Sunday, 15 November 2015

Can a landscape be tactile ?

I am just completing the third and final painting from our visit to the Lake District of Cumbria in May this year.

I discovered that the landscape had a tactile quality early on in my art education back in 1979. I was bowled over by seeing paintings of landscapes and seascapes by Monet, Cezanne, Vincent Van Gough, Turner, Constable, and many others on a couple of trips from Swansea to London.

From exploring how perspective worked and how lines could appear and disappear in nature - and how the eye follows a line - I started seeing and feeling landscape and figures and objects not as isolated but as connected and intersected by lines man made or natural that locked them visually into place.

This way of seeing became almost like another sense - I could feel a landscape as I read it - and begun to see that that is what other artists were doing - even those who produced 'abstract' works which I also love and appreciate.

I have always attempted to tell this linear story of distance and foreground - which is probably why I like plaster and the opportunity it affords for etching and carving its surface. It is knowing when to stop that is the problem. Some I rework, some I accept as complete very early on in their making. They are all their own thing.

This is a view from a ruined bothy on the side of a hill above Grasmere. It was a very cold and late blossoming May - we sat in the shelter of the bothy drinking coffee from a flask out of the biting wind - the vista changed continually as rain swept in from the sea.

There is more mood to be put into the sky and mountains to recede.


Sunday, 8 November 2015

Absorbing the landscape

As mentioned in my previous post, I have been making a fresco from a sketch of the crags above Coniston Water in The Lake District - made when I visited in May this year.

The process starts with selecting the frame size I would like to use, then pouring liquid plaster into it - avoiding bubbles the painting surface cast onto glass.

Then comes the drying, followed by the first drawing.

During the waiting period - I continue to walk in our local landscape - the hills above Craig-y-Nos in particular are reminiscent of Cumbria. I drink in the forms and colours and take them back with me to the studio.

I attempt to feel the geology and the perspective and try and draw myself in to the window that a frame creates.

Here is the process and the result (for now - may be subject to further work !).