The drawings and paintings are mostly of places I know well - either the countryside around the Malvern Hills where I now live, or the coastal landscape of the Isle of Wight where I spent my childhood.
The sources of the work are a blend of observation, memory and imagination: for example, I came across the magnificent black bull with his cows on a brilliant July day several years ago while walking along the cliff near St Catherine's Lighthouse. That encounter led to the painting Summer Cattle. But I have only encountered The May Bull in the form of a tiny photograph (no more than 5 × 8 cm) dating from the 1930s. He belonged to my farming grandfather and has acquired almost mythical status, appearing over the years in various guises in my charcoal drawings.
May is of course the flower of the hawthorn which blossoms in the month of May. Images of trees recur throughout the works in this exhibition: the unusual sight of trees in heavy leaf standing in water in September Flood ; the dark clumps in the Oxfordshire landscape glimpsed from the train to Paddington in the Rainy Country (Great Western) paintings; the blossoming tree in Hawthorn and Oak and the small paintings of elder bushes in flower in June.
I have borrowed the title from Edward Thomas, a poet I admire for his delicate descriptions of nature and his search for timelessness beyond the immediate scene. It also reminds me of one of my favourite paintings, The Bright Cloud by Samuel Palmer, which hung in my exhibition at Worcester City Art Gallery two years ago.
Bridget Macdonald, Malvern, March 2018