Monday, February 04, 2008
Images of Earth and Spirit - a bit of the process.
Camera in one hand, sketch book in the other, sandwich bag in the other. That's how I set out.
Most recently it's been Garwnant in the Brecon Beacons. In fact, it's usually been mid Wales that does it for me. When I lived in London I used to go down there for days and weekends. When I moved there I barely stepped outside the door. Funny that. Now I live in Cardiff I go back there from time to time.
I don't walk much ... I fall over more. It's probably how it will end. I'll fall over and injure myself and never be found again. I've told the children not to worry if I disappear. I'll be rotting happily in some woods somewhere waiting for winter.
The reason I don't walk much is that I can usually see all I want and gather all I need in a very small area. Grass, moss, stones, rocks, trees, branches, water, rubbish ... they're everywhere. I'm not after the big view, the breath-taking panorama. I'm after that little patch right there.
I take lots of photos (the camera), do some sketches (the sketch book) and gather handfuls of whatever's there (the sandwich bag). That's how my big picture of Garwnant ended up with a Cherry Cola label and a lego brick in it.
Then it's back home where I usually have enough material to keep me going for weeks if not months. I've been working on this series (Images of Earth and Spirit) since 2005. Though I'm just about running out of stones and earth and dirt and twigs and bark.
Each picture includes a small, cropped photo of the place - an abstraction. Then it includes the natural materials I collected there. Then I paint and try to express some of the "Spirit" I felt there, adding shiny little beads, gold or silver leaf, high gloss varnish. It's a portrait of a piece of landscape.
And that's how it goes.
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