Abstract Landscape Painter. Rural Dweller. Lover of Modernist Art and Design.
Energy & Atmosphere
Preparation for the first exhibition of the year is now complete. The last few pieces went into the frames this week. I'm interested to see how they will hang together in the gallery space. My colour palette has changed again due, I think, to the recent intense phase of cloudy and wet weather. Perhaps there are rather more subdued tones than usual! However, a preliminary glance at the collection in the studio suggests that there is a richness to the overall colours, and that they work together as a set.
I enjoyed a break into realism this time too, with a painting of a Millie on a morning walk. In it I included a reference to the skylarks that have been so prevalent of late. It was a pleasure to portray the surrounding countryside more directly in my work and made me feel as though I would like to do more. It was very loosely rendered and incorporated some of the techniques and lessons learned from my abstraction. I find that my walks around the village provide plenty of inspiration.
Something else that's been inspiring me this month is the sea. Having lived in the centre of the country for over 30 years, it's a pleasure to be closer to the coast again. Although more than an hour away, it's still near enough to spend half a day there with ease. I've enjoyed walking along the beach with Millie at Aldeburgh and Thorpeness, and seeing the rough energy of the water as well as its serenity. I've also discovered large, grassy areas on the cliff tops, where Millie can run. It's one of the happiest things in my life - to see my young dog do what she was made to do - RUN! I can sense the energy and excitement in her as I release her from the lead and watch her take off! She will begin by running vast circles at incredible speed. Then she will suddenly turn on a sixpence and run straight towards me like a rocket, swerving at the last second to avoid crashing into me, and then reeling off to start another loop. After a few minutes she will canter back, tongue lolling out, tired but so happy, ready now for another slower, exploratory walk.
This aspect of energy is an interesting one for me. I certainly feel the effect of what is around me, and that frequently finds its way into my paintings whether, as this month, it's the increasing amount of birdsong on bright mornings, or the raw power of the sea. I also find that it affects my choice of music while I'm working. I often repeat the same couple of albums frequently throughout the course of making a series of paintings. There is something unquantifiable in them which sums up the mood and links them together. The nine new paintings produced for this show were all made while listening to the Icelandic singer Asgeir*, alternated with Handel oratorios** and opera***, interspersed with the wonderful randomness of Radio 4, where I find plenty of comedy to make me laugh.
After a few days break, during which I'll clean the studio and un-pack and organise the rest of the stuff from the house move, I'll start all over again on a different series, for a new exhibition, with a new atmosphere and soundtrack no doubt!
* Ásgeir - In The Silence
**George Frideric Handel - Your Tuneful Voice (Iestyn Davies), The King's Consort/Robert King
***George Frideric Handel - Giulio Cesare, Glyndbourne, Sarah Connolly, Danielle De Niese
All text & images ©2014 Carol Saunderson