For the past week or so I have not painted, I have been framing and wrapping and preparing for an exhibition this coming weekend. I am now convinced that there is a direct relation between the act of mark making and depicting the landscape and the emotion of feeling it’s presence in my life. For me as an artist, art practice equals the strength and depth of connection with the subject being depicted. With this revelation I am off to the studio to make marks to reaffirm this theory and find my joy!
These views have been gifted to me as my muse for this time in my life and I am thankful. Green, lush and rolling, mostly unreachable by foot I attempt to depict their rugged wildness by thought and hand in washes of viridian and splashes of cadmium and ochre. My pencil traces their edges, where the tips of their grassy hills touch the vast skies above.
I purchased a tiny sketchbook months ago and decided it would be the perfect compliment to my local walks with just a 2b pencil to accompany it, fitting snugly in my top pocket along with my phone to take a few reference shots back in the studio.
There is definitely something grounding about standing and observing, of documenting the contours of the land. It’s the shorthand of sketching I guess.
There is power in those deliberate first marks, as the pencil touches the clean white of the page capturing that intimate moment between the artist and the land. An indelible link is formed which time may fade but not erase,and that lives on through the artists interpretation.
On this particular walk I noticed the incredible diversity of greens around me and took a few shots hoping to emulate these into my growing body of work.
As my collection of studies and experiments build I will continue to document my journey.
Thank you for joining me…
What started as simple bands of colour representing the landscape became an intuitive exploration of collage, contrast and colour. Mixed media approximately 12 x 16″ on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm paper.
Influence and the emulation of creativity from one creative to another has been part of our culture for centuries, it is how we progress and adapt as artists and individuals. Degas studied classical painting under Louis Lamothe then followed in the footsteps of his idol, the French Neoclassicist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. Vincent van Gogh traveled to Brussels to study under Willem Roelofs, his later influences included Toulouse-Latrec, Émile Henri Bernard and Paul Gauguin. Leonardo Da Vinci spent years under Verrocchio while Michelangelo studied under Bertoldo.
It is important who and what we focus on. It is beneficial to develop a continual awareness of how those influences impact our reality and effect our everyday. Life is too short to expose ourselves to negativity or to waste our energy in the pursuit of outcomes that are not related to the world we orbit or the aspirations we have for ourselves and those around us. Our sub-conscious mind is a sponge to external noise, let us absorb the harmonious and so maintain and share our peace and enthusiasm.
It is my joy to share my findings with others, to share my love of colour, creativity and those beautiful elements of nature that surround me. When the spark of a workshop idea emerges on my easel it is out of inquisitiveness and experimentation, involving some successes and definitely some failures. As with artists before me, it is through my own learning, from watching others create that I am able to follow ideas through into a worthwhile workshop. My current focus is landscape painting using soft pastel. I am following the teaching of several artists – in particular Marla Baggetta an amazing artist and tutor from Portland, Oregon – thank you Marla for sharing your talent and in turn allowing me to capture the beautiful landscape around me and sharing those experiences with others starting their creative journey.
My workshops are scheduled for early 2021, and so from now until then I continue gathering my own collection of ideas and experiences to share with you – details on my workshop page. Time to get back to my positive absorption!