Woods and Forests

September 15, 2014

Trees are some of the most fascinating of life forms, and drawing media are perhaps the best way to reflect their linear growth and rhythm of movement.  Sometimes the life of the forest is halted abruptly as in the forest fires of 2011 in Madeira.  Only a year later, when I visited in January 2012, the undergrowth and shrubs were beginning to recover but the Eucalyptus and pine trees were an eerie, almost monochrome tapestry against the terracotta rocks. The sight is still fresh in my memory.

After the Fire: the Valley of the Nuns, Madeira
Pastel on terracotta paper 2014

‘After the Fire’ has been selected for the Society of Graphic Fine Art’s open exhibition DRAW 14 at the Menier Gallery, Southwark, London SE1 1RU from 6th to 18th October 2014.  The SGFA is the UK’s only society dedicated to drawing by hand in all media. For information on the Society’s events visit

‘After the Fire’ will also feature in Jo’s open studio during the Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail event 27th and 28th September (details at alongside other drawings of trees from Jo’s travels in the UK and abroad.

Argan Trees in the Anti Atlas Mountains, Morocco
Sepia Ink


Aspens on Sleeping Bear Dune, Michigan
Neocolor II pastel used dry and pencil


Willow and Aspens on the Cam
Black ‘Quink’ ink


Black ‘Quink’ fountain pen ink was applied to the paper with a pen and also diluted and washed with a brush.  The wet ink separates into its component dyes as each moves at a different rate on the damp paper, producing beautiful tints of amber and blue in places. Sadly such dye based inks are fugitive when exposed to light, so works produced in this way must be kept in reduced light conditions or reproduced as prints with light fast inks.

Silent Snow: on the Stour
Pastel, pencil and gouache on grey paper


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