Monday, June 18, 2007

Road to Ilsley (oil on canvas, 2005)

(Private Collection)
On St. Patrick's Day 2003, while travelling on the M4 en route to Heathrow airport in London from the southwest of England, my wife and I turned off at Winterborn and headed north in search of a nice counrty pub where we might grab some lunch. We drove into the village of East Ilsley, which looked promising, but as my wife was sound asleep, I decided to continue driving into the countryside and perhaps grab a quick sketch. After about twenty minutes driving east, and feeling as though I was dangerously close to being lost, I turned the car around to head back to Ilsley. I immediately beheld this scene. The road had been cut out of a hillside, with a wall of clay on my right and a drop off leading down to a muddy field on my left. At a sharp bend in the road, an isolated group of trees rose up and seemed to form a tunnel over the narrow road. Beyond were miles and miles of the early spring greens of the English countryside. I stopped the car, did a quick sketch and snapped some photos before heading off to the Crown and Horns for some grilled salmon and Greene King ale.

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