Under the Walnut Tree
Artist Marjolein Bastin
Autumn under the walnut tree – it is a foggy, damp morning, not a breeze in the air. The rich, almost sweet, scent of moss and decaying leaves hangs in the air. From time to time a golden-brown leave whirls down from the tree in total silence, or a walnut plops down on the ground. The sun is trying its best – occasionally a ray of sunshine peeks through an opening in the fog. In the midst of this peaceful sight the wren chatters his audacious song, and packs of titmice hurry by. The spark that inspired this painting came in the form of a goldcrest landing on the back of my concrete bunny. He is looking for any kind of insect he can find, darting around the ground using his tweezer-like beak. The goldcrest is Europe’s smallest bird, weighing only two-tenths of an ounce. With surgical precision he manages to find every little spider and unlucky insect that made the bunny its home. When the goldcrest’s partner shows up I know I have to paint this.
• The goldcrest, Regulus regulus, is a tiny bird whose habitat ranges from Europe to Asia. It is the smallest bird found in Europe, measuring only 3.5 inches in length.
• It has a family member that can be found throughout North America – the ruby-crowned kinglet.
• There are many varieties of hydrangeas, offering different shapes, flowers and colors. Soil acidity also has an impact on the flower’s color. Different varieties bloom at different times, and some bloom multiple times in a season.