Saturday, 28 February 2015

Pineapple Update

So I walked away from the cabbage for a few days to rearrange my thoughts. They were becoming a little chaotic and maddened. It has been difficult trying to be bold and yet contained at the same time with this cabbage leaf. I feel like guttering - a steady stream of rain is fine, but the cabbage is thunderous and difficult to manage at the best of times. It's that combination of fine, detailed leaf work with the crazy, loose black which is throwing me. Anyway - sensing that I was close to doing something silly I put the cabbage to one side. He is now making friends with a half-finished Cos painting. I will go back to the Cabbage in a few days time.

Pineapple - work in progress (Ananas comosus)

Thankfully, the Pineapple has really grounded me and helped me to focus. Trying to capture the intense range of colours in this subject is really difficult work, and that is distancing me from the more emotional aspect of painting. The pineapple is much more meditative, analytical and traditional.

On another note, it's been a spectacular week here in the countryside. Everything is now bursting into life. There are bees everywhere, busily drinking nectar from the almond blossom and birds singing in the Poplar tree woods. There are Egrets sprinkled across the recently ploughed or flooded fields and tractors a plenty. There's a lot of ploughing going on and it's great to watch. I had forgotten how completely in love I am with the processes of arable farming, and now my love has been made all the more insatiable because I can see everything about a metre away from me. I have never had this luxury before being a town girl. What is also rather nice about the farming here is that all the fields are teeny tiny, so you get to see the diversity of cropping.

My little Sanctuary 27th February 2015
The most exciting this to happen last week was seeing the Almond blossom come out near Terri's house on the way to the Sanctuary. This week it was seeing the first leaves of the broadbeans in a nearby field. Apparently they have a broad bean festival here in Belicena in April, so I suppose this is what they might be used for as early croppers. I reckon we have a potato field, as it's pretty trenched up, but nothing has appeared yet. We have a garlic field which is well under way as that was planted up in October. Everything else is just being dug. 

Sierra Nevada 27th February 2015

So I thought I'd load up these little videos taken from my walk today. The farmers have just planted this new Poplar field and, as we are expecting to hit temperatures of 25 degrees this weekend, they are giving them a good drink. The watering here is all done by old irrigation channels with sluice gates - all very Romanesque - it's like travelling back in time. Anyway - I think it went a bit wrong today as they accidentally flooded the road and stranded the goats! There's a lot of water coming off of the mountain with all the snow melt and I guess it just got a bit out of hand, like me and my cabbage leaf...

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