Friday, May 14, 2010

The big green hill; travel sketching; USA trip

The big green hill, oil on card, 11 x 8.5 cm

A heavy day; my mood awful throughout.

Beautiful heathland in Lagoa, under threat of suburbanisation but still a pleasant place to escape- the smell of the damp grass very pleasant and larks and butterflies everywhere.

I thought of Leonard Cohen's words from, "True Love Leaves No Traces," as I worked:

As the mist leaves no scar
On the dark green hill
So my body leaves no traces
On you, and never will
Through windows in the dark
The children come, the children go
Like arrows with no targets,
Like shakles made of snow


A couple of days ago I passed the morning reading through an exhibition catalogue of Edward Lear's watercolours, painted on his travels: I have the idea of doing much the same on my USA trip, which is still in it's embyro stages (any help/ advice gratefully accepted: I'm especially interested in linking up with other painters in the USA, and the possibility of showing work and ideally selling some to help pay for the trip).

What is delightful about Lear is that his work is so closely tied to his experience, and even if conpositionally the pictures are often using the jaded formats of Lorrain or Poussin, it's possible to access his personality through his handling of pencil and wash.

Sketchbook work is often so; I have previously mentioned Ardizzone here, I might also mention Zymunt Turkiewicz's "Montecassino" , a very immediate album of drawings illustrating the Polish fores assault on the german stronghold in Italy (pub. 1944) and the drawing produced by Mervyn Peake as an official War Artist.


  1. I really like this one - great energy... love that sky - and you are a Leonard Cohen fan too!!

    He is genius personified.

  2. Cheers Patrice,

    Yes he's great- there are some super interviews on Youtube, worth watching if you have time.