Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Flat lands and high waters

60 years ago on the eve of January 31st and morning hours of 1st February severe weather conditions and the high Spring tide caused a storm surge. Water level exceeded 5.6 metres (18.4 ft) above mean sea level in some locations. The flood and waves overwhelmed sea defences and caused extensive flooding The Netherlands, particularly Zeeland. recorded 1,836 deaths. In Eastern England, 307 people were killed with my native Norfolk heavily effected. Lets remember them.We should always remember the great power of the world around us and how relatively insignificant we are on the scale of things. I constantly return to the echoes of my landscape and seek the connections and resonance to those I visit. 

Zeeland Stitch sketches
Happisburg, Norfolk..gradually falling in the Sea
Groyne or otherwise know as breakwater posts.

Sketches of Norfolk Reeds

Waterland  by Graham Swift describes this landscape

We lived in a lock-keeper's cottage by the River Leem, which flows out of Norfolk into the Great Ouse. And no one needs telling that the land in that part of the worid is flat. Flat, with an unrelieved and monotonous flatness, enough of itself, some might say, to drive a man to unquiet and sleep-defeating thoughts. From the raised banks of the Leem, it stretched away to the horizon, its uniform colour, peat-black, varied only by the crops that grew upon it - grey-green potato leaves, blue-green beet leaves, yellow-green wheat; its uniform levelness broken only by the furrowed and dead-straight lines of ditches and drains, which, depending on the state of the sky and the angle of the sun, ran like silver, copper or golden wires across the fields and which, when you stood and looked at them, made you shut one eye and fall prey to fruitless meditations on the laws of perspective.
And yet this land, so regular, so prostrate, so tamed and cultivated, would transform itself, in my five- or six-year-old mind, into an empty wilderness. On those nights when my mother would be forced to tell me stories, it would seem that in our lock-keeper's cottage we were in the middle of nowhere; and the noise of the trains passing on the lines to King's Lynn, Gildsey and Ely was like the baying of a monster closing in on us in our isolation.
A fairy-tale land, after all.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

snow and more snow and yellow

Could not resist going out early and seeing how the small bonsai and Witch Hazel looked and capturing shots from above in my garden. Also had footprints of small furry visitors in places. Will make some sketches in the next few's hoping.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Reflections on Water

A few pictures and a sketch of reflections in water. Norfolk and Kent. My observations are made in the sketchbook at the bottom of this image, directly, whilst at the scene. My top sketchbook is used to explore ideas.
Observation and recording. I move around several sketchbooks at once. The top one is for experimenting with ideas and techniques but never acts as a 'formal' design for work. Records ideas and work in progress.
Dark profiles of  trees into high contrast on the water.

These photographs were taken at West Dean where I regularly work. Photographs support my sketches but I like to sit and observe.
5 minutes pen sketch. Try it yourself...but don't take the pen off the page..and just do..don't think. It is only pen and paper and you have nothing to lose.