"Just Oak" at Crickhowell Open Studios

25th to 27th May - 10am to 5pm

St Edmunds Church, Church Ln, Crickhowell NP8 1BB

I am looking forward to exhibiting once again in St Edmunds Church along with other artists - full details here…

The main display will be my “Just Oak” exhibition which I have been developing this year after a successful first showing at Glasbury in March.

There will be several new works on show in Crickhowell including a time sequence triptych of an oak tree coming into to leaf…..

 

Another personal favourite of mine are the “Wiggly Oaks” of Coed Maesmelin…

 

And there is a booklet to accompany the exhibition - click on image to view…..

Click to view…..

Click to view…..

 

The artworks on display in the main exhibition will be on sale, and there will also be a range of mounted limited edition signed prints in various sizes of each of the works along with greetings cards.

I hope to see you there! (Did I mention there will be tea and cake available in the church cafe?!)


Spring Oaks at Eastnor

Eastnor deer park has a wonderful collection of grand oak trees where the new leaves are just starting to appear. I hope to catch a sequence of these trees coming into leaf over the next few weeks.

I think one or two of these will be candidates for my “Just Oak” exhibition which I will be showing in Crickhowell over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend - more details here.

 
 

The Pwllpriddog Oak - New Artwork

Standing in a hedgerow just outside the quiet village of Rhandirmwyn in Carmarthenshire, the Pwllpriddog Oak is a giant, with a girth of some 8.4 metres. Some have estimated it to be 600-700 years old, while local historians believe it was planted to commemorate the Battle of Bosworth.

It is reputed to have been the hiding place of a king; the local pub is known as the Royal Oak, after all. The tree is hollow, and there are a number of YouTube clips of bands and choirs singing inside it.

It is understood that many years ago it was used as a meeting place for local lovers. Over the years it has been used as a pig sty and is now being used by ducks who roost and hatch in its branches.

In 2018 the tree was named Welsh Tree of the Year in a public vote – I was lucky enough to be commissioned to photograph all the finalists in this competition by the organisers - The Woodland Trust.

“Inside the Pwllpriddog Oak” is now available as a limited edition print in my Art Shop

 
 
 

"Just Oak" - a photography exhibition - March 1st - 5th

“Just Oak” is an exhibition of photographic artworks featuring only oak trees.

It’s first appearance will be as part of the Glasbury Arts 16th Annual Exhibition

Click on the image for more details

Click on the image for more details

All the oak trees in the exhibition are humble, ordinary oak trees that can be seen anywhere in the countryside and yet when you look more closely each one is magnificent in one way or another!

Oak trees in winter reveal their sculptural form, in autumn their leaves display rich yellow and brown tones, on the outside the bark is infinitely intricate and on the inside of an old oak tree there is another world of rich colour and textures.

Your mind is stretched when you think what an oak may have witnessed in its long life - it is said that an oak spends 300 years growing, 300 years living and 300 years dying …..

 

Winter Oaks

I believe oak trees are at their most spectacular in winter when they display their sculptural beauty.

Here are two examples growing on the Severn Plain below the Malvern Hills which are my new home.

 
 

Autumn Woodlands

I’ve been lucky to have been commissioned by The Woodland Trust to shoot in several of their woods in Wales to catch the Autumn moods.

This has taken me from Cardiff to Carmarthen to Conwy - here are some samples…..




 

Woodland Trust "Tree of the Year"

The hunt for 2018’s Tree of the Year is on! The contest, now in its fifth year throws the spotlight on the UK’s best trees to help drive up interest in their value and protection. 

Once again I've been asked to photograph 5 of the 6 trees that have been short-listed for Wales.

Here's a sample.....  (Click on an image for fullscreen view)

 
 

The Mighty Trees of Malvern

I've recently moved to the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire so you will be seeing more of these mighty trees which have been growing in the parks and gardens of Malvern for over 100 years!

 

Portrait of an Ash Tree in Summer

Ash Tree in the Black Mountains

A few weeks ago I wrote about my experiments with Tree Portraits - Here is a portrait of a magnificent Ash Tree in full summer "clothing" to give us something to look forward to after this long winter - Hopefully enough Ash Trees will survive the current epidemic of "chalara" (Ash dieback) so that we can enjoy these wonderful trees for many years to come.

Of willows, tree roots, fungi and bacteria....

New genetic evidence shows that tree roots, fungi, and bacteria work together to clean polluted soil.

Highly complex interactions among roots, fungi and bacteria underlie the ability of some trees to clean polluted land, according to a novel study by bioinformatics and plant-biology experts from McGill University and Université de Montréal.

Fast-growing trees, such as willows, are known to tolerate and even rejuvenate soil contaminated with petroleum by-products or heavy metals. The clean-up of soil in this way is known as phytoremediation, and the process is commonly attributed to ‘secondary metabolism’—the production of specialized compounds in plants that helps them cope with environmental stress. - read more here

Tree Portraits

I love trees!  I regard a tree as one of Nature's works of art but sometimes you just can't see the tree for the woods!  Am I being too cryptic?  Just sometimes I'd like to put a tree on its own pedestal - like an artwork in a gallery.  Removed like this from its surrounding landscape or woodland its intrinsic beauty can be more truly seen.

So I have been experimenting with what I call "Tree Portraits" ......

"A Portrait  is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person."  

Adapting this definition...

"A Tree Portrait is a a modified photographic representation of a tree intended to display the likeness, personality and even the mood of the tree."

Here are two oak tree "portraits" - one fully-clothed and one completely naked.... 

What do you think?  Please add your comments ......

Tree-portraits.jpg

Park Wood Snowfall

A very heavy snowfall in the Brecon Beacons in December 2017 made for some beautiful sights.....

 

Plas Power Woods - Lanterns, Storytelling and Fire!!

Last Sunday I was commissioned to "shoot" an enchanting event at Plas Power Woods organised by The Woodland Trust near Wrexham.  After sunset the woods were illuminated with candles, coloured lights, fairy lanterns, the glow from a firepit.  Family groups were led by a lone flute player along twinkling woodland footpaths to hear wonderful tales by lantern light and to toast marshmallows over a fire...  

Click on an image for a full screen view....

 

Wales 'Tree of the Year' competition

I was asked to shoot three of the nominated trees in the "Tree of the Year" competition organised by The Woodland Trust .....

Read about it on the BBC News and Woodland Trust websites....

More images here....

Woodland "shoots"

Over recent months I've been commissioned by the Woodland Trust to carry out photo shoots in a number of beautiful woodlands - you can see some the results by clicking on the images below.... 

 
 

On a desolate mountain somewhere near Machynlleth.....

Another shoot for the Woodland Trust took me to a desolate mountainside that is due for "re-wilding"  - it's off to a good start!

 

Bluebells in Park Wood

There are just a few English Bluebells in my local wood - Park Wood - a Woodland Trust woodland above Talgarth in the Black Mountains.  I thought I would try out a "gadget" bought at the recent Photography Show.  It's called "Case Air" and is a WiFi device that attaches to my Nikon camera and allows me to control the camera from an iPad.  This is great for macro shots like these as it means don't have to lie down in the brambles to compose my shots!

 
 

The Banyans of Seville

I've just returned from a long weekend in Seville. This is a beautiful city with wonderful buildings, parks, restaurants, bars and orange trees.  But did you know about the Banyans?  Many of the city squares and parks have a Banyan Tree or two - the Ficus Macrophylla (aka Moreton Bay Fig or Australian Banyan).

 
 

A walk through Coed Cefn on a sunny winter's day.

Coed Cefn is a Woodland Trust woodland up in the hills above Crickhowell in the Black Mountains of Wales.  Oak, Beech, Sycamore, Sweet Chestnut....  I'll let the images say the rest!