ALL ALONG THE LANES the brambles are fruiting. In between jagged stems burst little black juicy clusters, each day bearing another nearly ready berry. Our long walk to town is slowed by these waylaying roadside treats. Some blackberries are small and still too sour, others fall apart to a sauce in our fingers. Some are crunchy with seeds or beasts. For the perfect king berry, hardest to reach, we must compete with feasting wasps. Some say you shouldn't pick blackberries after Michelmas (29th September) for the devil comes down and wees upon them. Perhaps we should make a blackberry crumble soon.
And I have been painting, a tiny work, wrapped around with blackberries for an approaching autumn. This is a wedding pendant, commissioned by Anna and Justin who we met at a fair. They are to be married this month and wanted a tiny painting for her to wear on the day. It measures about 3 inches in height and will be worn with a forest green dress. On the back I painted their initials and the date of their happy day (All full of nines like my own date of birth!). There's a smoking rural cottage and hills, and in front of it a two handled lovers' cup. I hunted my books on folklore to find a nice image for a wedding, and found that two spoons on a saucer means a marriage approaches.
Blackberries are not the only fruits in my work of late. There are acorns in the album artwork for the second Telling The Bees album which I have been working away on busily with my 0.3mm pencil. Most of the main drawings are done, but I still have all the smaller work for the interior to do as well as knotting it all together with words and layout.
For those of you who haven't seen it before, you can see my work for the band's debut album here. We were delighted to finally meet Bees' songwriter Andy and his missus Nomi last week as they travelled past our Dartmoor field with bagpipes and mandolin, and tea and biscuits and talk were enjoyed.
This time the artwork includes a sort of wayfaring musician, coming out of the forest, who is at the same time some old oaky symbol of England. He carries a barrel organ / cabinet of curiosities, that displays an object for each song. I shall leave those discoveries until the day when you hear the songs. They are delightful. On the CD circle leap those three hares again.
I found this oak berry and leaf in the grass here the other day. Though the trees are still green, the morning airs feel different. We are remembering the time of year when we used to light fires before breakfast, and can smell the leaves thinking about browning. I always find the turn of this new season hits me like a memory of all past autumns in my life. Soon I will turn thirty which is a bizarre thing indeed...