The ground is hard, the air is cold and the year is brand new but I like to think of January as a time to be sowing seeds – seeds of ideas for the year ahead. I may be one of a minority who loves January here in the Northern hemisphere but apart from the cold, it’s a quiet time for reflection that I cherish.
When I began this personal project to sketch and document all that grows here in our patch of orchard in the Clyde Valley, I wasn’t sure that I would stick at it. However, it was in the opening weeks of January 2020 that I wondered who else was drawing wispy strands of withered Rosebay Willow herb that day? Just another common weed.
Or the shrivelled leaves of a hazel next to fresh green buds?
Or weather-battered rose hips?
My underlying concern was the climate crisis and the observations that so many of the things we now take for granted may not be present for future generations.
So I continued to draw day by day – whatever caught my eye or was near to hand given that much of a January day is dark.
Little did I know that the practice of daily drawing was going to see me through some unexpected times ahead.
As each drawing took its place on the pile, it became more interesting when seen together. I have since begun to bind a print of each sketch together in a hand made book for each month. It might take me a while to finish but I’ve started!
I will close here wishing you all the best for this New Year and happy idea sowing!
It’s New Year’s Eve and we are closing on 2020. Enough said.
It’s been a while since my last post but my attention has been elsewhere. We live here in one of the old orchards of the Clyde Valley and early last December I made a commitment to myself to draw everything that grew here as a record of the weeds, the trees, the flowers…whatever grew here in this 3 acre plot of old Scottish orchard.
Long before the virus struck, things had seemed pretty intense with our climate situation. I felt that in just a generation some of the plants that made up the view from within the orchard might be gone.
It was the everyday weeds and plants – things we take for granted – that I wanted to draw – just to acknowledge that they grew here. Things that we call weeds were also once well-regarded herbs with medicinal properties; for example Valerian, considered helpful for treating sleep disorders.
We share this wonderful place with some great company…..
With all that’s gone on this year, I’ve thought a great deal about what I would like to leave behind me. I’d love to leave more trees and a bouquet of sketches of our landscape.
A year’s worth of daily sketches is too much to introduce here – I’ve shared about half of them on Instagram (@ronniecruwys) but I will end with today’s last sketch of a baby orchard pack of saplings – hazel, apples, pears, medlar and quince. These were a gift from my family and I can’t wait to see them thriving in the ground!
I will close by wishing you all a gentle New Year. Wishing you all the best of health and thanks for reading.