Selborne was the perfect rendezvous, being halfway between London and Salisbury. We came down and Howard Phipps came up and we met in the middle, in a field just off Gracious Street, the car park of the Gilbert White Museum, where we transferred the contents of Howard’s car boot to ours, in preparation for his exhibition in the Rowley Gallery window. But not before a lovely sunny walk around the outskirts of the village. And this map, embedded in the vicarage wall, dated 2 June 1953, is as old as I am. Continue reading “Selborne”
The Dorset Coast: from Chesil Beach to the Isle of Purbeck.
Living in south west Wiltshire I am frequently drawn to neighbouring Dorset to walk some of the paths along its geologically varied coastline. I like to draw or paint on location, and I subsequently develop a number of my observations into wood engravings or linocuts. Both are methods of making relief prints, the former being a very English art form developed by Thomas Bewick in the 18th Century, where the engraving is made on highly polished end grain boxwood, which on completion is inked with a roller and printed by hand, in my case using an Albion Press made in 1862. Continue reading “The Dorset Coast”
We’ve got a new window display for October – Open Country: Wood Engravings of the Wessex Downs and Coast by Howard Phipps. It’s a display that celebrates Howard’s love of the West Country and Dorset in particular. These are patiently wrought images, slow-grown evocations carved in wood and printed in exquisite detail, they always seem to capture the essential timeless spirit of each particular place depicted. Continue reading “Open Country”
A big new painting from Jelly Green. A big new fierce angry painting. A painful painting. It hurts to look, but I’m dazzled by it, I’m caught in its headlights. Jelly has found her subject and she’s not going to avert her gaze, she confronts it, rubs our noses in it. This is our future if we go on blindly supporting the ever diminishing returns of consumer capitalism. Continue reading “Forest Burning”
A small film about a small river.
I’d seen this delightful little film on Caught By The River, and when I asked Jonathan Gibbs if we might share it on Frames of Reference his reply was Yes, absolutely, great! Isabella spent all of lockdown with us, during which time she filled her bedroom with twigs, branches and other bits and pieces that you will see in the film. She made the herons out of wire and wood, and carved many small fish which swim through the film from start to finish. And then he showed me a website I’d not seen before, called Psyche. The words below are taken from their anonymous post. Continue reading “Keith Water”
Earlier this year, on May 23rd, Jonathan Gibbs embarked on an ambitious series of small works, a hundred meditative variations, one every day for a hundred days and each one posted regularly on Instagram. He was inspired by the 100 Days Project, an initiative started by Emma Rogan in 2011 to repeat a simple creative task every day for the duration and to record each day’s efforts. Continue reading “100 Days”
This was another summer walk, back in July when it seemed like whenever we were not working we were walking. Walking had become our substitute for going out to the cinema, the theatre, music gigs, galleries, restaurants, shops, markets. Sometimes while out walking we might risk visiting a pub, but only if we could sit outside. Covid lived inside. Today we parked on the village green at Preston in Hertfordshire, beside the Red Lion pub. But its door was closed, its garden was empty and there was no public convenience. I needed a tree. I could think of little else, winding the village paths out to pasture and greatly relieved to find this welcoming field maple. Continue reading “Kingswalden Park”
We first discovered Epping Long Green a week ago – Epping Long Green (1) – but then realised we’d only seen a part of it, so today we came back to explore its full length. We started from Epping Green and walked west, retracing our steps from last week as far as this fingerpost. Then we turned around and walked back and continued east to the furthest extent before returning to where we started from. But not before a quick figure-of-eight turnaround in the woods. Continue reading “Epping Long Green (2)”
Over the last five years I have spent most of my time focused on painting forests around the world, often with the aim to highlight the destruction that is happening within them. It has taken me to some incredibly beautiful and majestic places, introduced me to plants and trees that I couldn’t have imagined. However, one of the most surprising things I came back with after my first trip to Brazil in 2015 was how I then saw my home landscape through a completely new set of eyes. I suddenly noticed the curls in the leaves and twists in the branches everywhere, moving me to paint them. And although my work is still mainly focused on global deforestation I now regularly paint outside in my home landscape in Suffolk. Continue reading “Painting In Suffolk”
Epping Forest was busy. There was plenty of space for everyone to walk comfortably, but it seemed like social distancing among the trees had become the new normal, and the car parks were all full. Previously, as a last resort, we’d parked on the roadside at Baldwin’s Hill. The bonus was a glass of beer from the doorway of the Foresters Arms, before plunging downhill into the forest for a gently meandering walk along Loughton Brook. But today it felt safer to avoid the crowds, and instead of going into the centre of the forest, I looked for somewhere quieter on the outskirts. Continue reading “Epping Long Green (1)”