Landscape artists, I admire you so much. How the devil do you cram in so much detail just through the odd dash here and brush stroke there?
I have shied away from landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes because I find it tricky to condense huge amounts of visual information into one moment in time.
What a frustrating RESIGNATION when you live at the foot of the Malvern Hills.
Between the ages of 10 to 18, I sat in their shadow. Gazing up the gorges and quarries, resting my eye on the peak of the Beacon as it simmered in and out of the wispy cloud, I wearily sketched and re-sketched the scene. I sleepily watched the shadows dance across the wild fluffy grass in the sunsets, and the rain washing in sheets from one face to the next.
But my representations of these never-to-be-seen-again seconds in infinity just never looked as beautiful as I wanted them to.
Fast forward another ten years - the last attempt at capturing the hills was gathering dust in my portfolio - and my folks announce: 'it's time to sell up and move on!'
I decided to make them a painting, with some trepidation (this hadn't gone well in the past, so why would it work now?), but I immediately found that the old frustrations were inexplicably long gone.
I was able to see the shadows of the vista a little more easily and put it on paper more simply. And they liked it, much to my relief :)
This painting gave me the confidence to experiment with mountainscapes in paint and pencil.
And, coastal scenes too...