Saturday, 27 July 2019

Painters notes April Brinscall 12.30

West Pennine Brinscall Moor
waterolour A5

Inspired by the writings off Robert Macfarlane The Old Ways, 
Philip Jaccottet  Landscape with Absent figures 
John Wylie Vanishing points:an essay on landscape, memory and belongings
Robinson Stones of Arran

Whilst I'm outdoors painting or just walking, sometimes with sketch book or iphone, I often write short notes on paper or in my iphone notes app. The notes are like memorandums  on a visual moment that's just occurred. These moments are those.which in a series of moments seem more important because they have an indescribable absence of something that whilst I know is tangible is at the same time indistinct. a little like deja vu. . I had thought that it was just a personal thing a memory or a chance combination of micro events that enabled a sense of the familiar. Whatever i make a note at the time and other significant things because it seems that these moments can make a day; for me real painters are like poets. To experience a moment intensely and remember it richly. Poets call this poetry

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Summertime Winter Hill 2019 new work

Summertime Winter Hill West Pennines
oil on canvas 30x30cm

This painting Summertime Winter Hill 2019 sets a mood change and a change in painting technique. I find myself starting to use palette knives across the work and to use memory of places and times rather than a set location.  Strange how a stronger narrative is starting to allow me to take more time and concentrate on painting and paint than subject.

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

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.
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.

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