There was a tree house in an old willow tree in our garden. It grew just outside my kitchen window, so I had a good view of the children playing, and I could keep a watchful eye on them, as I worked at the kitchen sink, doing laundry or washing dishes. Happy memories of my children at play in the tree house, have inspired a number of pen and ink sketches and a screen print. The screen print was made using cabbage leaves for texture and lolly pop sticks for the slats of the tree house. I incorporated an old photograph of Michael and Joy, when they were small, and a sketch of Michael, as a teenager. The red tea pot is a photograph of an enamel tea pot that still sits on my window sill. Michael almost appears to be popping out of the tea pot. The branches are actual willow tree branches. The bird feeder was printed from the thumb mark of my rubber gloves, that I used when washing the dishes. So this is a very nostalgic piece of art work.
Scrapper Board of Tree House
Our children spent many happy hours in the branches of this willow. It was actually two willow trees, standing tall together, and a little rickety house built with imagination and discarded bits of wood. Their Daddy helped to secure the construction to the tree. There was a swing which hung from one of the sturdy lower branches, and a bird feeder. Lots of little birds visited the trees, wrens and blue tits, robins and sparrows, and sometimes a pair of ring necked doves. There was a variety of little boys and girls who also visited the branches, having tea parties, or playing at pirates The children were mostly safe, and I kept a careful eye on them all as I worked at the kitchen sink, but we did have some minor injuries and once a broken arm, when one of my boys had a birthday party, and there were one too many children in the tree. The broken arm belonged to one of the visiting children!
These were happy days of their childhood, and happy days for me also. The tree house grew old and fell apart. The children grew up and flew the nest . One of the trees uprooted itself, a number of years ago, so there is only one willow left in our back garden. Our boys Stephen and Michael built a new tree house, out of salvaged wood, and our children still come back to the garden, with their children. I look forward to summer time when I hear again the laughter of children in the garden . I watch them as I work at the kitchen sink. When they visit Nana and Grandpa’s house , it is not long before they climb the willow tree to explore the tree house.