Posted on 20 Comments

Home from Home

Painting of Irish Landscape
Painting of Donegal, Ireland
Over to Kincasslagh SOLD

I am winding down the social media for a while because we are leaving the UK to spend some time in our house in Burtonport, Donegal, Ireland. The internet will be available on a very limited basis so I won’t be able to post on here until mid-April. I will be checking my emails but I won’t be posting much, if anything, on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

I have mixed feeling about the enforced “break” from social media. On the one hand, I hate the way how it sucks up all your spare time and energy and how FOMO (fear of missing out) has you checking updates. There’s always the fear that if you stop “spinning all the plates” that people will forget about you! However, I am certainly looking forward to reading books, listening to the radio (there’s no TV either) and sketching and painting for fun (not oils but watercolour sketches).

I am very excited/nervous about the whole thing because I am driving there and it’s a long, long way.

Please be aware that any artwork purchased after 25th March will only be shipped after 12th April.

IMG_20181103_100343971_HDR
My home in Donegal
Posted on 2 Comments

Worm’s Head Lookout Station at Rhossili, Gower

Worm Head Coastwatch station
Painting Worms Head Station, Rhossili
Worms Head Coastwatch Station (SOLD)

This is another gem in the Gower landscape – the Worm’s Head Lookout Station at Rhossili.  I really enjoyed painting this. This stout and sturdy single story building is made of granite and was built over 120 years ago, around 1896. It sits alone at the top of the high cliffs that look out towards Worms Head and beyond to Lundy Island and to the Celtic Sea. The wind-blasted building has an 8m flagstaff and a 6m wind generator.  I was inspired to paint this because of the sharp summer shadows and the isolation of the tiny building. It oozes Hopper.

It is set in a very beautiful but dangerous coastline. Between the cliffs and Worm Head is the Causeway, a scramble of rocks and rock pools, which is open for 2.5 hours either side of low tide. The tidal rise here is the second highest in the world. However, it is fatal to attempt to wade or swim to when the causeway is flooded or partially so. The coastline and waters around Gower are lovely to look at and to paint but they need to be treated with great respect. The waters around the Worm can also be dangerous to small craft, fishing boats and surfers.

This is why I am very glad that a team of local volunteers for National Coastwatch look after the interests of visitors and seafarers, alike. Since 2007, from 10am till 4pm in the winter and 10am till 6pm in the summer the lookout is staffed. If at the end of watch the Causeway has not yet flooded and there are members of the public still out on Worm’s Head, the watch is kept open until everyone is safely back on the mainland. So although the Lookout Station looks somewhat bleak and empty, the front door is, in fact, open and there is someone inside looking out for us all!

For more information on National Coastwatch see https://www.nci.org.uk/wormshead

For an excellent online map of Gower see: http://www.mapsta.net/uk-os/gower/

Emma Cownie Art©

 

Posted on 13 Comments

Worms Head Gower

Oil painting Worms Head Gower
Kitchen Corner Boat House, Rhossili, Gower (SOLD)

We have lived on the doorstep of the Gower Peninsula for almost 18 years now. It’s small enough (19 miles in length) to make day trips from Swansea possible. As a landscape artist, it has given me inspiration for many Gower landscape and seascape paintings over the years. Yet, there is always some part I come across that I don’t remember having seen before.  It is 70 square miles in area, so that’s a lot of coastline, hills, valleys, woodlands, streams and fields to explore. I have always wanted to walk along the entire length of the coastal path, to see all the “linking sections” that we miss on the day trips. Perhaps, I will do it this summer.

Rhossili is always popular with visitors. It has an incredible view of the 3-mile beach of Rhossili Bay that arcs northward. In the other direction is Worms Head. This curious dragon-like, tidal island snakes off into the sea. I have seen seals on the leeward side of the island. At low-tide, the causeway can be crossed to the island. When we visited the tide was dropping and the causeway was revealing itself minute, by minute. Yet, the surprise for me was the Old Boathouse at Kitchen Corner. Kitchen Corner is a small bay to the right of the path that leads down to the Worm’s Head causeway. The boathouse was built in the 1920s and was up for sale in 2013. Looking at the real estate details, it doesn’t look like the new owners (if it was sold then) have painted the boathouse since! At low tide, the rocks below are exposed. I painted it when the green heaving sea was still at its feet.  I love to capture the deep green that you only see with a summer sky. It’s a distinct colour that is often found off the coast of West Wales, in Pembrokeshire in particular. I use a lot of turquoise and royal blue to try and recreate the tone in my oil painting. There were also fishermen on the ledges opposite the boathouse.

Buy limited edition prints here 

 

 

Posted on 1 Comment

Same Location, Different Views

I have just completed a painting “Summer Rain” which is an oil painting of the same view as in the paintings, “Outside Brynmill Coffee House”, “Night Walks” and “The Dusk Walk Home”, the later two which both sold via Artfinder. All are below.

“Night Walks was inspired by Hopper’s “Night Hawks” and “The Dusk Walk Home” was a commissioned re-interpretation of “Night Hawks”. Unlike these two latter evening-time oil paintings this is new painting “Summer Rain” is earlier in the evening as dusk descends and is in the summer rain. I have posted these in accordance with the progression of the day, from bright day to darker night.

Outside Brynmill Coffee House

Outside Brynmill Coffee House 50x70cm
Outside Brynmill Coffee House
Summer Rain - Brynmill Coffee House in evening rain 60x50cm
Summer Rain

Summer Rain
The Brynmill Coffee House is in Brynmill, Swansea and is a superior coffee house that allows artists to exhibit their work. It has live music too.
I will be exhibiting in the month of August and my husband James Henry Johnston is exhibiting in September.
It is great to have a local business which supports the arts. I salute them in these paintings.

The Dusk Walk Home

Dusk Walk Home
Dusk Walk Home – Private Collection

 

Night Walks

Night Walks - Brynmill in the night rain
Night Walks – Private Collection
Posted on Leave a comment

The Back Lane Gallery – Opening Soon!

This is a mock “How to….” video detailing the steps in building an art studio/gallery in one’s back garden.

As I need more room to paint (I paint in my attic art studio at present) as my paintings get increasingly bigger, my husband project managed the building of an art complex at our home so that artlovers can visit for a private viewing of my artwork in the art gallery and also buy paintings, prints and so on from his log cabin office.

I have sold dozens of pieces of artwork this way and really enjoy meeting artlovers who love my artwork. Having a viewing space is designed to help artlovers make that final decision about buying my artwork.

It also helps some artlovers to meet the artist and to get to know who they will be buying art from. It all adds to the enriching experience of buying art.

Artlovers also often like to hear about the inspiration behind certain paintings and this brings the artwork to life. Although my paintings are professionally photographed some artlovers simply like to see the paintings in front of their very eyes. If you want to book a date to visit me at my home then contact me and arrange an appointment. We will be happy to see you!

Posted on Leave a comment

A Word on Technique

I have been asked a lot recently about  the techniques I employ in  my art and will discuss these in more detail in other blogs but below are now summarised accounts on how I treat light and colour at present in my work.

 

Use of light – In my paintings the effect of light is often ‘heightened’ and similar to the sophisticated, precise ‘Pixar’ like animated light. I seek to paint the ‘experience’ of light on colour and form. To achieve this requires the heightening of the effect of light otherwise light can often be dampened or subdued by the absorbing colours. I am much more interested in how light invigorates, resonates, generates or dare I say it animates colour and form, rather than simply dressing it, licking or caressing it. This effect is underscored by my use of drawing lines around colours and form, as with the fauvists, and others have suggested this too gives off an animated feel or quality. I also appreciate this observation as I want colour to be the product of being generated, animated by light as if light was the genesis of colour. Thus light creates the colour in a sense rather than colour simply being illuminated by it.

 

Use of colour –  I use a technique I have named  ’refractionist’ as it is a ‘stain glass window’ effect of breaking down the light into different colours in the similar way light is ‘broken’ into separate colours in a spectrum. A spectral effect would also be apt. It is about breaking down the effect of light, usually sunlight, on colour into ‘component’ pieces of colour. First one has to find a suitable photographed image and then this image has to be deconstructed into combined segments of colour and light. The style is also difficult as it is almost as if I am painting a pre-perceptual stage of vision itself. By this I mean, that it is similar to the pre-construction phase that is said to occur when we actually construct perception, as perception is constructed and not an automatic process. So in looking at this painting our brain can both enjoy the painting and also ‘construct’ our own image.