Tag Archives: travel

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)

more art made by mother nature

Sunday 22 May 2011

an altogether more natural artistic intervention in the landscape –  the somewhat startling sight first witnessed on a sunday drive to the supermarket – a short stretch of rambling hedgerow wrapped in a fine, gossamer grey web. i passed the spot on two further occasions, and on the third drive-by pulled over to take a closer look… (photographs taken with a mobile phone)

i think it may have been a hawthorn or perhaps a spindle or elder bush but there was really nothing of it left, just a skeleton… cautiously peering into the faintly spooky, sticky mesh of fibres i could see hundreds of off-white, wriggly things…

i later googled caterpillars and webs and ascertained this was a colony of ermine moth larvae or caterpillars (later to become ermine moths) and they can completely envelop a tree or a shrub to keep predators from attacking their growing colony (which here must amount to many thousands of soon-to-be caterpillars!). i discovered a similar infestation has occurred in a public park in yorkshire… maybe it’s the prolonged spell of dry weather…

quite fascinating and yet mildly frightening in a way too, alluding to a small act of god’s damnation, a biblical allusion to the great plagues of egypt, or nature just proving its powers again – we are all doomed!.. but i think i’ll let you decide…

an obvious art-historical reference sprung to mind – the wrapped trees of christo & jean-claude

wrapping up the landscape, here looking especially marvellous in the early morning (or is it evening?) light…

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98
[Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98 (Photo: Wolfgang Volz) © 1998 Christo]

the trees still look ghostly but seem alive (this is winter), with the appearance of fluffy clouds that have just landed or are about to take off, the trees not tightly bound or swaddled into submission as other artists have done…

Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98
[Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98 (Photo: Wolfgang Volz) © 1998 Christo]

curiously, it was about this time last year that i chanced upon or found some found or readymade art in the landscape (albeit of a humanly-constructed kind) – what is it about the month of may, i wonder?

on drawing things out again

Monday 16 May 2011

today, dear reader, you might like to take a peek inside this recent travelling sketchbook…

sketchbook drawings - trees in a landscape

last weekend i started & subsequently filled this most diminutive of sketchbooks with some simple line drawings… each sketch is 10cm x 14.5cm…

sketchbook drawings - more trees in a landscape

travelling with a pocket-sized sketchbook and an ink pen…

sketchbook drawings - trees in a landscape

here is a selection of some of those small sketches…

sketchbook drawings - a gnarled old tree

observing & remembering the patterns of the natural world…

sketchbook drawings - tree bark

such as an old olive tree, slightly leaning, its bark gnarled…

sketchbook drawings - water surface patterns

or watching below, where the water flows…

sketchbook drawings - surface patterns water

and where the earth grows…

sketchbook drawings - surface patterns made by water

where something can be found…

sketchbook drawings - more patterns

from looking down, at the ground…

sketchbook drawings - sky

or somewhere way up high…

sketchbook drawings - dark skies

in the dark infinity of a sky…

sketchbook drawings - night sky

still seeing clouds, in the rise above them…

i really like the limitation of size – but it is not planned that way, nor perhaps is it even relevant to my paintings, but if someone was to pack me off to greenland on a drawing expedition i would probably be very happy to go… every artist should draw something everyday for it enables one not just to observe but to think singly & deeply about something, even just for a short time…

i always find myself reminded by the simple process of drawing how sometimes it seems so difficult to really understand how another person might think, feel or respond to something, how difficult it is to communicate a personal sense of something that has no adequate means to describe it; but artists will always try and this is what makes art so special…

a while back i conveyed to a very accomplished artist how i felt i had come to a crossroads with anything created in the abstract (i have had similar conversations with many people), about how i felt i was not always succeeding in conveying a genuine feeling about something, without resorting to the means of illustration… there was no answer other than trying to find a new way of getting an aspect of my character into the work… i do not want to drastically change course, but rather i want to consolidate the voice that is undeniably and uniquely me… i guess the truth is, i already have it but i won’t find it by looking elsewhere…