John Wise, author of The New Forest: Its History and Scenery, first published in 1862, knew a thing or two about the New Forest.
He offered this suggestion: ‘The best advice which I can give to see the New Forest is to follow the course of one of its streams, to make it your friend and companion, and go wherever it goes. It will be sure to take you through the greenest valleys, and past the thickest woods, and under the largest trees. No step along with it is ever lost, for it never goes out of its way but in search of some fresh beauty’.
I followed John’s advice and followed the Ditchend Brook yesterday, which I have to acknowledge doesn’t necessarily sound promising, but ……..what’s in a name? Always look beyond the label
And there are many streams to choose from: Linford Brook, Dockens Water, Latchmore Brook, Ditchend Brook, Mill Lawn Brook, Highland Water, Black Water, Ober Water, Bartley Water, the Lymington River, the Beaulieu River and far, far more. I think I may have some titles for my work.
My residency in the New Forest is in one of the most amazing places, I will be working above a blacksmiths workshop alongside skilled craftsmen who produce some of the most wonderful and beautifully designed metal work. From an artists point of view, the machinery in the workshop is an absolute treasure trove of hard edged shapes , structures and surfaces. Now I have a problem, do I continue to focus on the forest and nature or try to incorporate elements of the machine and the man made?
Below are a few shots I collected on a brief tour early this morning. All images taken on a Canon eos M Mirrorless with 22mm lens….unfortunately my Fuji X100S was dropped on the floor and is away for repair at the moment.
I have just started a 2 week artists residency in the New Forest in Hampshire and I feel energised by the possibilities. I will be posting a series of images based on my day to day experience of being here, in this ‘place’. My main intention is to produce a series of paintings that say something about the New Forest; not a new ambition by any means….but I will also be using photography to document my thoughts and ideas. I just need to allow myself to be absorbed by what I see and feel, to literally just be here… Let’s see what happens.
I am now the second Little Van Gogh artist to have been awarded this New Forest residency. Really looking forward to the opportunity!
‘As an artist, I see visual ‘reality’ – the external world – as only a part of our understanding and perception. We see in relation to ourselves, our past, and the events that shape us as individuals. If my paintings have an uncertain quality it is because I feel that the world within us and around us is in a constant state of flux and transformation. During my residency in the New Forest I hope to produce work that reflects aspects of the location and environment but I don’t envisage that it will be a direct visual replica of what I see’.
This is a mixed-media landscape painting on a 103cm x 76cm deep edge canvas. It is semi abstract and expressionistic in terms of technique and style. It is based on my day to day experience of living in the dramatic Fenland landscape of East Cambridgeshire in England. The heavy texture of the painting combines gesso, sand, plaster and oil paint. The material and paint is applied with a variety of tools including brushes and palette knives with the surface is built up in layers and glazes over a period of time. I have been influenced by the contemporary artists Anselm Kiefer and Gerhardt Richter.
‘Land Fall’ is an idea, not a location. In Winter, when the ground is hard underfoot, the activity of man scores pathways and coordinates on the surface. There is little or no high land in Cambridgeshire, only a gentle rise and fall of the earth, almost subliminal, to be measured in micro centimetres. This painting is a rich, textured mixed media piece on a deep edge canvas; gold and metallic paints have been added to create areas of lustre and iridescence. I have attempted to take a range of photographs, some in raking light to reveal the ever changing surface qualities.
Dimensions: 60cm x 60cm x 4cm on canvas
Materials: Oil and acrylic on canvas, Paper, Graphite, Bitumen, Asphalt.
Delighted to learn that the website for ‘Headstart Day Nursery’ has been nominated in the Cambridgeshire Digital Awards 2016 category for School, Education & Charity. The website is one of 6 recently designed by Catfish Web Design & Cambridge Marketing Consultancy for a group of private nurseries across the UK. Why am I telling you this? It has been my privilege to be the photographer for Cambridge Marketing Consultancy working on these and other projects.
‘River City’ is just a holding name at the moment. I know approximately what I want to say, but haven’t quite found the combination of words that will shed some light on the painting. I know that for some artists, titles for paintings are not necessarily important; some artists even decide to number their work sequentially, particularly with abstract paintings.
For me, a title can add certain qualities to an image, they often act as a bridge between the artist and the viewer. Interestingly, a random title generator is available free to use (see link below) which can be a lot of fun if you want to create something entirely meaningless and bizarre. I don’t think ‘Secret Ode to Lonely St George’ quite has it………..I’ll keep working on it and let you know how it goes.
Republican Voices: Mixed Media and acrylic paint on canvas
This is a larger scale painting in the ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ series. This particular composition has undergone numerous changes and transformations. Any one of the 3 or 4 underlying layers could, at any given stage, have become the final painting. My original intention was to focus on surface texture and mark making, but the painting decided to travel in a very different direction. All of the paintings in the series will be on display at the Michaelhouse Centre in Cambridge from 7th – 19th November.
This is a mixed media acrylic painting on canvas; one of a series of paintings to be shown at the Michaelhouse Centre in Cambridge at the ‘Cambridge Envisaged’ exhibition this November. I wanted to represent the city primarily through abstraction by using archetypal shapes, colours and textures that reflect aspects of the buildings and townscape. The composition plays alternately with illusionistic perspective and a flat ‘map like’ design, never quite allowing the eye to settle on a particular viewpoint or reading.