Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Module 6 Chapter 1

Choosing a theme.

I looked at some of the suggested artists and how they interpret landscapes.  I find Stanley Spencer's work full of detail.  You can look for hours and still find things you missed earlier.

I had two postcards of Hockney's work.  The tall trees is an inkjet printed computer drawing and photo collage which I think is brilliant.  The small postcard of trees is a watercolour and the stitched piece above it is one I did from the postcard for an exhibition.  I chose the other three pieces from the internet as they are the opposite of the Spencer paintings.  To me they are calm depictions of a country lane of which there are many near me.

Choosing my theme was quite difficult and I am still not sure if I have made the right choice.  I went over lots of places I have visited and loved such as Venice, Peru and New York but discarded them because even though I have the photographs, I wouldn't be able to revisit them to check on a detail.  Also, the photographs don't always create the atmosphere that you remember.  So I reduced my choices to two - Scarborough and Forge Valley.   Scarborough is set around two bays that are very different to each other.  The north bay is quiet with Victorian hotels and beach huts and a long sandy beach with rock pools.  The south bay is all amusement arcades, fun fairs, ice cream and fish and chips.  Forge Valley is a deep ravine forged by melt water at the end of the ice age.  It has a road running through it alongside a river and is full of trees and vegetation. I set out my arguments in my sketchbook.
The Scarborough side has such a lot in it.  I would have to choose one of the bays I think and then whittle it down to just a few topics.  Forge Valley could be blended together, it wouldn't matter if things were in the wrong place or even in the wrong season.  Another advantage is that it is only a few minutes walk from my door so I could easily go and check if I had got something right or if the season had changed anything.  So Forge Valley it is.

I have several books as well as some by Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn to help me with this project.

Having decided what I am going to do, I took my camera down into the valley on bank holiday monday when the weather was glorious.

Masses of wild garlic around.

It really is a beautiful place and it is such a shame that you can't photograph birdsong.  A bit further on from where I walked there are bird tables out and you can park there and watch the birds come to feed.  I used to take my daughter there when she was little.  I have found lots of lichens in the woods here and have done some pieces of work for our next exhibition based on them.  In the autumn the ground is just a mass of red and bronze leaves and in the winter it gets very cold down there and snow can last for quite a while.  I sneaked a crayon into my pocket and a couple of pieces of paper and did some of tree rubbings. 

I think these might come in useful. I also have a collection of leaves that I collected last autumn, I need to go and find them.

I don't usually do a lot with flora and fauna but having just worked on lichens, I have got a bit more of an interest in it so I think this topic will be good for me.  The Scarborough one would have been a challenge as I think perspective would have come into it a bit more and that is something I am not very good at. Maybe I will do that when I have got more confidence.

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