Monthly Archives: September 2009

views from the valley

Tuesday 22 September 2009

coming up… an autumn art exhibition with seven other artists in the delightful coastal resort town of Southwold.. i am exhibiting this painting… a rustic red theme.

painting in exhibition in southwold october 2009
[rost – textural mixed media painting on canvas, 95cm x 95cm]

this art exhibition opens 24 September 2009 and runs to 22 October 2009 at the Mark Elliott Showroom, Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk, IP18 6JW (click postcode for the google map; it’s in the old adnams brewery shop, behind the famous adnams crown hotel)… this is a decidedly commercial setting for an art exhibition as mark elliot sells traditional bespoke handmade and designed furniture and sofas… i like the timeless design of the felbrig sofa in a classic brown leather.

aside from myself, jazz green, the other artists in this southwold art exhibition are… Noelle Francis, Val Lindsell, Diana McKenna, David Rock, Ian Scott, Tim Summerson and Dinny Turner…

on the surface of things

Sunday 20 September 2009

some snippets of my farmscapes paintings in progress…

farmscape - textural abstract painting

textures in painting

more textures in painting

textural striations.. mould, decay, old walls
[farmscapes, september 2009]

on my way back from visiting a fellow artist today, i stopped briefly to sketch some water…

sketchbook - graphite study of ripples on water
[study of water, in graphite, about 15 minutes; maybe i should try watercolour…]

sketchbook - another quick study of surface of water
[second study – with three ducks, about ten minutes…]

sketch of a hedgerow in graphite
[quick sketch looking through the hedgerow, also about ten munutes…]

i was thinking whilst drawing, of the process of learning to draw, how drawing is essentially translating the sensation of observing into a tangible, physical mark… i sketched quickly, using a near continuous line, using variants of pressure to deliberate and then assert each mark of the graphite… i made decisions but i did not judge the outcome, preferring to allow it to weave together and slowly build up…

the problem people have with drawing is that they judge too soon, making comparisons on a scale of likeness or realism rather than believability… a drawing can be convincing or credible without being realistic… graphite imparts the qualities of graphite… soft, irregular, tonal… a graphite stick may not be the perfect medium to quickly render the glassy reflectiveness and edges of rippling water, but it suits the spontaneous act of drawing, of making marks on a surface, taking a line for a walk or a quick stroll… in the countryside.

out of the woods

Friday 18 September 2009

sketchbook drawings - in the woods trees gnarled oak tree trunk

gnarled oak tree trunk

sketchbook drawings - oak bark in the woods

oak bark

sketchbook drawings - trees stripped bark in the woods

stripped bark

sketchbook drawings - young leaning tree

young leaning tree

sketchbook drawing - pollard trees in the woods

pollard trees

sketchbook drawings woodland - upturned dead tree with roots

upturned dead tree with roots exposed

sketchbook drawings in woods - tree with split branches

tree with split branches

sketchbook drawings - trees and bark in the woods

[sketchbook drawings… in the woods, september 2009]

after a week of teaching, it was a relaxing break to find a couple of hours of solitude by more drawing in the woods… it is not all green leaves; there are knotty and gnarled tree trunks to touch, cracked and split bark surfaces, smaller pollards and spindly saplings, the felled and fallen branches left to season or decay into the leafy carpet. the greenest signs of growth are mostly in the woodland’s high canopy…


[the artist measuring an old oak tree…]

i had previously learnt from the woodland trust that ancient trees can be age-estimated by the number of hugs around the tree trunk at 1.5m high. this oak tree measured about three and two thirds in hugs, making it about 350-400 years old, but dense woodland may make trees grow more slowly than those situated on more open land.

later, on the way back, i went into the local charity shop, whereupon i saw on a crowded bookshelf a small moss green paperback book, with the one word clare on the spine. opening it at a random page, i came upon these words:

mere withered stalks and fading trees
and pastures filled with hills and rushes
are all my fading vision sees

[decay, by john clare]


[out of the woods; out of focus…]