Saturday, 9 April 2016

They're taking my forest away

The Forestry Commission has been responsible for forestry in Wales since 1919 due to the depletion of the forests after the First World War. The purpose of the Commission evolved to include scientific research and recreation, with outdoor activities being promoted and at the same time protecting and improving biodiversity across Britain's forests. In Wales things changed in 2013 as a number of agencies merged taking our forests under the umbrella of Natural Resources Wales.

Over the years the Commission has received criticism for its reliance on conifers, particularly the uniform appearance of conifer forests and concerns over a lack of biodiversity. The Commission bought large amounts of former agricultural land, eventually becoming the largest land owner in Britain.

My painting at the top was referred to in a blog I posted during a very hot June 2013.
"I can't stand the heat. I've been searching for shadows and I've discovered forests. It's been difficult for me to work in these high temperatures and I do like to be comfortable when I'm working, but the forest was cool although the noise of buzzing flies was a bit of a distraction!"

This picture was mostly painted on site, using watercolour as an undercoat, then pastel directly on top. The conditions were windless and still, a peaceful setting where I was able to concentrate on the dappled light and the rows of regimented trees. A great place to paint, it had atmosphere.

The photograph below the painting was taken a few days ago, the landscape has changed, they're taking my forest away. A lot of us were not happy when the alien invaders colonised the moors and mountains but I now lament their passing.