Monday, January 22, 2007

On Saturday I took myself out for the afternoon. I’d had enough of feeling stuck inside the flat. My work felt stuck and flat too. I wanted to scout out a location where I could go to draw and paint.

So I went to Garwnant in the Brecon Beacons. It’s a Forestry Commission Visitor Centre. It has all the essentials … namely a café and a toilet. This means I can spend a fair amount of time there without needing a flask (which I haven’t got) or peeing in the woods (which is dangerous, what with all the bears in there doing what they do).

I wandered a round a bit. There are some good views of the Beacons and of Llwyn Onn reservoir. There are plenty of walks. And a fair number of people around which made it feel safe. There are a lot of the usual Forestry conifers, but also some areas with really old, moss covered trees. Fluorescent green and manky black. There’s a small river that was flowing really fast, crashing down over the rocks.

Driving back, my imagination started motoring. I want to work there, on location, as much as I can this week. On the first day (today) I will explore the area, do preliminary sketches and take photos. I will get the photos developed the next morning before setting off again. Then I will make big drawings and start gathering materials for some paintings. I’ll take more photos, too, and make lots of notes and sketches. I want to fill a sketchbook (or two!) with this project. Finally, I will produce some pictures … there on the spot … using paint, ripped bits of photos, bits of wood and bark, moss, dirt … whatever I find. It will all be glued together, paint dripped and splashed over the surface.

(The logistics will take some working out … but, you know what? Bugger it. I’m just going to have a go and see how I get on).

Sitting here now, Monday morning, I realise that I need contact … connection with my material … a new conversation. I’ve been in the studio too long. Seeing the rushing water on Saturday refreshed my enthusiasm for my ‘Water’ series. I’ve been trying to depict water without being anywhere near it. No wonder it had gone stagnant. I want to paint more ‘Images of Earth and Spirit’. I want to get dirt and paint on my hands and on my clothes. I want to dig back into the things that get my creative juices flowing. Not just the Spirit in nature, but the Spirit in me.

Part of my plan for this year is to go on ‘tour’ to different places. Spend a week or so in Mid Wales, North Wales, maybe even Spain. Work on location, exploring, producing and maybe even selling … there and then. I realise now, that Garwnant is a prototype of that. I can learn how to work from the back of the car … find out what I need to have with me … how to produce art on location … find out whether it’s any good or not.

I’ll keep you posted.

wow! this sounds so cool! great idea... love love love art on location... we did some land art in my Art A-level and it was so much fun - just getting dirty and getting inspired by what's around you - feeling it as well as doing it - its great! feels like how art is supposed to be done!
keep us posted on how the new project goes...
Sounds like a great idea and it makes perfect sense. There are so many beautiful walks/parks in North Wales. Lots of potential. I'm looking forward to hearing about this.
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