Whilst reading the final drafts of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice it struck me how words, and in particularly poetry, when committed to paper can transmute over time to adapt to current situations and environments. Whereas some of the poems within the book where written many years ago, in some cases missing out on being included in Flowers by the Road, they seem more relevant to the times that we now find ourselves witnessing.
Take the title poem for example: initially created around a global theme of climate change and environmental disaster, who could have predicted that any season would be lost without sound.
There is a slight apprehension that The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is launched into a world where our futures are unknown and ill-defined. The reason for writing and publishing work is so that somewhere, someone may find it and gain something. What that something is remains unwritten, undiscovered, but without the artists, poets and musicians existing then there would be nothing left to explore. Imagine that.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
There are somethings I will never understand:
the secrets of the beehive; a dying sting;
the apiarist’s hand at the signal
of the last swarm guided from the under-land
where life peels away from the new colours
mixed on a rough-sawn palette;
a violent history that understood
the bitter-sweet taste of flowers.
Inside the butterfly collector
spears her latest catch;
euphemised in chloroform,
displayed in plastic on the door.
December once brought cold,
once brought the first frost,
rain, hardship and a hunger
for the bleak winters of old.
Outside the greyness suffocates ground,
deadens the call of birds
now left to winter it out.
Of all the seasons to be lost without sound.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice will be released on the 23 April as a special limited edition of 100 copies.
In April 2019, I was interviewed by Leslie Tate about some forthcoming projects, some of the things that inspire me and Marsden. The interview was recently published and you can read it by following the link below.
Read the interview
My debut poetry pamphlet, Flowers by the Road (Templar Poetry) is now available to order direct from the on-line book shop at Templar Poetry. Price includes free UK shipping.
The collection was a winning entry in Templar Poetry’s Portfolio Awards 2016.
To order a copy please follow this LINK
Flowers by the Road – 2017
Greengates is the fourth in a series of recent paintings exploring a more fluid approach utilising both oil and acrylic. The starting point for Greengates was an unloved oil landscape partially sanded back which provided an almost abstract texture to work on. Atmosphere and composition was then created quickly utilising acrylic and ink and finally enhanced by oil. The painting was finished with satin varnish.
The painting is framed and available for purchase at Enjoy Art Gallery based in Marsden. Other works in the series include: Pennine Sunset, Neighbour and Holiday Home all of which are currently available through my Artfinder shop.
And finally, inspiration this month comes from The Lumineers who recently played an amazing sold out show at the very excellent Albert Hall in Manchester (not to be confused with the Royal version).
The Lumineers – Ophelia
Brand new for 2016 – ‘Tile Art’. Images are created through a variety of processes using artist’s watercolour paint and finished with a coat of varnish. A selection of paintings are currently on display at Enjoy Art in Marsden near Huddersfield. I’ll be adding more to my Artfinder shop soon. Thanks for looking.
Beach Hut 2016
Night Swimming 2016
I was disappointed that the anesthetist didn’t ask me to count to ten so that I could try to beat the drugs so instead I focused on the clock directly in front of me as I felt the familiar sharp scratch on the back of my hand. It was ten past nine exactly as I began to count the seconds. I think I got to seven before they pulled the tube from my throat and offered some more oxygen. It was ten to ten. A heavily bandaged knee gave the game away – the operation was done and so, hopefully, was two years of increasing pain and decreasing miles.
It turns out a pesky little bit of bone (now gone) and a twangy little Plica – no neither had I – (also now gone) had been the root cause of my ever increasing vicarious lifestyle over the past couple of years.
Whilst I don’t often blog bout walks and adventures – there are far more better blogs out there already, see Mark Kelly’s excellent halfwayhike for instance – they do remain the backbone of this blog (title, clue) and the source of inspiration for much of my creative work. So it’s fair to say that I’ve been getting a little grumpy and not being that productive.
Hopefully a course of physiotherapy should deliver me back on to the hills by late autumn. In the mean time I’m using the time to finally get to grips with Lightroom – I still miss the old darkroom techniques – and for the first time in over twenty years I’m exhibiting photographic work alongside some excellent photographers from the Marsden Photographic Group. The exhibition runs throughout July at Marsden Mechanics Hall. For those unable to make the show both my prints, Power Lines and Crosby Sands are also available through the excellent photo4me.com site where you can purchase the images as canvas and framed prints.
I’m also delighted to be part of holmfirthartweek which runs from the 5th to the 11th of July by exhibiting two brand new paintings in the main exhibition. This is the first time I’ve exhibited in the main hall during art week so apart from not being able to walk, the last couple of weeks have been very exciting. News of the paintings which I’m displaying are on my Facebook page here, facebook.com/davidcoldwellart.
Whilst I usually like to finish by pointing towards some music that I think all the world should hear, this post is a little different. In the wake of Kanye’s performence at Glanstonbury I couldn’t help thinking that, from an armchair point of view, this year’s festival was missing something. I then came across this video which somehow seemed to fill the gap.
An 8.5 mile walk that discovers some of the locations used in and around the West Yorkshire village of Marsden by film and television makers.
Good Fences – oil on board – 20 x 20cm (ex frame). The final image from the ‘Storm’ series which is now available to purchase from Enjoy Art, a wonderful independent gallery based in the village of Marsden near Huddersfield.
The landscape is the Yorkshire Dales looking towards Ingleborough. The title was inspired by the Robert Frost poem, Mending Wall.
For a musical interlude here’s the sublime, and appropriately titled, After The Storm by Mumford and Sons filmed live at the 2010 Eden sessions (just in case you were missing the sunshine).