farmscapes, in focus

farmscape i - abstract painting - mixed media on canvas - by jazz green
[farmscape i 2010, mixed media on canvas]

farmscape ii - abstract painting - mixed media on canvas
[farmscape ii 2010, mixed media on canvas]

farmscape iii - abstract painting - mixed media on canvas
[farmscape iii 2010, mixed media on canvas]

farmscape iv - abstract painting - mixed media on canvas
[farmscape iv 2010, mixed media on canvas]

farmscape v - abstract painting - mixed media on canvas - by jazz green
[farmscape v 2010, mixed media on canvas]

farmscape vi - abstract painting - mixed media on canvas
[farmscape vi 2010, mixed media on canvas]

farmscape vii - abstract painting - mixed media on canvas
[farmscape vii 2010, mixed media on canvas]

farmscape abstract painting - artist studio
[and... possibly farmscape viii, in progress in the artist's studio]

these paintings are all 60cm x 60cm, unframed…

i thought it was time to view some of my abstract farmscape paintings all together – and review some of my thoughts and words about them, as ‘quoted’ and collected in my artist journal [blog]…

what is the philosophy behind the farmscape paintings?  they remodulate, within a very reductionist format, both the farmyard and the fieldscape, a mathematical sense of order within an organic surface, as a means to challenge, subvert or recontextualise notions of a pastoral, romantic vision of the rural landscape. i actually view them as blind paintings, the ‘images’ that a sight-impaired person might conjure up in a touchy-feely, tactile environment devoid of spatial perspective... [this week]

the ‘farmscapes’ are meant to be very cool, sparse paintings, hinting at enclosure, mechanisation, rural industral landscapes, reducing the pattern and structure of agricultural land and its outbuildings to an economic geometry… [03.08.09]

another ‘farmscape’ [working title].. there is no reason to hurry.. it takes time.. and i am a slow painter… [18.08.09]

the ‘farmscapes’ are developing slowly, as i will wait for the cooler hues of autumn and winter to pervade my colouristic senses.. at present they look bereft of true colour – dark olive green, slate grey, ashen blue, taupe.. [25.08.09]

with a cooler palette of metallic greys, bronzes and blues… [18.02.10]

agriculture depends upon the seasons, and nature through its cyclical changes imparts its own identity on an otherwise structured landscape… [18.02.10]

there is a reference to landscape in colour and format, a modulation of stripes hint at the structures of agriculture – a farm (buildings) and its landscape (fields) distilled into one work, when viewed in both the horizontal and the vertical… [28.02.10]

the ‘farmscapes’ have their obvious mechanical, minimalist geometry, but on some days I question their formality, they seem too detached from their source… [08.02.10]

this led me to research the origin of the word farm, which as a verb has only been in use since the 19th century, the noun ‘farm’ derives from the Latin ‘firma’ meaning ‘fixed payment’ (from the Latin firmare) denoting a lease of land, later specific to agriculture… ‘firmare’ also leads to the word firmament, a tangible expression of the skies or heavens above… [03.08.09]

the landscape of East Anglia, broadly-speaking, with its patchwork pattern of arable fields and reclaimed fenland, especially when seen from above,  has all the obvious markings of a rural landscape shaped by man – a factory without a roof… [18.02.10]

this review has helped me refocus…


  1. Posted February 14, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    these are really interesting Jazz. Some of my own work is based on the farmscape of East Anglia, but I love the way you’ve reduced the subject in this way – to it’s bare bones so the speak. Also love the thinking behind them – the way you’ve explained it.

  2. Jazz
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    thank you for your comment, Mari… much appreciated

    my viewpoint is a distinctly un-romantic one and perhaps verging on the psychological – it’s no oil painting (but that’s being too trite). by that i mean it is not necessary to picture it in real terms but to ‘feel’ its presence (or influence) in the mind…

    i want to be truthful about what i see, think & do, and obviously want my personal perspective (in words) to be both articulate & reasoned – but it’s all open to change, should i seek out the more picturesque…

  3. Jazz
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    i should also say that i do not want to depict the land or the buildings as such, but rather a ‘mirroring’ aspect, as one composite ‘whole’ (at least in my mind), if that makes any sense – one can see either or both…

  4. Jazz
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    p.s. thanks, it’s always good to get the opportunity to talk about it (even if some say the work should speak for itself)…

  5. Jazz
    Posted February 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    anybody interested in some more realistic depictions of farm buildings could look at these sketches i did last year:

    i felt quite uncomfortable doing these quick studies, as if at any moment someone would approach me and say, “are you from the council..?”

  6. Posted February 15, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    You could tell them that you are thinking of branching out from painting the double yellows…. see what reaction you get.

    I love the textures in these – makes me want to touch the screen. It’s really good to see them all together.

  7. Jazz
    Posted February 16, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    thanks… i suspect the lines are ‘painted’ in some ultra-high-tec way at the push of a button, though one could imagine a humble bucket and roller device being used…

    the paintings were quite difficult to photograph as the camera always seems to want to ‘up’ the contrast & colour, and the light keeps bouncing in all manner of directions… there are still three in the series that need ‘attention’, after which they’ll be no more works on canvas…

    i just might go out sketching again soon…

  8. Posted February 19, 2011 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Hi Jazz
    I see Mari French has been in touch.
    I passed your details on a couple of weeks ago when I found you
    whilst looking for other abstracct landscape artists in google. I was
    so impressed with your work I thought Mari would be interested.
    I could`nt beleive it when I saw your paitings and photos, especially
    when they resonated with ideas I`ve been playing with so so long.
    If you have a look at my site you will see that I tend toward seeing
    a landscape in abstract especially in work based on the destressed
    paint on the sides of old boats.
    Why I decided to write to you, is some comments you made about working in a square format, which is a favorite of mine.
    What you may also find interesting as an alternative is panoramics, just abit different to the usual formats.
    I work up to 2.4mx20cm. although my standard is 120×20cm.
    genrally working with various sizes of window cleaning sqeegee.
    Anyway I thought this may be of interest to you.
    Thank you for your most interesting work especially you bowls.
    Kindest regards.

  9. Jazz
    Posted February 19, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    hi alan, i just chanced upon your first comment here, many thanks indeed for dropping by…

    i just took a very quick peek at your website and i can see that you live in a very inspiring location up on the scottish borders. the studio looks great and the squeegee paint effects do resonate with the textures of old weathered boats, the sky, the sea and the coastline.. i also use squeegees sometimes but not exclusively so… gosh, too many paintings to see all at once(!) on your website so i will have to return for a more leisurely browse tomorrow… i will also aim to put website links from my painters’ link page to both you & Mari ( i should really update that page more frequently but i have to use a different program)…

    you may have noted that i am trying a break away from the square format and i did contemplate a narrow columnar format (to my exact height), but i am very limited in what size i can work at in my little studio – but the ultra-wide panoramic format sounds most intriguing and no doubt resonates with such an expansive landscape in reality – lots of energy evident, wonderful…

    many thanks again…