Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Pendle Hill Commission Paint on canvas stage 1 and a final drawing.

Pendle End from Meadows Farm Little Mearley Hall 50x50cm oil on canvas
Stage 1 underpainting Rob Miller Fine Art 
For me this is a good aspect for a painting of Pendle. When I think of Pendle I think of the long walks I took alone from Blackburn to Pendles summit then back along the track that skirts the hillside towards Wiswell and finally the bus stop at Whalley. Fond memories of many curlews, Peewits and Skylarks calling from wild flower meadows. The view has all that Pendle offers, early morning mist or haze clearing of the Big End, a nice wooded copse, strip fields, Hawthorne and sheep. Painted using W&N Titanium white, Ultramarine Blue and Raw Umber. .


Pendle End from Meadows Farm  Little Mearley Hall drawing with
watercolour wash 
Second drawing and wash At the end of the first stage the client liked both watercolours equally but couldn't decide on image 1 or 6.  I made a second exploration. I moved my easel ENE from the A59 Clitheroe bypass by about half a mile. If you look on the OS map there's a path that strikes off from the bypass towards Pendles Big End its a short walk  over a few fields to a place between Meadows Farm and Fields Barn both near the ancient and delightful  Little Mearley Hall. The meadows here are still long ancient strips that slope slightly down with old Hawthorne hedgerows and sheep. Beyond this space the flanks of Downham Moor and Pendle rise steeply. From here you can make out some of the path up Hook Cliff to the top of Downham Moor as well as the steep Burst Clough which falls swiftly down to Moorside and Angram Green Farms. The fields give the painting depth and flatness which emphasises the steepness of the slopes beyond, the copse of ancient beech add a focal point. The quirky changes in Pendles slope can be clearly seen from here.

I think at 50x50cm this will make a good strong and familiar image of Pendle, sheep hedgerows and moors.  All you will need to do is make a coffee and  play the wild call  of the curlew or the skylark to take you there.

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Some initial notes and paintings on the Hawthorne Tree

Hawthorne Turton Moor
oil on board
50x50cm


Once in a while whilst painting or drawing outdoors I feel a need to go tree hugging. Late last summer I was particularly attracted to a line of very old Hawthornes that clung to a wall, part of an old mine tramway or farmers track  that ran across Turton Moor. Their bent and twisted deep blue and mauve forms showed real age yet their trunks where small and their branches twisted fractured and bent.

This is my third tree series, the first was a group of ancient mountain ash in Rivington which I started to draw almost twenty years ago.The second a group of Olive trees set on a steep slope near Gauguin Andalucia.


A quick internet search shows that the Hawthorne Tree plays a venerable part in British Folklore and history.

https://whisperingearth.co.uk/2010/05/31/may-tree-myth-and-medicine/
Hawthorn has been common in Britain for millennia, pollen counts showing its presence here before 6,000 BC, and of all our native trees, it is perhaps the most enshrined in myth and legend. From Celtic ceremony, to Arthurian myth, to Christian legend, the Hawthorn has its place in all the stories that shape our land and our hearts.
In pagan spirituality, the Hawthorn was a symbol of fertility, youth and sexuality and was considered sacred to the Goddess. It is believed that in Celtic times, most marriages took place at this time of year, usually at Beltaine, the cross quarter festival marking the mid-point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Hawthorn would have been in full bloom, bringing abundant blessings to the newly weds. Today, its historical symbolism and its affinity with the heart have resulted in it being considered the tree of love. Despite marrying in August, we used branches of Hawthorn, among other trees, in our wedding ceremony last year.
Reacting against its saucy pagan associations, the Catholic Church made the pure white blossoms a symbol of the Virgin Mary and of chastity. It was also said to be the wood from which the crown of thorns worn by Jesus was made. The Glastonbury Thorn, which flowers once in May and again at Christmas was said to have grown from the staff of Joseph of Arimathea, which took root when he brought Christianity to the British Isles.
There are thought to be up to 1,000 species of Hawthorn worldwide, the two most common in the UK are Crataegus monogyna and Crataegus laevigata. Usually white, the blossoms may also be a light or deep pink.







http://www.ecoenchantments.co.uk/myogham_hawthornpage.html

Friday, 5 July 2019

Rob Miller Exhibition Landscape with absent Figures




Exhibition of Rob Millers new works 


Rob Miller
Landscapes with absent figures

The Gallery St Georges2 St Georges Street Bolton 
Opening Tuesday 16 July 5.30-7.30pm


The Gallery At St George’s House is proud to present a solo exhibition of recent landscape and coastal paintings by Bolton based artist Rob Miller.

The landscape of the Northern Countryside has always fascinated Rob Miller, who gained a Distinction in Painting from the University of Bolton. Miller is particularly influenced by the Lancashire and Lake District landscape, its raw climate, beauty and gritty history. Walking and climbing through it is always a joyful experience. As an artist, being still painting within it is almost meditative.

Entitled ‘Landscapes with absent figures’ this new exhibition, opening Tuesday 16 July 5.30-7.30pm, presents Miller’s most recent landscapes and coastal paintings.  In these scenes the human presence has been stripped away, making them absent, unimportant, except where they have left marks or rigid shapes which have survived enough to have a visual purpose in a found composition.

Whilst painting, different things attract and hold the artist’s thoughts. Scenes that exude a passage of light, whether in the corner of a bright field, high in the mountains or by the sea under stormy skies, are a frequent source of inspiration for Miller. Working outside or painting from his notes makes this a direct experience for the artist as he aims to portray the sublime.

Back at his Falcon Mill studio, the work finishes somewhere between abstraction and figurative: depending on the nuances of the paint, techniques and the making of colour. Miller see each colour range as a ‘stanza’ and each brush mark as a part of each painting’s arpeggio: “Instinctively certain colours please me as I mix them. The paint feels good and tactile sometimes as it slides around the palate.  Visually, moving in and through the geometry of a place as I draw freehand frustrates and engages me fully.”

Through the exhibition the artist hopes to share his sense of awe that he feels in nature with others: “For me, a painting is like making a poem, both an expression of a feeling and an impression of a place”.

Image: Rob Miller Seapools Mallaig oil on canvas 61x61cm

Monday, 24 June 2019

Pendle Hill Commission Initial explorations in pencil and watercolour Rob Miller













This is an example of how I develop with a client their ideas about a landscape and what would make a painting with form and interest. A selection taken from a series of small pencil or pen drawings leading to a final choice of two images. These are then fairly quickly made up into two watercolours and from these two a final selection.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Lingholm Estate Portinscale Keswick 2019 new prints


Here's a selection of the recent works from 2019 that I've been working on for the Seymour family and their Lingholm Estate. The estate is situated on the picturesque west shore of Derwentwater near Keswick in the  English Lake District. At the centre of the estate is a lovely old mansion that was once visited frequently by Beatrice Potter. Later it became the residence of Lord Rochdale and his family.

Though my initial work here was all to do with the surrounding fells  painted and presented as two large triptychs in the Stone Room, of late I've been working in the amazing new walled garden. Inspired by Beatrice Potter and based upon the quality of the Victorian Garden,  the walled garden has been built around the ethics of quality both in its references to early 19C garden design and to the planting. See  https://thelingholmestate.co.uk/the-estate/history-of-lingholm/  


Pots outside the greenhouse
acrylics
33x50cm
completed

Lingholm 19 
Pots outside the greenhouse 
acrylics
33x50cm 
nearly complete




Lingholm 19 
Runner beans and green house 
watercolour
33x50cm 
completed


Lingholm 19 
House and walled garden 
watercolour 
33x50cm 
nearly completed

Lingholm 19 
High on Catbells Ridge. 
acrylics 
50x69cm
completed
Lingholm 19 
Exposed Helvellyn scramble looking down to Striding Edge 
acrylics mixed media
50x69cm 
fully completed


Lingholm 19 
Exposed Helvellyn scramble looking down to Striding Edge 
acrylics mixed media
50x69cm 
completed



The old greenhouse and the walled garden in summertime
oil on canvas
30x50cm
completed

Lingholm 19 
The old greenhouse and the walled Garden in summertime  
oils on board
30x50cm 
nearly complete

Lingholm 19 
Walled garden summer shadows 
oils on board
30x50cm
completed



Lingholm 19  
Walled Garden the main walk to the green house
oils on board
30x50cm 
nearly complete

Lingholm 19  
Walled Garden the main walk to the green house
oils on board
30x50cm 
Thursday 23 May 19 nearly complete



Tuesday, 30 April 2019

A painting of the Isle of Harris . Outer Hebrides . Scotland

Isle of Harris South West Coast

Painting Haslingden Grane Rossendale . Preliminary sketches and notes . Rob Miller

Haslingden Grane  Drawing 1
Developing the paintings design and layout from  location
sketches and drawings from photographs



Haslingden Grane Drawing 2
Adding a raw sienna wash to develop the narrative of
a misty lancashire moorland day

Haslingden Grane Drawing 3
Back out on location to make some detail sketch on location
you see far more clearly outdoors when the sun latches onto the planes
of different  forms, triangles, obongs obliques curves

Haslingden Grane Drawing 4
Back out on location to make some detail sketch on location
you see far more clearly outdoors when the sun throws long shadows
and tone fights with contrast 

Haslingden Grane Drawing 5
Back in the studio developing the drawing into its final layout
50x50cm before transferring it onto the 100x100cm linen canvas

Haslingden Grane Drawing 6
Painting over the pencilled drawing on the canvas with a mix of sepia
oils and starting to define the mood of the sky.

Commissions Lancashire Artist
Rob Miller RSA
07841 140562
robartmiller@gmail.com