early yesterday morning there was a heavy dew and a pearly light which lit the moisture on the grass and crops, not as pale as frost, palest blue sky over palest green lines of winter wheat

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and the sky was half covered with thin cloud.

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so I worked on a charcoal drawing from memory and imagination, remembering all the fields I saw in Old Woman’s Lane in Cley, with their different patterns of drilled wheat or barley, and the electricity poles with their cross-crossings making a different pattern across the landscape from the hedges and lanes, and the drilled lines. trying to make a rhythmic composition that expresses the textures and patterns, condensing my felt experience of these fields.

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I started two paintings

first-painting

one quite small, to get a feel for how colour/paint/mark-making might work

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and a bigger canvas begun

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layering and trying to find the same rhythms as in the drawing

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then I built up the fields with their lines. the drawing was my most important reference; I saw that the foreground hedge was not solid – there was a lighter section that needed to be put back in. this worked well, the layering allowing mark-making back though the light layer back to the dark.

detailhedge

looking at the drawing I could see that I’d lost the drama of the electricity wires swooping right down to the horizon, so I worked back into the sky

detailpole

I’ve put a lot of paint on this canvas, so you really can’t see much of my deeply textured gesso brush marks

 

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here it is as finished as I could get in the fading light. it will be interesting to look in a couple of days with fresh eyes in a good light. but I think this is going in an interesting and productive direction.

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a closer look in a better light

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I think I need the acrylic to be a bit juicier for this when I get the brush involved

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but over all it’s a brave step I think

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started a new one today so here’s the first charcoal

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felt I needed something a bit bolder

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and the basic underpainting steps in place. note we have the evidence of people and machines – a flat-bed truck and a tractor in the charcoal drawings, which I hadn’t put into the painting at this point.

I think I must go and see the Paul Nash exhibition at Tate Britain.