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.


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