Saturday, 26 August 2017

A painting in oils titled 'Summertime Ingleborough' artist Rob Miller

A painting in oils titled 'Summertime Ingleborough'  artist Rob Miller

I started this painting almost three years ago from the small road that runs to Twistleton and past Beezleys above the River Doe it gives a great view of West side of the fell and parking etc isn't hard.. I stood working between showers on one of those splendid bright Dales days. Ingleborough the place of the gods, its flat topped shape can be viewed more or less wherever I wonder around the Ribble Valley, its also the final fell on the three peaks marathon event and its steep slopes represented hell for my tired legs. For me as a painter who is sometimes categorized as a post impressionist, Ingleboroughs Limestone colours and and form is distinctive and on a summers day close as you can get in the UK to Paul Cezannes mountain scenes... All in all a brilliant place to paint.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A marine paintiing in oils of Blackpool titled "The Sands above North Pier" in oils Lancashire artist Rob Miller RSA

For me Blackpool has a kind of hypnotic resonance with the past industrial cities of  North West England and Scotlands Glasgow. Its hard though to marry the amazing skies and colours of the sands, the moving sky and poetry of marine with the stag and hen parties which roll around Blackpool at the weekend. This painting was made about 500 yards above the north pier. The sea close to the beach glows a deep brown with the wet sands a deep yellow dotted white cream by flocks of gulls...a more wilder spot a more spacious spot would be hard to find.....the waves lit occasionally by a gleam of green light  a mystical place ..... I think its a viking kind of place that presents a norske  poetry resonating, crying  Blackpool lies between natures spaces and mans lust

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Two oil paintings of the Lake District " painted at Lingholm Lake District Artist Rob Miller

Lake District Art
Causey Pike  "Derwentwater Summer time
Oil on Board 24x30cm
Rob Miller

Lake District "Derwentwater Summer time Morning
oil on board 24x30cmRob Miller
It was great to be back with my pochade box and gear painting along the Derwentwater shore line. I should have been painting the complexities of the Lingholm Walled Kitchen garden but I had left the rabbits in peace and had decided that early morning quiet time for me, was best spent on the shores of Derwentwater . It’s a natural place for contemplation a soft breeze rippling the surface of the lake moving the reflections of the Lingholm Islands muted mauves indistinct in front of the distant Walla Crag all waiting for the first gentle rays of the sun. I could almost see Beatrice Potter sitting further along the shoreline watercolours in hand as she painted Herbert’s Island. Here are two of my oil paintings; pochade’s in oils 30x24 cm

Saturday, 12 August 2017

A painting in progress Lingholm Estate Garden English Lake District, Tchaikovsky and the creative mindset. by Rob Miller

A painting in progress  Lingholm Estate Garden by Rob Miller acrylic on paper

David has asked me to develop some art pieces on the new garden so I've been working on this project since the completion of the walled garden at Lingholm in 2016.  Initially, as you do I wondered around and having found a few locations I sat there sketching with pen and watercolour focussing on aspects of the garden and grounds.

Lingholme walled garden West Gate  watercolour sketchbook

I also spent time trying to imagine the garden with planting already full grown with the idea of getting a piece of work that could be made into prints. Though I have painted flowers as a part of a landscape or still life I had never had to focus completely on flowers and vegetables in a  garden let alone one this size.. The hexagonal brick walls were interesting, the antique and real manchester bricks looked good and I was used to them but getting a true perspective drawing was a bit of nightmare. No matter how I tried the angles of the pillars and walls right didn't look right.  In the end my effort looked like a china plate design. I needed more than that to happen. I realised after some time that I was wasting time and effort and resources. I was merely going through a practical exercise of applying paint  and had fallen into the trap off copying nature, colouring in and had effectively put a lid onto my creativity. Thus my work had turned lethargic I hid the drawings and watercolours in a plan chest and I blamed everything but myself for not engendering the right mind. Until I listened to Tchaikovsky one morning as I sat looking out at my garden at home. Interestingly the 37-year-old Tchaikovsky writes:

"Do not believe those who try to persuade you that composition is only a cold exercise of the intellect. The only music capable of moving and touching us is that which flows from the depths of a composer’s soul when he is stirred by inspiration. There is no doubt that even the greatest musical geniuses have sometimes worked without inspiration. This guest does not always respond to the first invitation. We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavouring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination."

A few days ago I told you I was working every day without any real inspiration. Had I given way to my disinclination, undoubtedly I should have drifted into a long period of idleness. But my patience and faith did not fail me, and to-day I felt that inexplicable glow of inspiration of which I told you; thanks to which I know beforehand that whatever I write to-day will have power to make an impression, and to touch the hearts of those who hear it. I hope you will not think I am indulging in self-laudation, if I tell you that I very seldom suffer from this disinclination to work. I believe the reason for this is that I am naturally patient. I have learnt to master myself, and I am glad I have not followed in the steps of some of my Russian colleagues, who have no self-confidence and are so impatient that at the least difficulty they are ready to throw up the sponge. This is why, in spite of great gifts, they accomplish so little, and that in an amateur way."  Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (May 7, 1840–November 6, 1893) wrote to his benefactress, Nadezhda von Meck, in March of 1878, found in The Life and Letters of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (public library | public domain). Taken from Brain Pickings

Tchaikovsky' letter written about musicians also relates to the painter and I gave myself a verbel ticking off and a kick up the whats it. I had to rethink my work ethic and be less prescribed..  I began to move away from making a copy of what I saw by painting the garden in its entirety as Cezanne said "whats the point". to getting into and focussing on sections that I liked found interesting from a visual point of view ie colour form or structure.  This enabled me to get creative and I  started to upgrade the planting in my garden at home in Brinscall Lancashire so I could sit and paint and watch and learn. I have now managed to produce out of a dozen or more sketches and pochades en plein air three works of a reasonable size and a number of pochards in oils. This process was helped by looking at Sargents excellent watercolours and also greatly by acquiring a book amazing artist Joaquin Sorolla the Spanish Post Impressionist. Joan Eardley and John Piper.

Image result for joan eardley landscapes
Joan Eardley Summer Fields 

Image result for john piper artist
John Piper Scotney Castle 

I have some work left to do but I hope to be able to upload some completed work by the end of the week. Its all a part of the journey......

Lingholm Garden Outside the main gate in Spring 2017

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Thursday, 3 August 2017

A painting of the Lake District titled " Herberts Island Derwentwater" 24x30cm prints available Lake District artist Rob Miller

A painting of the Lake District titled " Herberts Island" 24x30cm prints available artist Rob Miller

One of my favourite places to paint are the islands in Derwentwater  a constant amazing view whichever way the boats stern points to as you row. Also they are home to one of  my favourite childhood books Swallows and Amazons. This one was painted a couple of years ago and I aim to get back to Lingholm to make some summer paintings from the same locations. Prints are available from the Lingholm Walled Garden and Cafe  and also directly from myself on my shop page. You can also look at the process that I went through when Painting of the Derwentwater Fells Triptych which measure 2x 2 metres x6 metres. The images and some write up are on the same site as the print shop here's a link to the  home page.  If you fancy a go Boat hire can be done at the Derwentwater steamers.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A painting of the northern lakeland fells entitled "Blencathra Storm" Rob Miller oil on board

A painting of the northern lakeland fells entitled "Blencathra Storm" Rob Miller oil on board 

As resident artist at Lingholm I was lucky enough to take a walk every morning through the woodlands in the  Lingholm Estate and walk down and along the open lake shore..its a thing that Beatrice Potter used to do whilst carrying her watercolours...on this day with the wind at storm force would beatrice have been there mmm I bet she would...why? because it was such an adventure  a treat to see and paint  Blencathra and her stoic bulk and ridges across a wind lashed lake..defined through tattered eyes and damned's my attempts to paint scratch push pull spit at  the weathered scoured blasted wind burnt and cursed slapped paint  on board...

I've been looking at these for a while and do you know what..I'm going up to Lingholm to make some more...painting on Derwentwater's shores is living..and I'm missing it