“Is it the silence of the wilderness that so enchants me?” Asksei Gallen-Kallela (1886).
Last year in November, I went to see an exhibition at the National Gallery London. The exhibition was called “A Vision of Finland” the artist was Finnish Asksei Gallen-Kallela (1865-1931) and a plein air painter. I was impressed and inspired by his work, particularly Lake Keitele (1905) also, Clouds above Lake.
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Sweden and Finnish Lapland in the Arctic Circle. It was a very exciting and inspiring journey which enabled me to see the vast expanses of wilderness of the Arctic Tundra.The location where I stayed was in Karesuando, Norrbotten, Sweden, near to the Muorio river and border between Sweden and Finland. This was excellent for exploring the northernmost part of Sweden and traversing across into Finland.
When the night came it was time to venture into the forests, to be amazed by the Aurora Borealis magical displays across the sky. There is silence in the wilderness, beauty in the forests and landscapes of this icy tundra. All of this inspired me to paint a series of watercolours relating to my experiences in the wilderness of the Arctic Circle, which will probably be ongoing!
Winter terrain, Lapland, Artic Circle
Karesuando Sweden, Artic Circle
Wilderness Finnish Lapland
Walk in the Forest Finnish Lapland
February has come around again, giving me hopeful expectations, optimism and promise of spring. Walking around the village today was a delight with many plants typifying where we have reached in the year. Daffodils, crocuses, winter flowering cyclamen and primroses are so delightful to experience. The plant that always inspires me most of all are snowdrops; walking through Church view meadow Quorn, I saw a beautiful display of them nodding their heads in the wind. I made some sketches trying to capture them en masse, which resulted in the watercolour below.
It was really great today to go walking into the countryside around where I live, discovering different places where I had never been before. The sun came out which reflected the beautiful seasonal colours in the waterlogged fields and in the landscape. It was magical, although the ground was very marshy and a challenge to walk on, I managed to paint some watercolours two of which are below.
On my way home after a very muddy walk, I turned a corner to see the sunset which was an amazing display of colours. I would like to share this photograph with you and wish you all, “A HAPPY NEW YEAR ”
Last month I submitted watercolours to the Sock Gallery’s Winter Open Exhibition 2017. I was delighted to have a painting accepted and hung in the exhibition at the Loughborough Town Hall. The exhibition is from Saturday 2nd December 2017 until January 6th 2018.
Two of my watercolours which I exhibited in the AIPS exhibition in the Menier Gallery, Chocolate Factory, London last week.
I was pleased to participate in the 86th Annual exhibition of the Artists in Public Service (AIPS), at the Menier Gallery, Southwark, London last week. The selection of work by the members were a diverse and interesting mix of oil, watercolour, mixed media, pottery and printmaking. The chair Andrew Cooper made the opening speech for the awards with the judge Artist Mark Pearson presenting the prizes.
The garden’s around the Phare-des-Baleines and the lighthouse were interesting and the trees lovely shapes. I painted a small section of the area in the garden one afternoon when the sun was strong and shadow’s were deep purple blue. The area of Phare-des-Baleines is situated in the far north of the Island Ile-de-Ré and is the most western point in France.
Sketchbook watercolour of the lighthouse where I was staying in Phare-des- Baleines. The wind was particularly strong, it was stormy too, it was a challenge to hold onto my sketchbook! Here is the finished painting below.
While I was staying on the Island I visited a paper restoration studio in Loix, “Atelier Quillet” for a guided tour of the process of repairing paper in books that had deteriorated over time. The training for this skill is at least three to five years. There were various stages which involved such technical skill, especially lifting of pages out of the books which almost disintegrated before our eyes! I thoroughly enjoyed the tour which lasted an hour. The photograph below is of some of the equipment that is used.
I am delighted that one of my watercolours was accepted to be exhibited in the SOCK Gallery Open Exhibition at Loughborough Town Hall LE11 3EB, Exhibition Dates: 5th August to 9th September 2017.
The preview evening was a great success with a marvellous response from everyone. Here are some photograph’s below from the PV and presentations.