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Crick in the Snow – A Brecon Beacons painting
I love painting snow, whether brillant midday sun, blue-tinged, snow or pinky sunset snow. I love how blues and pinks hover above the snowy white. I love the snow’s power to transform, to turn a plain town into a lovely town, and a lovely town in something quite majestic. In “Crick in the Snow, the lovely village of Crickhowell in the Brecons is transformed into a picture-postcard beauty by the snow and the dramatic background of the snow glistering hills.
I live by the sea where the salty sea erodes most heavy snow drifts. Thus I have to travel inland to the Welsh Valleys and beyond to find my snow-laden landscapes. In this painting I love the intricacy of the hedgerows climbing up the hills, the lacy threads of winter hedges, the patterns, and the line and shapes. It has a “brueghelian” Christmas feel. All that is missing is the sleighing children and swirling skates. I love the warm colours of the houses in the foreground contrasting with the cold blues in the distant countryside. The habitable back-lit with the inhabitable. This heightens the feeling of Christmas, all wrapped up in each other’s shops and homes, and lives; reassuringly, comfortably, necessarily away from the icy outside, the outer reaches, around this human fire of company. This is a painting of a winter community as well as winter community more generally.
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Crick and Beyond
I love painting snow, whether brillant midday sun, blue-tinged, snow or pinky sunset snow. I love how blues and pinks hover above the snowy white. I love the snow’s power to transform, to turn a plain town into a lovely town, and a lovely town in something quite majestic. In “Crick and Surrounds” the lovely village of Crickhowell is transformed into a picture-postcard beauty by the snow and the dramatic background of the snow glistering hills. It is hugged by the hills behind or cwtched as they say in Wales. This closeness to nature is heightened by how I have bunched up the buildings and how I have tried to drape bright invigorating winter light and reassuring black velvet shadows across the roof tops. The fluffy clouds and soft blanketed snow lying sturdily across the roof tops are in contrast the cool blue streaks of paint and there is something almost edible in this effect, it almost contains a child like yearning in it’s invitation to explore this crisp wintry ice creamy joy.
This is another refractionist painting – I was drawn to this painting because I love the colours that come alive not only in misty backgrounds but in backgrounds in the sun, viewed from the more darkened interiors of the wood as in this painting. I love the cool blue of the distance trees and the purple mingling with the ground and the purples there sliding across the ground, following the sun’s light into the dark of the wood. I love the spectrum of colours in the light and how the light is refracted by the tips of the trees, the last burnished leaves and the spindly branches. It produces a kaleidoscopic effect of colour.
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“This is another ‘refractionist’ painting and is almost an inverse of ‘Up Cwmdonkin’. Instead of the refracted light creating a stain glass effect falling on the outside fringes of a wood, here it illuminates within the hidden chamber of a forest, which gives it a heightened, magical or enchanted feel. It feels like a secret wood of childhood fantasy and imagination. I like how the brilliant rainbow colours contrast with the jet black and how the inner sanctum of light is framed naturally by the surrounding trees, inviting one into the shower of light and colour.
But is this scene too good to be true? Is there a Brothers Grimm malevolence here, in this painting? Do the black trees signal a menace, a foreboding or do these encircling trees call one into a place of wonder and a child-like joy, where the light and colour, silence and peace rain down and let the soul rejoice? Or is it a broody chimera? Depends on your own imagination, I suppose!”
Brandy Cove Stile
This oil painting is of a lovely country walk down Gower Peninsula, outside Swansea. Over the stile and down to Brandy Cove where brandy and other illegal booty was smuggled to shore by the frequently visiting smugglers that dropped their ill gotten gain here and in various other coves littered around the Gower coastline. I like the way the sunlight catches the tips of the tree leaves, like a translucent membrane between the brillant bright summer light beyond the stile and the darkened wood behind it.
This is quite an unusual painting of Tenby into that the tide is fully in, and the boats bob on the lapping multi coloured strips of water, which add a crispness to the West Walian light and a rich vibrancy to the coloured Tenby terraced houses, which cwtch the Harbour and lighten the spirit with a sea-salted breathiness.
Buy mounted limited edition print here (free UK postage)
(29 x 20 cm print only) with mount 40 x 30 cm
[wpecpp name=”Tenby Tide A4 print” price=”30.00″]
The Inspiration of Maples at Cuckfield
I saw this painting in The National Museum in Cardiff and it inspired me to start painting after a long period of inactivity – thank you Robert Bevan – after yet another period of inactivity my husband brought me the same painting on a postcard, even I could see the serendipity in that!! I haven’t stopped painting since and have no plans to ever again if I can help it! We need to be inspired by other’s work also, another’s expression of beauty helps inspire one’s own humble attempts at expressing the beauty all around – “Maples at Cuckfield” – a wonderful painter.
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.
The emotions are sometimes so strong that I work without knowing it. The strokes come like speech.