I saw a small house with a small boat at Ten Mile Bank on The River Great Ouse.
As a landscape photographer, finding a subject of interest can be something of a tall order in the flat, uneventful span of landscape known as the Fenlands. To say this is an understated landscape is to extend and amplify the understatement, to stretch the notion of blandness to breaking point, like so many yards of Christo bed linen draped across the Nevada desert.
The trick is to approach this bereft location with a ‘philosophers’ eye, if there is such a hybrid and luxurious faculty. If you look for the overlooked, notice the unnoticed, the inconsequential, the mundane and forgettable, resisting the overwhelming temptation to discard and dismiss the ordinary, you will find a reward. It is in the midst of this mind numbing ordinariness of unrelenting repetition and uniformity that ancient and long guarded secrets conspire to reveal themselves.
I have recently been sketching with an Apple pencil, iPad, and the software, ProCreate. I have to say I’m very impressed with the flexibility and ease of the system. I know it doesn’t have the ultimate aesthetic qualities of graphite and the tactility of a paper surface, but the experience of drawing digitally has a great deal to recommend it. I did a series of illustrations a few years ago using Photodhop and aWacom tablet which was ok but the disconnect between the pen, tablet and screen took a while to navigate. Drawing directly on the ipad has far greater convenience and simplicity and so far…its been great fun! If you are an artist or illustrator and have experience of Pro Create I would love to know your thoughts. I have a lot to learn.
This image was taken a couple of weeks ago in the grounds of Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge. For those who are interested, I used a Canon 5D2 with a 17-40 lens; the camera was on a tripod and I took 3 bracketed exposures to capture a wider range of tonal values. I only needed 2 of the files to achieve the balance I wanted between the sky and the land. The final effect was created with at least 2 additional texture layers, desaturation and selective sharpening, enhancing the illustrative quality.
This photograph consists of 4 high resolution digital files; they have been combined to create a highly detailed recording of the Gothic cathedral of Ely. This image can be printed to poster scale without loss of resolution. The sky has been removed to create a strong graphic quality and to focus attention on the rich shapes and elaborate structure of the façade.
This is a digital drawing combining photography and hand drawn layers using a Wacom Tablet. The figure you see here is called ‘the artisan’ and he can be found wandering the flat open Fenlands and marshes in search of suitable subjects to draw and paint. You can find other drawings under the illustration section of my site.
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really merely commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the planning, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chain of events, working through generations and leading to the most outer results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable”.
The capital city of Cyprus, Nicosia, is encircled by stone walls shaped like a star with eleven heart-shaped bastions that once served as military fortification for the Venetians who were one in the long line of occupiers on the island. The old city is also bisected by the infamous “green line” making it the only divided capital in the world, the South side part of the Greek Republic of Cyprus and the EU, the North side the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and recognized as an autonomous region only by Turkey.
Near the ‘green line’ in the old city, abandoned and semi derelict, Greek Cypriot buildings once used as workshops…..decline and decay with a casual grace.