The orchard sketches
The next painting will be a continuation of the trees and woodland theme. However, this time I have decided on a fruit orchard.
The idea for this painting came about after a wonderful trip, earlier in the year, to the fabulous tree museum in Lerchi, Citta di Castello.
Here, on the terraced slopes above the town, they preserve rare, native Italian fruit trees. On this occasion I was the tutor with a visiting group of American students and loved the opportunity I was given to walk amongst the trees and hear about the history of the museum.
The old scarecrow
The old scarecrow
One thing that really stood out for me was the wonderful scarecrow they’d made. It was constructed around two concrete posts, over which, a once bright red dress had been placed. Time had not been kind to the garment and now it was a tattered remnant of its former self but still with a charm all of its own.
This was when I decided that a scarecrow would make a great focal point for a painting, along with an accompanying collection of trees scattered across the hillside.
Finding your inner scarecrow
Rather than simply draw a scarecrow I thought it would be fun to make a mini one from scratch. Whilst walking the dogs I started to look for things I could use for the idea growing in my head. I collected items that I thought would be useful and then hunted out some old shirts and the sewing box. With my rudimentary knowledge of a running stitch and a pair of nail scissors I set to work.
Well, I enjoyed myself so much making the first one that things got a little out of hand. I now have a terrace full of them, which does make it look interesting, if not a little scary to say the least.
While my sewing skills are never going to make the Milan fashion show, the works rough and readiness does add to the scene and the scarecrows seem to have taken on a project of their own.
The idea now is to leave them outside, to the ravages of time and the seasons and see how they do. I think that over time they will start to take on individual characteristics as they weather.
Who knows, maybe there’s a market for bespoke, artistic mini-scarecrows in the window box. If the idea appeals to you then let me know if you want one. 🙂