Puddles of light in the gravy of the night.

140118 - The darkest hourIt is dark when I walk down to the station in the mornings at the moment. This picture is of a side road that was shrouded in a murky foggy fug, and would definitely have got the part in any drama by Dickens. (if you take out the electric street lights, cars, telegraph poles…da-dee-da-dee-da!)

It is just a sketch as it stands, and needs a lot more work doing to it to get it to a point where I can give it the title that I want – But I’ll withhold that for now, with the hope of using it when I return.

Back to the drawing board with it!

Bears in the bare bear wood

070118 - The Bare Bear WoodThis collage started out life as a tree. It had a very positive attitude and over the years it grew into a fine tall specimen. But something changed, and the tree became very unhappy, and miserable and started shedding lots of bark. A poor bare tree. Walking passed, I idly picked up a piece of the bark and stuffed it in my pocket, only for it to be forgotten for a while.

070118 - Bare Bear BarkLater, having re-found it, I was turning it over in my hand and I realised that a bear was looking straight back at me. It was smiling and needed a home. So the idea for the picture was born.

I haven’t done that many collages in my lifetime, and I wasn’t sure how all the bits and bobs and bears were going to sort themselves out and get along with each other. The bears had to move around a bit, jostling for position, peeping out from behind trees, sitting in trees, sitting on trees, and sniffing out food with their sensitive noses. To this end they finally got stuck, having eaten far too much honey than was good for them!

As for the bees…

Embracing Yorkshire weather

We’ve been up in North Yorkshire for the last few days, and the weather has been wonderful in it’s contrasting forms, from bright sun on a frosty morn, to heavy snow showers.

The 3 images above, although totally different from each other are also related, in that they are all images of fleeting moments in time, and none of them exist anymore. I am also not responsible for any of them, although I do make a guest appearance in one of them.

The picture of shadows on the left, elongated by the low sun and downward slope of the hill was taken by my wife, Jane, on a walk towards the river Nidd in Darley. Can shadows be art? Why not – you have shadow puppets on stage performing, and as so often in Richard Long’s work, the photograph is the only record of the artwork that is left.

The leaves in the snow have been arranged like a roulade. It is in fact a large collapsed snowball that had been made by hands unknown on the Stray in Harrogate. The snowball was rolled under trees and the leaves that were on the ground stuck to the snowball as it was trundled around making this pattern when broken open. Is that an animal looking at me?

Lastly, we have the snow sculptures sat happily on the parapet of a Harrogate railway bridge as dusk settled around us. Hail, the unknown artists!

Somebody who has a fine feel for depicting the weather is Katharine Holmes. She was a near contemporary of mine at Newcastle University, who lives and works in Yorkshire. There was an exhibition of her work at Harrogate’s Mercer Art Gallery that we went to see whilst we were there. She has an assured style; a handling of oil, and acrylics that gives her paintings a real innate and naturalistic feel whatever the weather, wherever the place. I loved her sketchbooks on display, with the ink drawings occasionally reminding me of some of the work of former Cumbrian artist Percy Kelly.