After painting the hilltop that is Shuttlingsloe, I moved on to a more imposing and dramatic landscape. The wind weathered sharp fingers of Ramshaw Rocks are one of Leek’s most recognisable local beauty spots.
I wanted to portray the eerie, sometimes menacing nature of the rocks in this piece. The rocks are often shrouded in low cloud during the autum, winter and early spring. It gives them an almost mystical quality.
Here’s a few progress shots and a reference image so that you can see where I am coming from.
Here’s a couple of quotes to set the scene …..
“Arrive there on a summer evening, fighting fit and determined – preferably with a few preliminary bouts under your belt – crash the jams in, move quickly and the climbs submit. Arrive on a bad day, and it is a different story; the rock will maul you and you will retire bloodied to lick your wounds.” Martin Boysen, Rock Climbs In The Peak, Volume 6. Staffordshire Area 1981.
“We noticed all manner of weird and fantastic shapes along the skyline of the Rocks, and readily realised we were in the Highlands of North Stafford.” W.H.Nithsdale. In the Highlands of Staffordshire. 1906.
40 x 50″
First composition choice … I decided against this, so changed it to …
Composition number 2 … more emphasis on the iconic ‘Loaf and Cheese’ with some moody crags in the background
I worked on the background first
Then concentrated on the foreground detail
And decided to pretty much leave this one here …
Photo reference …
After what has been a bit of a roller coaster ride recently, I finally managed to get down to the serious business of painting for my graduation exhibition at Astound 2017 … without going into details, I have had to work extra hours at my day job and wasn’t able to start working on my pieces until 2 weeks ago.
I finally have enough materials to make a serious attempt at furthering my painting career and (hopefully) start improving.
Anyway … here are a few progress shots of Shuttlingsloe plus a source image of the location itself.
40 x 50″
Composition roughly sketched in … hill, horizon and pathway.
Some rough textured underpainting is added.
After many layers of paint and texture medium, it’s finished.
Source image of Shuttlingsloe showing the path leading up to the hill itself.
I love being a visual person. Learning to paint has been a pleasure from the very start. Yes, sometimes it’s heart-wrenchingly difficult, and often uncomfortable, especially when you are reticent to share your work in public and open yourself up to criticism ( yes … I know … it makes no sense to choose to be a painter !). Still, the positives FAR outweigh the negatives.
Research is a pleasure. In all my years of being a glass artist, I have always strived to plough my own furrow and pay no attention to other people’s work for fear of accidentally stepping on someone else’s toes. College has changed all that. We are actively encouraged to research other artists, mediums and techniques.
Letting the work of others fill my head is just wonderful ! I am (slowly) developing my voice as an artist. It doesn’t happen over night. It comes in little flashes of inspiration, or from mistakes and dark times, but it does eventually begin to develop.
Something I’ve been working on recently
In researching my latest paintings for our Astound exhibition, I have stumbled across this fabulous landscape / abstract painter from Cornwall.
His name is Steve Slimm and he’s been exhibiting since 1979 … why have I never heard of him until now ?!
I feel that he kind of ‘speaks my language’ … I love his use of colour, light and texture. Something I aspire to ! Here’s some of his work … I’m afraid there weren’t any titles on his website, so I’ll leave a link to his page and a bunch of his artworks for you to look at … gorgeous !!!
Another reason for being so very busy is our annual Christmas fair in Leek, Staffordshire.
The Staffordshire Contemporary Artist and Designers Fair is a fantastic Artist and Designer fair, set in a beautiful venue, The Foxlowe. The building is set at the top of the town’s ancient market place and acts as a focus for all things related to the arts. They have a rather smashing fine art café, too !
The event is a fantastic chance to start your Christmas shopping with a huge range of beautiful objects of desire !
The Artist & Designers Fair is a showcase for original and contemporary art, craft and design from both local and National artisans.
Anyway, I digress … busy … yes !
As part of my Foundation Degree studies, I am part of the year 2 team who is coordinating our college submissions … as well as finding the time to create our own artwork to show, we are holding planning meetings, talking with the press and liaising with college press officers … phew ! It’s a great opportunity to get hands on experience of exhibition planning though. Fingers crossed it all comes together on the day, eh !!!
Here is a quick preview of what I’ll be exhibiting …
Photobombed by my cat !
As if this event isn’t keeping me busy enough, I am also exhibiting in ANOTHER exhibition … on the same weekend …. eeek !!
(see my next blog post … phew !)