some thumbnails of my illustrations

some thumbnails of my illustrations
Please click on the links below to view my portfolio ........ Images copyright of Carrie Osborne

Thursday, 21 October 2010

An early Halloween, Acorns, Oaks and the writings of a great wordsmith....

Being the last day of school before half term, the children had their Halloween school 'disco' tonight, a week early... I've only just recovered enough to restore brain functions! Very manic and very noisy! I can handle heavy metal concerts far better than a barn full of two to ten year olds running riot!
My eldest Elora has gone every year as a cat, so this year she broke tradition and went as a skeleton... then at the last minute buckled and added the cat ears!
Here they are very excited and proud of their pumpkins...

Then, looking on my camera I discoverd pictures from an autumn walk a couple of weeks back that I'd totally forgotten about, so I thought, it's still autumn so not too late to show some of them...
(This spidery ones suitably Halloween-ish!)

Here's some of the treasure me and Elswyth found on our way...

There's a very grand old Oak tree where we like to stop and rest, very Squirral Nutkin-like with lots of little hollow doorways in the roots. I love the expressiveness of the limbs, all gesturing crazed and contorted, and the fragile little girl gathering acorns, dwarfed by its presence...

And these limbs bring to mind one or two of Ted Hughes' poems...
I love the raw, sometimes brutal power of his wordcraft, he was so good at drawing out the elemental roots of the world, savage and wild as it has always been... both of nature and human nature...
Here is a short excerpt of a very long poem from 'Gaudete'...

Your tree - your oak
A glare

Of black upward lightning, a wriggling grab
Under the crumbling of stars.

A guard, a dancer
At the pure well of leaf.

Agony in the garden. Annunciation
Of clay, water and the sunlight.
They thunder under its roof.
Its agony is its temple.

Waist-deep, the black oak is dancing
And my eyes pause
On the centuries of its instant
As gnats
Try to winter in its wrinkles.

The seas are thirsting
Towards the oak.

The oak is flying
Astride the earth.

How I love Ted Hughes. He has had a huge influence on my own writing and its time I started reading again I think... I have a shelf-ful of his books waiting, brooding bound within their pages, wanting to get out!
( I think there is a bit of Pratchett creeping in there, with images of restless muttering books flexing their covers ready to take flight from the shelves!)

And Elswyth's acorns have just reminded me of a bronze romano-british acorn in a little antiquities shop I saw years ago. Probebly the best part of two thousand years old found by some metal detectorist no doubt...
It was verdigreed and fashioned as a pendant and from the moment I walked empty handed out of that shop I have always regretted not buying it...
I always wondered who would once have worn it and what it meant to them... I really should have bought it!
Anyway, time to stop rambling on me thinks...!


  1. A lovely link for me to see your wonderful oak tree and the collection of found objects. I have some favourite oak trees where I collect from.
    Just looking at your amazing collection of books, I bet you can look and look and never tire of seeing all the beautiful decoration. Real treasures.
    Enjoy your half term.

  2. I totally feel for you Carrie on the acorn saga, have done that myself before! I my case it was a simple saxon iron ring , like you say it's the story behind it , the person who made it? Who was it for? Was it lost , thrown away in anger ? So many path's to ponder.

  3. Exactly that Aaron-Paul... It felt like a Talisman, made me wonder about all kinds of Celtic and Roman Gods, what did it symbolise and who wore it? Or was it afterall just a mundane bit of harness decoration, though I don't think so... And this was nearly 15 years ago and still wondering!

    Milly, I loved seeing your oak journal and the way its all tied in to what I was thinking about at the time, especially your golden acorn hoarding mouse!


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