The Fascination of Sloe Globes

I am fascinated by the sloes. Every time I go for a walk I pick a few more.
The colour version I painted last week (Shine and Bloom) just made me want to draw more.
Last year I wrote in my Walking Diary:

In every sloe there is a small world. Tiny continents nudge up against each other, swirling grey cloudscapes wrap themselves around others, some shine like black buttons, nearby branches leave scratches and striations. Your fingerprints are left on the ones you pick…imagine obliterating those small lands so casually.”

Imagine indeed. This year the tiny dusty worlds are back in all their infinite variety.


On Sunday I sketched them, before making the last reduction cut for the Berry Print, you can see the progress over at Printdaily.

The last cut was a rough (very rough) approximation of a world map. We love to find imagined landscapes in things, don’t we.
They are the possibility of escape,  the potential for a different life. Mountains of another place appear in cloud banks on horizons.
Miniature deep canyons are cut by rivulets of water in the sand,  muddy flood pools clear to reveal tiny wet underwater lands with waving grass, and shimmering contorted other worlds stare back at us from reflections.


Sloe World 1 : Pencil, Image 8 x 6 inches

I am going to make a series of drawings of these little worlds. Some have split, some have split more, their contents spilling out. Some have more sea than land and some more land than sea. One day I may jump ship and set off to seek my fortune in one of them, so it’s good to know the terrain in advance. I still walk with my small notebook. Not everyday, but when I do it is illuminating. My notes are full of creative ideas. Many will never be pursued but some, like the sloe globes, will.

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One Comment

  1. I see what you mean about tiny worlds. I went sloe picking for the first time this year and enjoyed hunting out the black sloe balls; your drawings bring the fun back.

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