Tag Archives: painting

another winter, in pictures

Friday 1 March 2013

another winter stuck out in the sticks; or how i have endeavoured to evoke a fleeting sense of this winter landscape, in pictures.

what follows are some of my small sketchbook paintings (on paper) from the months of january and february.

flooded field landscape sketch painting

[flooded corner of a field, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 7″ x 10″]

these small paintings will probably mean very little to those who do not live or work in the countryside, but perhaps to some of those who do, it might look slightly familiar: of dreary rain-drenched days, the flustering blustering wind which blows this way and that, or the earthy dampness of a foggy grey morning, the veil of mist or frost on fields, or days when the air is piercing and clear, freezing the landscape into a tundra-like quietude.

winter landscape sketchbook paintings

[sketchbook paintings]

i am always drawn towards the skyline, where a thicket of skeleton trees or the raggedy fringe of a hedgerow meets the open skies.

and how, at this wintry time of year when this landscape seems even more bleak, earth and sky are still ever-changing in their hues (because of the weather)… on a bright winter’s afternoon when an expanse of dark brown field turns a shade of rippled bronze, or when a sulky leaden sky flattens the mired landscape with a melancholic hue.

dark dusk field hedgerow sketchbook painting

[dimly dusk, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 5″ x 7″]

marsh rain landscape painting sketch

[rain on the marsh, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 7″ x 10″]

it is also curious how the rural landscape in winter can give a [false] sense of being in a wilderness, because there are few houses, and in these modern times, very few people are needed to work this agricultural land.

this landscape can appear desolate at times.

winter landscape sketchbook paintings

[sketchbook paintings]

remains of snow field landscape painting

[remains of snow, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 5″ x 7″]

it’s always the little things that catch your eye: the vibrancy of green when framed by the gap in a spindly hedge, a puddled corner of a field glinting silver in the low sun, or the last traces of snow melting in the long shadows… insignificant, transient things.

anyone who cares to notice might want to tell you about these incidental things, never mind trying to take a picture…

suffolk winter landscape painting sketch

[snow melting, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 5″ x 7″]

 field hill landscape sketch painting

[sketchbook paintings]

winter landscape sketchbook paintings

[shingle hill, sketchbook painting, acrylic on paper, 7″ x 10″]

each painting ‘sketch’ took about fifteen minutes, so cumulatively this amounts to only three hours of field work.

here, inside the pages of a sketchbook (or two), i was aiming to express, very loosely in paint, what the rural landscape looks and feels like on some days in winter, from observation, memory and experience. everyone will have their own point of view: nothing really changes, every day it changes.

it is interesting that buildings and people (or animals) do not interest me here, so perhaps i was only looking to seek that elemental sense of a wilderness in winter, isolating the isolation, finding solace in the solitude.

this is what i find myself returning to at odd moments when it seems i have made little headway in my other work. i hope one day to get better at expressing the thoughts and ideas in my head…

Where little pictures idly tells
Of nature’s powers & nature’s spells,
I felt and shunned the idle vein,
Laid down the pen and toiled again

[John Clare, The Progress of Rhyme]

an escape from the country

Sunday 17 February 2013

dear reader, do you remember my experimental travelling iCons series from 2010 – where will they go, i often do not know…

three of these small canvases are currently on display at the lovely cork brick gallery, three small canvases looking forward to travelling somewhere new. they are: maroc, nepal and tsavo

small abstract painting printmaking stripes on canvas

tsavo, 2010, 13cm x 13cm x 3cm. read more about this small abstract on canvas, tsavo – another journey into colour

maroc, abstract rustic stripes art small canvas

maroc, 2010, 13cm x 13cm x 3cm. photographed in natural daylight on a typically cloudy day in great britain. read more about this small abstract canvas, maroc – around the world in one hundred abstracts

nepal, small abstract rustic stripes textured canvas

nepal 2010, in the artist’s studio, under the spotlight!

nepal - small abstract textured stripes painting on canvas

nepal 2010, seen on a rare outing to the end of the artist’s garden, where rust and algae grows – it seems at home here, despite the weather. read more about this small abstract on canvas, nepal – painting by numbers

small abstract stripes paintings

tsavo, pueblo (centre, not in the gallery), and maroc.

there are many more small abstracts in the (travelling) iCons series here (with tour guide explanation), and just over there to the right you will see that there are more canvases ready to travel light to new places, in the country or the city.

why is it always about the art on show in cities, in new york, london, berlin..? oh wait, i forgot, that’s how this virtually travelling project started – seeing the world, taking a virtual holiday, on an internet road trip, a small break from the norm, getting away from it all, on a (not so) grand tour, an escape from the country*

*escape to the country is a BBC daytime TV property series in which prospective house buyers hunt for their perfect home in the countryside. as a nation of people living quite close together on quite a small island, we quite like watching property & travel shows.

Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travellers don’t know where they’re going.

Paul Theroux (travel writer)