After some more messing about with pastels I wanted to have a go at drawing a proper picture. One of the ways I love to relax in the summer is to sit under a big tree with a good book. So I took this image as my starting point for this picture. I also like being at the top of hills. As a child in the summer holidays I used to go hill walking in North Wales (and sometimes in the Lake District and the Peak District). We used to stay on a farm in Snowdonia, quite high up in the hills and go walking from there. Here are some photo’s of the region generally from the World of Travel Website (Please note these beautiful pictures are not my own photos.) When I was there it rained from time to time and was nearly always cloudy but it was beautiful nevertheless and I loved the quiet, the sound and smell of sheep and the crunching sound of my walking boots on the rocky, gravelly surface of the tracks we hiked along. The higher we got the quieter and simpler the world became until it was just ground and cloud with the sound of the sheep from further down in the valley and the wind in the background. I love places like that – I feel like I can breathe and be myself and I don’t have to fight and work really hard to try to fit in. So I wanted my picture was going to include a hill too. But then as I looked at the brighly coloured soft pastels I had I realised that I wanted this image to be really brightly coloured and that didn’t fit very well with the dark browns and yellows and greens of Snowdonia. It was then that I thought of making it more like a fantasy world, or a world from legend, or from the deep past. I still kept the hill and the tree ideas but changed how they would look. So this is what I came up with: The final picture ended up very different from my favourite oak tree which I sit under when I’m out with my dog and different from the Welsh hills but, for me at least, I still feel that sense of space and calm I get from those two places. I called it the tree of life because it feels like heaven.