Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Abstract Landscape Painter.  Rural Dweller.  Lover of Modernist Art and Design.


I’ve been up since 6.30am.  It was a dark, wet start to the day. The moonlit mist of 4am had given way to cloud and rain.  After taking Millie outside and then feeding her, I came into the lounge and was delighted to find that the fire was still warm to the touch.  I opened the door and discovered one remaining log from the evening before, black on top, but all white ash and red-glowing ember underneath.  It is a simple thing, but one that I find deeply satisfying - to be able to re-start the fire in the morning, with no extra matches.  I nursed it a little, resurrected it, and then sat in the armchair next to it, to have my breakfast and coffee.

The long days of light are my favourite time of year, but these dark, even damp, mornings have their own kind of charm for me.  It is cosy.  It is quiet.  There is something of the cocoon about it.

I put the porch light on and look outside.  It creates a ball of warm orange light over the garden.  Beyond the trees I hear cars on the nearby road starting to go past, as the world wakes up and begins to move around.

By 8am there is still a light, misty rain, but the western sky of mauvey-grey has developed a slit of pale cerulean and pink-white.  The sky colour at this time of year can vary enormously.  Greys, mauves, orange, even greenish tints.  I like to look at the landscape paintings of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.  Not many blue skies feature, but some wonderfully evocative warm greys, setting off the surrounding colours.  I always find them inspirational.  They are two of my favourite painters.

I am enjoying moving once more into the more gentle and subdued palette of winter.  After the art fair in Cambridge this week, the next exhibitions will be the Christmas shows.  I have already produced a number of pieces for these, but all must be complete by two weeks time, in order to allow for framing.  I have been using varying sky colours in the work, and also thinking about the stillness of days and nights shrouded in mist or covered in snow.  If I am honest, I think that stillness is one of the major themes that run through my work.  An impression of a view suddenly revealed by the landscape and a moment when time stops…..

I can’t record the sounds or smells of the landscape - the gentle “crump” of footsteps in snow, the distant waves, the “drip” of leaves and branches or even the fermented fruit smell of autumn hedgerows, but when I paint I want to remind myself of all these sensory experiences - all these aspects of being in the landscape that I appreciate and love so much.

All text & images ©2014 Carol Saunderson