Part 3. Project 2. Research point (1)

Sarah taylor Silverwood – Living City

I find these really interesting. There is a delicacy and a vastness to them. I also enjoy the sense of depth to some of her work. The use of the printed pages and also picking out some buildings in white keeps the eye looking around the images. I find this way of depicting landscape adds a sense of feeling to the structures.  There is a life or a movement to them and also a real sense of beauty.

Sarah Woodfine – Alfred’s Story

These feel beautiful and eerie – they capture something mysterious and fantastical as well as being a little unsettling. I like the immaculate presentation of these – the black is so intense, drawing me in.  I want to get involved with these pieces – I want to understand what these are saying, I almost can’t move away without some answers.  The presentation case also leaves me feeling separated and unable to help, which no doubt is also heightened by the scale of the pieces.  I am a helpless onlooker, witnessing something..but what? They are ominous and intriguing, dark and hypnotic and done in a way that feels pristine and untouchable.

George Shaw – Scenes from the passion

Amazing paintings – I particularly love the buildings in Shaw’s images.  They are sparse, the colours are flat, there is an eerie emptiness to everywhere.  It brings in questions – where is everyone – is it a dangerous/rough place to live? What would it have been like to live there? There is such a feeling response through Shaw’s choice of colour ways and the composition of the paintings. They are bleak and yet mesmerising.  HIs accurate depiction of light and dark really add to the atmosphere of the pieces.

L. S. Lowry – Coming Out of School 1927

The colour schemes of Lowry’s work really emphasise the setting he is depicting.  The images are gritty and have feeling in them – one can almost place oneself in the scene and imagine life in that era.  They feel simple, honest and almost naieve in the way the images have been painted – it feels sparse and to some degree, unwelcoming, looking through this window onto what must have been a challenging time to live in.

Claude Lorrain – Le Soleil levant, 1634

Moody, interesting, acurate and atmospheric – the work of Lorrain is beautiful in its own right, however, for me I lack an inner response when looking at it.  it feels as though it is a historical reference point that enables me to marvel at what life was like in the 1600’s. There is extraordinary skill and technique in the way the image has been created, his work really does feel like that of an old master of a classical technique that isn’t really used any longer.

Albrecht Durer – The Pleasures of the World c. 1496-97

There’s such vitality to the work of Durer – I find them much more engaging than the work of Lorrain even though they are produced much before his time.  Perhaps it is the close quarters that we view the scenes and also the mediums used.  There are lots of lithographs, etchings and woodcuts – and there is such depth and delicacy in the way that Durer worked.  Being interested in printmaking, I find that the dedication and meticulous production of the plates shows within the final pieces, and the fact that they are prints somehow lends them a modern as well as ancient element to them.

William Ratcliffe – Hampstead Garden Suburb from Willifield Way c.1914

There is an element of the colour expression in Ratcliffe’s work that also puts me in mind of Shaw’s more recent suburban landscapes.  The flat almost printed quality of the colours, and the clear light/dark tones add vitality and energy to the paintings.  The absence of dark colours/blacks really adds to the uplifting quality of Ratcliffe’s work – when I look at the pieces I want to breathe in the expansiveness in his pieces and feel the calm serenity that they exude.

Spencer Gore

As with William Ratcliffe, there is a beautiful use of the colour palette and lack of dark colours/black in his work. The composition of his pieces with the pathways leading us into the image add to the connection I feel when looking at Gore’s work.  The colours uplift and I actually feel the energy from them when I take the image in.  I am in the painting, I am feeling light, heat and the radiating beauty of the surroundings.

Graham Sutherland – Outcast Coal Production, Excavators – 1943

The extremely limited palette in this work creates a feeling of this being a fantasy landscape.  The colours work as if this is a print – there is an abstract quality that engages me but in a more subconscious way – I don’t have so many specific questions but my mind wants to explore what this image means.  Sun Setting Between Hills 1927 also carries an ethereal and abstract quality and yet reaches me in a subtle, internal way.

Reviewing all these different types of landscapes helps me to clarify what I would like to achieve in producing landscape images.  It would be to:-

  • engage with the viewer
  • raise questions
  • evoke a feeling response
  • create a sense of abstraction





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