Sunday, September 15, 2019


Last week I watched a film about David Hockney. It focused on his return to the UK from California, to paint the Yorkshire Wolds. It was a fascinating film, showing him painting outside in all weathers and seasons, and returning again and again to a place he called The Tunnel - a green lane with trees running along each side. 

If you google Hockney The Tunnel you'll see a panoply of his paintings of the lane. His fascination and love for 'The Tunnel' reminded me of my feelings for the Monsal Trail, and my love of seeing it week by week,  following the seasons and the changing vegetation, and the different angles of the sun according to time of day and time of year. You'll find some of my observations in my latest novel EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW YOU, but the novel is about people as much as it is about the healing nature offers.

Hockney said he got ‘intense pleasure from looking.’  I've never heard anyone else express the same idea. 

A couple of days ago I was sitting in bed drinking my first Yorkshire tea of the day. It was 8 in the morning and the sun was shining through the east window of the bedroom catching one side of the jug of sweet peas on the south facing window. The jug is wide and squat and glazed a pale green - halfway between pale sage and eau de nil. Zoe made it and gave it to me. I love it. I looked at the sweet peas in the jug against the backdrop of the trees outside and didn't want to stop. I know exactly what Hockney means. I feel just the same.


Anonymous said...

Pleasure - one of my favourite concepts!

Your delight in nature reminded me of long ago pleasure in reading William Blake.
Without getting too literary, this quotation seems rather apt:

'The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.'

William Blake

Thea xx

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you so much for this quote, Thea.
I find it interesting that it's only in the last few years that when I go outside and walk down our lane and look at the trees and the fields I always wonder why I didn't leave the house earlier because being outside in the midst of it all makes me feel so complete, and right, and at ease.