One of the very first posts that I ever wrote for this blog, so just over a year ago now, was about the wonderful display of hawthorn – or Mayflower – that I had come across along the field edges of my neighbouring village of Beech Hill in Berkshire. These profuse white flowers, which are so tiny and delicate as to belie the thorniness of the bush, pick out the edges of patchwork fields from afar as though the washing has been laid out to dry along the hedgerows, making this is one of my most treasured sights in the Springtime.
This year, I kept a very close eye on the same walk at Beech Hill so that I was ready to take pictures as soon as the hawthorn came into full bloom, which was about three weeks ago now as there is barely a scattering of blossom left after the high winds and rain of the past week. I managed to capture the display at its peak, in full sunshine as well as (for contrast) against thunder clouds, as a result of which dozens of new hawthorn photos can be seen here in my Flickr gallery. More significantly – and with the gauntlet thrown down by David Hockney, whose hawthorn (see here) I made reference to in my Hockney post a few weeks ago – I have finally put brush to canvas to produce this new painting of my favourite blossom against a deep blue sky dotted with puffy clouds. Painted in a very different style to Mr Hockney’s interpretation, this was a work of the heart and I suspect that one or two more Mayflower canvases will be slipping their way into my portfolio in the future soon.