October light, Wrecclesham: for this painting of low October light shining through the trees, I returned to Ten Acre Wood. This is the wood I painted in this study called winter woods. It is one of those forested areas that looks as if it will fall to development at any moment. There are warning signs threatening penalties for trespass, yet dozens of people walk there every day, with or without dogs. The area is beset by rogue developers making outrageous planning applications and hoping that something will fall between the cracks. As far as I know, this area is common land. An equally anonymous stream runs through the wood. In the winter it tends to become boggy and impassable. Here’s a guide to the area.
Here in October, the sunlight makes hard reflections on the wet leaves of the forest floor. As I was painting the reflections they took on the form of a spiral galaxy. I think that this is one of the most interesting areas of art. It is the tendency for images to emerge spontaneously. This is not to say that you start to paint a tree but end up with a teapot. But forms and shapes are repeated in nature, something that Goethe understood well.