to do at least forty oils & at least as many watercolours. What’s that in terms of Diptychs???!! 😉

I stalk around my subject from all angles & it still surprises me that things appear to move about when I move about. Really curious, this… Amazes me more & more, certainly the more I’m aware f it. That they seem to shift like astral objects, sometimes conjuncting, other times eclipsing. Don’t take this for granted, as it really is a very strange happening when you look at it as if for the first time. It’s called PARALLAX. Go out & try it. Try it with one eye open. Try it with both eyes open. Choosing a good spot is central to plein-air painting. Too many times in bad paintings this curious shifting world seems ‘fixed’, rendered immobile, ‘un-paralaxed’ into a static ‘full-frontal’ elevation, a mind’s eye summary of the object & not the reality of the real world where things overlap & bump into each other & (appear to) shift when we shift.

Here wiki on Parallax:

A simple everyday example of parallax can be seen in the dashboard of motor vehicles that use a “needle” type speedometer gauge (when the needle is mounted in front of its dial scale in a way that leaves a noticeable spacing between them). When viewed from directly in front, the speed may show 60 (i.e. the needle appears against the ’60’ mark on the dial behind); but when viewed from the passenger seat (i.e. from an oblique angle) the needle can appear against a slightly lower or higher mark (depending on whether it is viewed from the left or from the right), because of the combined effect of the spacing and the angle of view.

Visual perception

Because the eyes of humans and other highly evolved animals are in different positions on the head, they present different views simultaneously. This is the basis of stereopsis, the process by which the brain exploits the parallax due to the different views from the eye to gain depth perception and estimate distances to objects. Animals also use motion parallax, in which the animal (or just the head) moves to gain different viewpoints. For example, pigeons (whose eyes do not have overlapping fields of view and thus cannot use stereopsis) bob their heads up and down to see depth.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax

Painting of Peach Trees

‘Pêchers des Vignes 1’
30 x 40 cm
Oil on Canvas Board
© Adam Cope
150 € via PayPal, P&P included

Painting of Peach Trees

These peach trees are typical of south west France, where traditionally they are planted alongside the vines. They fruit at the same time as the vines but are even more susceptible to mildew rot than the vines themselves, and thus act as an early warning alarm for the wine growers.In the above painting, they are planted in an orchard of prune trees. I guess they like shelter as they are vulnerable to frosts & winds, being a ‘Tree of the Warm South’. In autumn they have the most glowing colours.

Here’s a painting from 2007:

‘Deux Pêchers des Vignes’
Oil on MDF Panel
30 x 40 cm ( approx 12 x 16 inches)
©Adam Cope
2007
sold

Fichier:Peches de vigne.JPG
photo – wiki

Les autres noms de la pêche et du Pêcher -En latin : Prunus persica, anglais : Peach tree, allemand : Pfirsichbaum , en Arabe : Khawkh,
en Danois : Fersken, en Espagnol : Melocoton, en Hollandais : Perzikboom, en Italien : Persico,
en Suédois : Persiketräd, en Russe : Piersika, en Flamand : Perzikbomen

 

Le Forêt de Biron, Dordogne

‘Le Forêt de Biron’
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
65 x 50cm (approx 25,5 x 20 inches).
© adam cope
The forest is in flower, mauves of heathers & yellows of plantagenesta (broom, the heraldic flower of the Plantagent dynasty). Down in the deep dark wood (guffalos), the eiry ‘brame’ , the wailing of the stags.
Here’s a WIP of day one.

And day three, when it was getting towards the  finished state.

 

Too much like Cézanne?  Master Cézanne haunts me, I’m sure he does…

 

It was painted on the same sandy path as another medium sized oil dating from Janurary 2008.

‘Plantagensta’
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
61 x 50 cm
© adam cope

Quiet Times in Truffle Woods

‘Le Truffier 2’ (Truffle Woods 2)
medium size oil on canvas
65 x 54 cm (25,5 x 21,3 inches approx)
© adam cope
A milky light breaking through the cloud cover softening the hard landscape. High May grass, deceptively soft, hiding stones & spikey semi-desert plants. Bluey green greys, mauve hay seed-heads, bright photosynthesising May yellow-greens.The oak in this painting is an example of what is known in gardening as ‘specimen planting’ : where one species is palnted like an island alone in the sea, a solitary specimen in 360 degrees of surrounding emptiness. Except for in this case, here in this truffle wood, it wasn’t done for reasons of asethetic design but by the hand of the farmer, Monsueir Vincent, who is patiently restoring the oaks. Actually, there’s rows of young saplings hidden in the high grass but you couldn’t see them for ‘La Mouliné’, which is up to a metre high.

Lawns in gardens are the empty spaces that act as a foil to show off the specimen & beds. In terms of making a painting, it was a real effort to leave such a large ’empty space’ with not much going on, not many brushmarks… only the odd wild flower floating… the occassional slash suggesting the long grass….surprising how much restraint & pictorial discipline empty spaces takes.

In this painting, I wanted a calm feeling. Meditative. Not a frenzy of brushmarks. The quiet I find in the deep countryside. Did I achieve it?

Painting of Truffle Woods in Quercy

‘Le Truffier 1′ (Truffle Woods)’
medium size oil on canvas
36x 48cm (approx 15 x 14 inches).
© Adam Cope
SOLD
Light & shade in this old truffle wood in the Lot. ‘Chene de Causse’, the semi-desert oaks of Quercy. Orchids, wild fowers & seed heads. The high grass which ‘paysans’ used to mill, ‘La Mouliné’, indicating the presence of water somewhere below, well-hidden in the micro-fissures in the karst limestone. It turns a beautiful silver yellow, retaining all winter long a bleached reminder of summer heat. The apparent softness of early summer grass only superficially hides the underlying toughness of the landscape. Monsueir Vincent (Pere), whom I’ve known for over twenty five years, has been trying to regenerate this ancient truffle wood, along with honey, peaches & saffon crocus elsewhere in these woods. Not an easy task as truffles retain something of their elusive sylvan mystery.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truffle_(fungi)

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truffe_(champignon)

# En 2002, le prix moyen était de 390 €/kg.
# En 2003, le prix moyen était de 1 200 €/kg.
# En 2004, le prix moyen était de 900 €/kg.
# Le mardi 23 décembre 2008, 150 kilos de truffes ont été vendus à des prix oscillant entre 250 et 900 euros le kilo, lors du quatrième marché officiel de Lalbenque (Lot), au cœur du Quercy

Pruniers 5

‘Pruniers 5’
medium size oil on canvas
36 x 48 cm (approx 14 x 18 inches)
© adam cope

Very pleasant evening yesterday. Long, light, bright sunshine. A warm wind from the south (‘L’Antan’) carrying the sweet smells of spring. The landscape now covered with green. A fresh lime green of new leaves photosynthesising. Lovely, I choose to paint this rather than chase the coppery new leaves or the next waves of late blossoming fireworks. The soil breathing sweetly, smelling good & gleam pink/violet in the late afternoon light.How does one paint this miracle of sunlight? This miracle of photosynthesis?

Path through an orchard, beautiful place to be.

BTW, this the same orchard as always, the one we can see from our kitchen window. Le verger de Mr & Madame Verdier. You can’t see our house in this painting but it is situated just behind the third plum tree, the one next to the edge.

WHERE the bee sucks, there suck I

‘Cherry, Quince, Bay’
medium size oil on canvas
36 x 48 cm (approx 14 x 18 inches)
© adam cope
WHERE the bee sucks, there suck I:
In a cowslip’s bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat’s back I do fly.
After summer merrily:
Merrily, merrily, shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the boughGentle Will, The Temptest, Act V, sc.i
M-L remarked that this spring-time painting has a lightness of fresh touch & keyed to light pastel tones, after the hoary winter trees & cliffs that I’ve been working on during recent winters.

‘Walnuts & Brambles 2’
2007
medium size oil on canvas
36 x 48 cm (approx 14 x 18 inches)
© adam cope

Plum Blossom

‘Pruniers 4’
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© The Artist.
300 €uros via PayPal – see sidebar for details

Plum Blossom

The recent sunny weather broke yesterday evening with a grey rainfront edging in from the Atlantic.These two plum trees were the last in the orchard to bloom; all the rest are now in leaf. These two face west, towards the Atlantic, from whence two fearful storms have come these last ten years, ‘La Grande Tempete, 27 Dec 1999’ et ‘Tempete Klaus, 24 Jan 2009’. Many of the trees on the west side have been storm damaged. Gaps in the orchard. These two, however, still resist. Two survivors. Two black, ripped-up, old prune trees. The white blossom of youth makes a great contrast that gives me hope.

Black trunks, white blossom.

Plum Trees in Blossom

‘Pruniers 3’
Oil on MDF panel
30 x 40cm (approx 12 x 16 inches).
© adam cope
sold
Same plum orchard as before. Painted a week later this year than previous years. Let’s hope there’s no frost during this moon cycle – ‘la Lune Rousse’ – the ‘red moon’ because of the risk of frosts, which can burn the blossoms & new leaves, thus turning them red. There’s been bad harvests for the last two years on the trot for plums & prunes.

‘Pruniers #1’
2007
30 x 40 cm. Oil on Panel.
tous droits reservées
sold
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