A strange light permeates the bones of trees in this view of winter woods in Wrecclesham.
The wood is anonymous on the map but I’ve been told it is called Ten Acre Wood. 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.
My walks in winter woods are more often spent avoiding disaster than anything else. Sometimes it’s cold enough for going to be firm, and then I have more time to look at what’s in front of me rather than just my feet. It is an interesting area – here’s a useful guide.
I wanted to keep this painting loose and fresh. It’s always a challenge not to overwork a subject, and with this painting, I managed to put down the brushes in time. I painted Ten Acre wood again in a very different light!