The Story

 Brusselton Wood is situated just outside of Bishop Auckland. It is well known for its bluebell displays this painting was inspired by the prolific display in 2019. Woods that have this kind of quality of English BlueBells are understood to be ancient woodland. Brusselton wood has probably been standing since the Romans march through creating the road that ran from York into Scotland. It is known today as Dere (or Deere) Street, or Watling street.  While painting this I was aware of the choices of path and the light. Emerald and Sapphire light plays through the wood giving a regal atmosphere. Light was definitely important, in fact colour and light was central to this painting.


If you look around the centre you will see a circling swirl of light, people have asked what it is. Practically it is the light bouncing off a bush nothing more, but in the painting its a magical and mysterious phenomenon. The bark on the trees are inscribed with their stories and also ours. Over hundreds of years lovers have etched their names in the bark of these trees. We can only guess who they might have been. Young men from the local mines savouring the freedom of a moment with their sweetheart in daylight, in this mystical place where the colours of the throne room of heaven come down to bless lads and lasses from a poor house who don't always get to see beauty around them, but who know what love is, and want to record their here; and here it is set in wood decades and decades later. There is something timeless about this little wood. Its a link to villages torn down communities torn a sunder and a place that knows who it is even when its people sometimes forget.