Winter trees

Ben Curtis, ink drawing trees

It’s pouring with rain outside, and windy at last. It’s never windy around Madrid. I went for a walk this Sunday morning at 9.15am, the streets were empty. I was blustered all over the place! And I completely loved it.

“Is it because I’m English?” I asked a Spanish friend at lunchtime. “Yes”, she said, “it’s because you’re English”. But I don’t think it’s just nostalgia that makes me grin madly when I dive out of the house in the wind and rain. It wakes up every bit of me.

This ink drawing above is of the trees in our street, pruned back hard by the council in November, seen from our kitchen window. They are wonderful naked totems, something I learned to appreciate after looking at David Hockney’s pictures of Totem-like cut and pruned trees. Which made me appreciate part of what artists do – they help us see things in a different way, or things that we might otherwise have missed.

I mixed the India ink with water to get the different shades (something I’d wanted to try for ages) and saw more of those trees in half and hour than I’ve seen in two years of breakfasting with them. That’s the wonder of drawing.

It’s still raining, thank God. Before this week I think it’d rained once since September.

2 thoughts on “Winter trees

  1. Nice work! Those tones were really effective. We too hiked in the rain and slush this morning. Did I mention I have a pet Englishman at home?


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