As I drove into towards the house in Northhamtonshire surrounded by a wood and then a field and then another wood you had a real sense of being cut off from the world and in a bygone age. The old hunting lodge could be seen from about a miles away down a tunnel of trees on either side which gave a wonderful sense of perspective. Some beautiful big old oaks their bows now twisted and turned by the passing of time looked like huge sculptures as you got closer.
My mission was to do a portrait of the house and as I was to learn soon the plans were to rewind and let nature take more of its own course over the coming years in contrast to what had been quite formal gardens at one stage.
A wonderful late Autumn day was spent around the garden, sketching and photographing and coming up with a concept plan. The berries were in full colour and some of the leaves had already dropped leaving a carpet of colour and the branches silhouetted and a good views to the house from different angles. There were all sorts of different trees and it was a good chance to look really carefully at the leaves and their colours and shapes, the structures of the trees and how they differed from one another. Watching the early sun going down and quickly trying to capture the light playing on the trees and highlighting some areas like a theatre set. This was a dream project!
I hoped to take aspects of the beautiful and unique setting of the house and puts them together in a dreamy and colourful way.
I collected soil from the grounds to incorporate in to the piece, leaves to print and twigs to use to scratch into the piece. Over the next few months the mixed media piece came together working on portraying an enchanted wilderness with the variety of trees nestled around the house and a feeling of being lead towards the house.