Part 3 -Project 2 – Reflections


I am definitely finding it difficult to try and pull ideas together and hence uploading the above image of ideas that are currently running around.

Since seeing the Kentridge exhibition I have been frustrated by the inability using something like this linear learning log to harness the multi layered thoughts/interests/research/reading/imagery which is around at the moment in my head.

This has really slowed up the work I have been trying to do to follow through on the exercises in the course.   I am both distracted and disorganised again because of this.   I am finding that the reading that I am doing takes time and space from actively drawing but that the thinking process is very important too.

After some hesitation I have decided to try to implement a 3 layer sketchbook/notebook/thoughts book?


This I have started in a very crude form.  I think that as I move along the 3 layers will intermingle and separate depending on what is going through my head/what I am reading/ and what studies/drawings I am making.    This is now an A3 size as I was feeling restricted by the size of the earlier book.


Part 3 – Project 2 – Research Point

Sam Douglas (1976 – )

Part of the tradition of English visionary landscape (Samuel Palmer, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland)


All his work has a very strong sense of place but the time is less certain.   There is both a dream like quality to the work and a sense of time passing and ancient/older setting.




“Whilst this is where his artistic process begins, it is only the starting point for the production of paintings which are much more to do with how he ‘feels’ about the natural environment and the emotional responses it stimulates than the physical topography that initially lies before him.” (

Marguerite Horner (1954 – )






‘The intrigue of her work depends partly on the knife-edge balance maintained between painterliness and hard-edge photo-realism by varying the sharpness of focus’. (

Kirsty O’Leary (




“Her practice explores both the physical and psychological geography of existence which she feels is complimented by her use of pencil with gesso where the subject matter of each drawing records the unfolding of an event. As much to do with reflection as with observation, her work represents the depiction of a fluid reality. (

Judith Tucker (Dr)



“My practice explores the meeting of social history, personal memory and landscapes; it investigates their relationship through drawing, painting and scholarly writing. The focus is to investigate how painting and ‘landscape’ might interrelate, how one can be the interface for the other, and what possibilities there are in the space that is created at this interface. I consider my re-presentations of ‘landscape’ in relation to Marianne Hirsch’s writing on postmemory, Karen Till‘s notions of spectral traces and Iain Biggs‘ work on deep mapping. (

I have previously mentioned John Virtue and also Paul Nash about who I will elaborate in my exhibition posting.


What I am now realising I am interested in is where does drawing stop and painting start.  The fact that many of the painters I have chosen work in restricted palette and almost in a photographic/realistic way  intrigues me BUT I love texture and mark.

I am also becoming more aware of how when successful artists manage to create a sense of time/place/memory and other ways to anchor the image in some way.

Part 3 – Project 2 – Exercise 3 – 360 Studies


For my 360 exercise I chose Highdown Hill on a much brighter day than I had on the beach.  Firstly I looked East towards Worthing town but down from the hill.   This was a relatively fast sketch designed to create the elements of the scene very quickly.   Just charcoal on pastel paper – the paper is actually ochre.    I thought it was a very effective way to capture a scene.


Looking to the north over towards the South Downs.   This time I have used the water soluble crays and some pencil. I like the structural quality of this sketch but tonally it does not work that well.   Parts are over worked and fussy which detracts from and interesting perspective.   The foreground of the broken hedgerow is not really that interesting in terms of working on detail.    However this could still provide a useful reference if I wanted to work up another drawing/painting in the studio.


Looking west into a copse on top of the hill.   Again this is water soluble crayon.   This is not the open view that was discussed in the exercise but I like the shape of the tree and it began to feel very Kandinsky – early paintings.   The colours seemed to have emerged themselves and would have liked to further enhance this.   However getting very cold and had to complete the 4th sketch.


Final sketch looking south .    The benches are very abstract in form and the shadows strong.   For this I used a combination of charcoal and the crayons on a paper with some tooth.  Not very well drawn but could see how this could work as an abstract composition with strong directional elements created by the combination of  benches, shadows, landscape layout.

Part 3 – Project 2 – Landscape – Research Point

Samuel Palmer


For a long time I have been drawn to the work of Samuel Palmer  (1805-1881).   It is something that he managed to capture which is between realism and some kind of romantic idyll.   Definitely in the school of English symbolists including William Blake and moved on in the tradition to artists like Paul Nash (see later notes and Exhibition).

I like the use of ink and sepia washes – the diversity of mark making including the density that he managed to create in many of his drawings.


Palmer was clearly a very accomplished draughtsman as is depicted in the scene above and the detailed drawing of the oak tree trunk.   Many of his drawn scenes evoke a rural landscape held in time mostly during the summer months.  When things were plentiful and England was a rich reminder of a land of plenty with everything and everyone in its/their place.   They show a pre-industrial time when the land and nature were much nearer to peoples’ experience and everyday activity.


Paul Nash


Paul Nash (1889-1946) – I seem to be sticking with English painters, was also known as the painter poet.   He is well known for his paintings of the First World War but both before and after that experience he too drew the countryside with a strong structural framework.


I am not writing much about Nash here as I was able to see the exhibition at the Tate Britain and there is a more detailed discussion of his work in the later post.  Suffice to say I am drawn once again to his strong use of form and definition of the landscape.

Wilhemina Barnes-Graham


Barnes-Graham (1912- 2004) if known at all has been for her abstract work.   However throughout her life she drew often in barren and remote places.    She was initially particularly interested in rock formations and structure which subsequently were the basis of some of her later abstract work.

Lava Movement, La Geria 1993 by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham 1912-2004

As with the drawing below Porthmere Beach – 8 lines – the subsequent sparse use of line .   I really admire the discipline of less rather than more in these later drawings and her paintings too.

Eight Lines, Porthmeor 1986 by Wilhelmina Barns-Graham 1912-2004

Joan Eardley

Credit: The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art

Joan Eardley (1921-1963)  a Scottish painter who I had previously known for her paintings of children in the Gorbals in Glasgow had a very strong second obsession.   She painted outdoors mostly using paint in a very visceral way.


At times her work is almost abstract expressionism with strong gestures of paint and colour. I find them dynamic, exciting and evocative of the places that she chose to work.

(c) Anne Morrison; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

They are, despite their loose mark making, still very strong on form, place and time.

John Virtue


John Virtue (1947- ) a painter who is particularly known for working outdoors and literally walking all over his paintings.   His use of his limited palette of black and white and everything in between  creates a very intense visual experience for me.



Also the size of the work is breathtaking.   When viewed you feel drawn into the scenes and enveloped by the Phyllis dynamism of the work.