Friday, 15 January 2010

'Up North'

Have been reading a book called 'True North' by Martin Wainwright (appropriate surname!). If you hail from 'Up North', I recommend it as a study looking at the mixed perceptions of what the north stands for and the unfortunate stereotypes which have developed over the decades. It also lead me to a group of artists called The Ashington Group, miners from the North East and a chap called Ian Burke whose lino prints I particularly like.
As I am going up to Lancashire for nearly 2 weeks on Sunday, I have resolved to try and get some references which relate to my own childhood and roots although Leyland now has even less going for it than it did in the 50s and 60s. As I'm into wet streets and reflections at the moment, perhaps I will be able to combine the two.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Fantastic Mr Fox

We seem to have aquired a fox around the place and he is very inquisitive and tame. Lovely to see him against the white fields, so elegant and aloof. Walked down the lane to the railway bridge. It was very hazardous, thick snow and rutted, black ice, but got some sketches and photos; everything looks so much more attractive in the snow-any attempt to capture it on paper seems pointless, so I just soaked in the colours and atmosphere. Crows and magpies circling; gunshot sound of breaking ice.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

White out

The south of England grinds to a halt under 3" of snow-how do they cope in Europe, or Russia? Or as one woman interviewed in Yorkshire wryly commented on the news "It's winter-what do those people 'down south' expect, this is normal up here".
Yes, we from the north are made of sterner stuff!
Stayed at home as my art class was cancelled, and painted and sketched out ideas. It was warmer in the studio than in the house. Did some sketching in town at the weekend of the scurrying figures and reflections. If the snow continues, I may brave the fields tomorrow.Saw some lovely paintings of winter on a blog called The Blue Lantern-an artist called William Degouve-never heard of him!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Ring out the old...ring in the new

The rain, at last gave way to a crisp, white New Years Day. Had a walk along the shoreline between Hayling Island and Emsworth; white seagulls and swans against the dark water and black crows against the pale blue sky-magic.
Took a bike ride into Chi the next day at dusk for sketches and photos. Had great fun with St Richard and his rather frightening shadow on the wall, but couldn't see my camera settings in the dark! A very scary ride home on the bike with no street lights to help. Got some good images to work from. I'll be posting more sketches here this year as 'work in progress'.