Last week, whist working from home one morning, I could hear the sound of nearby chainsaw. Standing on the patio I watched a tree surgeon climbing around the massive beech tree that stood two properties to the west of our house. Some of the lower boughs had already been removed at this point. Although these huge branches were the lowest on the tree, they were still higher than two storey house in whose garden it stood. This massive tree has been a double curse for us. For most of the year it eclipsed the sun and left our garden in shade in the late afternoon and evening. In the autumn it dumped untold leaves on the lawn and flowerbeds. Now it has gone, reduced for the most part into tons of wood chips. If it ever stops raining I'm going to sit outside one evening and watch the sun go down for the first time since we moved here.
So these pictures made last week are the last images that I took of that tree. Made without knowing its fate. I've been experimenting with intentional camera movement and in-camera multiple exposure techniques recently, to blur and smear my images. I find I'm all fingers and thumbs at the moment, and it’s hard to create anything that captures the ideas and feelings that I'm trying to express. But it’s worth persevering because when it works well it can create images that seem to combine the emotional charge of painting with the magic of photography.