Autumn leaves

I made the mistake of looking at some of the other tiles posted for the I am the Diva Challenge this week and it gave me so many ideas, none of them mine. Several of them were USA or Canada based and the maple leaf was much in evidence. (It’s such a lovely shape, I don’t blame them and there were some exquisite pieces of work.)

Well, let’s face it, I don’t do exquisite and maple leaves are not very British, so I decided to go for being English to the core with mine.  Not British, English. (Probably still stinging from all the politicking about the Scottish vote to leave the UK or not, I suppose. Well, no-one asked the English what THEY wanted, did they? )

Anyway, when I was a child, the quintessential patriotic English writer was Rudyard Kipling and my Dad and I used to read his stories and poems to each other. If you want a taste of it, here is the poem that came to my mind on the theme of leaves. I remember the rhythms of these poems and the way you could bounce along from one verse to the next. (I also remember having to ask for explanations about Aeneas and other unfamiliar words, which led me to read the ancient Greeks at a younger age than most, again, needing grown up help at times.)

Of all the trees that grow so fair,
Old Engerland to adorn,
Greater are none beneath the Sun,
Than Oak and Ash and Thorn.
Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, good Sirs
(All of a Midsummer’s morn)!
Surely we sing of no little thing,
In Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Oak of the Clay lived many a day,
Or ever Aeneas began;
Ash of the Loam was a lady at home,
When Brut was an outlaw man;
Thorn of the Down saw New Troy Town
(From which was London born);
Witness hereby the ancientry
Of Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Yew that is old in churchyard mould,
He breedeth a mighty bow;
Alder for shoes do wise men choose,
And beech for cups also.
But when ye have killed, and your bowl is spilled,
Your shoes are clean outworn,
Back ye must speed for all that ye need,
To Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Ellum she hateth mankind, and waiteth
Till every gust be laid,
To drop a limb on the head of him
That anyway trusts her shade:
But whether a lad be sober or sad,
Or mellow with ale from the horn,
He’ll take no wrong when he lieth along
‘Neath Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But—we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!
And we bring you news by word of mouth—
Good news for cattle and corn—
Now is the Sun come up from the South,
With Oak and Ash and Thorn!

Sing Oak and Ash and Thorn, good Sirs
(All of a Midsummer’s morn)!
England shall bide till Judgement Tide,
By Oak and Ash and Thorn!

And if you want a book that is the quintessential English children’s book, read Puck of Pook’s Hill. It’s a joy and I still re-read it every now and then. It’s the mental equivalent of a hot water bottle, a cup of cocoa and a coal fire.

So I drew my Oak, Ash and Thorn leaves as best I could, splashed them with colour using Promarker pens and left them to dry while I went for my evening meal and then I tangled them.  Since I wasn’t convinced that I could produce anything worth preserving, I did a preliminary version on copier paper, rather than the thin card I usually use, so, when it turned out reasonably OK, I didn’t dare try to reproduce it on better material.  So, for better or worse, here are my leaves, reminding me of childhood autumns with my Dad, Rudyard Kipling read by the fireside and an age of innocence long gone.

A bit bigger than usual too, about 6" square.
A bit bigger than usual too, about 6″ square. Patterns used  – Finery, Diva Dance, Betweed and Poke root for the berries.

Oh dearie me, sorry, Autumn always makes me a bit melancholy. Time for a holiday in the sun, I think.



17 thoughts on “Autumn leaves

  1. As always, a great post, full of thought and personality. Your tile is really lovely and makes me think of those Victorian illustrations -the colours particularly have an ‘antique’ look to them. Axxx

  2. Lovely ZIA and post—-I also enjoy painting with words—and pens.

    You raised an interesting question. What if England decided to secede from Great Britain? Somehow, Switzerland is the only country that seems to manage to run it multi-lingual confederation without too much angst. (Or else, it’s angst simply doesn’t make the news).

  3. what lovely memories and story. I, too, feel melancholy about fall – mostly because we are expecting another winter like the last here in Canada and I don’t think I can take it. Lovely leaves and colour

  4. At first when I looked at it I didn’t saw the tangles at all. It is a great piece of Art. It looks just like an Aquarel and only looking twice I saw there where tangles inside the shapes. BEAUTIFUL!

  5. I love your colors and the shapes you used in this… Fall doesn’t make me melancholy, I always see it as a celebration of color! 🙂 As far as not being exquisite, um… don’t sell yourself short! This is gorgeous!

  6. I love your tile – it really has a very English feel to it 🙂 Probably because of the ‘berries’ ^^ I do enjoy a good dose of Kipling now and then, even though it is seldom read as widely by children here 🙂

  7. Terrific Post. Your design is awesome. Love the different leaf shapes, so interestingly laid out, and the Pokeroot berries are such an interesting accent. The color shading is so well done. Love how you blended them. The patterns you selected to fill your leaves are perfect. I love this tile.

  8. Absolutely inspiring! Your colours are beautifully balanced, the red touch offering dramactic impact to the whole. And thank you for the poem too, I love Kipling too but have read very few of his poems. Something I must correct urgently.

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