Thursday, 22 May 2014

Lingholm The Derwentwater Fells Boats, Art Studios and Stone Rooms by Rob Miller

Preparatory work for the Lingholm Derwentwater Fells Triptych

An outline of the drawing and painting explorations of the Derwentwater Fells

On board Lingholm 1,  resting on the beach at the outer most Lingholm Island
Derwentwater. Drawing and exploring the views of Catbells, Causey pike Skiddaw and Blencathra
I was joined by a family of Canada Geese.

Lingholm Stone Room
This provided a great temp studio. Three large tables
provided space for working on A1 paper with watercolour and oils.
I kept expecting Beatrice Potter to walk past the mullion windows,
and I mused at what she would have thought of my efforts.

Lingholm Stone room temp studio 2
The completed works will cover the entire wall
that was painted red in this shot and its equivalent on the far wall.

Some of the sepia works brought together,
I was lucky enough to find that the weather was great on this visit
enabling  much work to be done.  My greatest fear was being dazzled by the sun as the windows are huge
but I need not have any worries for the  the room was deep enough to cope with
all the daily solar fluctuations.

The early morning light brings out the best of Skiddaw, heres a prelim drawing
that I did graphite on paper, it was drawn aboard Lingholm 1 from between the two Islands at 6.30am
I did not draw them into this piece but I must remember to include the silver mists rising from the lake.
 At the end of this particular period of preparatory work I am now arriving at a handful of  fixed images of the the two completed works and how they may best be represented. Working in the Stone Room was in particular very useful to me, I came away with a feel for the place and the nature of its history,and that histories connections in trade, commerce and the armed forces to my part of Lancashire. I also met a number of local people, farmers, builders, gardeners who had lived in the area for many generations and who knew the house and its area, they had their own personal  insights and a  favorite time of day or year for seeing the Derwentwater Fells, especially the dominant bulk of Skiddaw throughout the seasons and the weather.

The experience of  looking and drawing en plein air and trying to internalize what I was see as always is essential in reaching a painterly understanding of a place. Lingholms landscape, for me, derives its essence from a history that is formed in part by tenacious nature herself and in part by the constant labour and care of man, in turn sun kissed and/or weather beaten by the Cumberland weather. Its this Lake District that I have to paint.

The three best vistas that represent Lingholms Derwentwater Fells are I think are, The Borrowdale Gates, The Derwent Fells and a wintry Skiddaw combined with autumnal Catbells and Causey Pike. The time of day, has to be early morning or mid evening when a hush descends over Lingholm and its surrounds and you can hear the heartbeat of Wordsworths  land.

An evening walk W Wordsworth

Far from my dearest Friend, 'tis mine to rove
Through bare grey dell, high wood, and pastoral cove;
Where Derwent rests, and listens to the roar
That stuns the tremulous cliffs of high Lodore;