Monday, 21 April 2014

March and April rolled into one

Looking for inspiration at Hepburn
 Two months blogs rolled into one, an indication of how I've been filling my time ?!
 March flew by. I was all consumed with preparations for the Art Fair. It went well for me. Having never been in quite such a public setting before and acting as both artist and seller...well lets just say I'd rather have an agent! It was nice though to talk to people who were genuinely interested in my work.
Oil and earth on card

Installation shot of small paintings from the Art Fair


Looking down from the last pitch of Troutdale Pinnacle direct, great days climbing :)

 Since the beginnings of April I have been working on a series of small pieces using the burnt earth as a base for the underlying structure or image if you like for the paintings. This time I am using MDF as a support. I wasn't wholly convinced that this would work. It's so rigid and hard, absolutely no bounce! Anyway despite my misgivings it is working out surprisingly well. The soil is much more stable on this surface , and the oil paint reacts differently when put on in washes etc. So all in all not bad. I really enjoy working on a series, it seems to drive the momentum both creatively and otherwise. Keeping control of the soil as I'm gluing it onto the MDF is my main concern. It is a fairly expressive act and what looks like a smudge of nothing seems to transform into an abstracted kind of landscape once the  paint is applied. This heightens the texture and of course adds colour. 
There is now a more definite link to the landscape not just through the actual soil but the in the physical act of making and producing these feels ephemeral, both deeply tangible and intangible at times, a little like being in the landscape and very much like my experience of climbing.

Oil and burnt earth on MDF
Oil/burnt earth on MDF

New larch growth
John racking up in the background, Langdale.
Looking out from Shepherds Crag, Borrowdale.

You can see the sea from here, Back Bowden, Northumberland.

The brightest day of the year, so far.

So coming up at the beginning of May is art@ancrum. I'm exhibiting some of my new paintings alongside fellow artist Peter Hallam at the Cross Keys Ancrum . There are a host of other venues and artists exhibiting over the w/k.

I'm ending this blog with some trivia... observations that I have made in the last couple weeks.
 More owls hoot at night in the Lake District than in the Scottish Borders.
Grey wagtails and their spouses should wise up to windows and shiny surfaces, no other bird is trying to attack you!!
Rock climbing as a sport is a great leveller and it takes all kinds, the fast and the furious, the cocksure, the doubters,the slow and sloth like, the young, the old, friendly and not so friendly folks etc etc Out and about you meet them all.
Dandelion beer is not very alcoholic(it's a root beer doh)
Never under estimate the possibility that you might forget very important items of camping equipment when you go on holiday (like the inside of the tent!!!)
Never take your eye off the ball when it comes to the weather.
Lastly don't even dream about getting on your bike again for at least a week after your first cycle of the year. 

Thank you for reading. May is just around the corner  :)

Burnt out trees, Bowden

There seems to be quite a few of these around this spring, a good sign?

Gillean going for it on Hazel Rig wall

Close to home

Close to home