I haven't just been running outside and upstairs checking on the tree in the last week. I have also been busy with a new project, and yes that means I have gotten even more distracted than usual, but these lovely larkspurs called me and asked to be drawn and as you will see I am well along with them. I have progressed even further than is shown in these pics, and the insides of the blooms are all filled in and the second branch of blooms is well under way, so it is all going along very well. The methodology I adopted with the last piece where I worked over the whole piece rather than finishing a bloom at a time is still working quite well, though I am working a stalk at a time with this work and the speed I have picked up is quite surprising. I really think I may be onto something and can start to see how you can get quite a bit of work achieved in a reasonable stretch of time. It also helps you feel as though you are progressing as you see a whole stalk emerging from the page, and I think that is helping to keep me motivated.
You will also be pleased to see that the tree is progressing very well, and is starting to look as though it will again shade and protect all the poor parched plants which are planted beneath it. I have really tried to be more positive about it this year, but I can't describe the lift it gives me to open those blinds in the morning and see that my windows will soon be filled with the deep cool green of a gazillion leaves rather than the spindly, bare branches and telephone lines. The bare branches just makes it feel so exposed and hot and bright upstairs and even the afternoon sea breezes which usually come through the eastern windows in the afternoon don't seem to have the same cooling effect, but I know very soon the tree will be heavy with its dark viridian mass and the canopy will create that cool welcome that I love and miss so much.