Balloon escape

Balloon escape

The artist (me!!!) did not imagine this entire picture in one time, similar to my other larger drawings. The black hills in the distance were drawn first followed by the smaller crystalline cliffs in the foreground.  Sketches of the house followed this to the left and tree (far right), some balloons, and the explosion to the very left, the lake, the sun and finally the garden along the base of the picture.

The farmhouse to the left looks high over the valley and the sun can be seen with its milky reflection in the lake. The balloons fill the sky with business, the sky left unshaded to give the balloons more attention.

Alot of attention was focused on the balloons, giving them all individual designs. Some look more 2 dimensional, particularly the largest balloon in front of the explosion.

All the plants are imaginary ones, like it’s on another planet (just like the artist I hear you saying!). Notice there are no baskets to the balloons, a play on the clean line of the pear shape. The first drawn balloon was the one with the thick vertical stripes to the right of the sun. This originally was a freehand error in the actual pear shape, so I made use of these lines, making them look like tethers.

One needs a good look at this busy picture to notice the balloon preparing for flight in the bottom right of the picture and the white ‘groping’ hand in the scree slopes at the base of the crystalline hills.

View over Arles

View over Arles

Spending two hours at the highest point of the old amphitheatre, with pencil in hand, deep blue sky, limitless sun, pure milky warmth and swarms of paid Japanese camcorder rushing tourists fitting in a heavy schedule. And then there was me. Should I be spending this time watching the swifts dart across the beauty of the Arles skyline, concentrating on the gradual coming together of this river facing view pencil sketch or going back to the tent to cook my own food so as to save money on not eating out. Back in the cooler settings of my dear friend Kates’ house in Ireland, this view was expanded in pen and ink for Kates’ 67th birthday and to say thank you for my elongated stay. All the buildings were very much a representation of what I saw and sketched, not from a tacky tourist photo.

Sharp peaks

Sharp peaks

A surreal mountain view, with clarity in each peak and complex patterns evolving to give each mountain a character of its own. The picture takes on a certain enormity by the road going into the distance and wrapping itself around these accentuated structures. The moody sky accentuates the tunnel like vision and ‘stabilises’ the whole scene. In the foreground, the Lebanese style tree represents grandeur and age, whilst the tree on the right lends itself to subtlety and delicateness.

perfect grasses 2

perfect grasses 2

No noise, no wind, no air pollution. Stillness and perfect harmony, pure, unspoilt, permanent. So, are these blades of grass a few inches tall or monstrous 400 feet plants? The delicacy of the tops of these grasses, tipping over from the effects of gravity was an important part of controlling the line of the pen, one slip would ruin the harmony. Other subtleties include some blades tucked in behind some and in front of others. The ones most bent over never make it to the highest point and give depth to the top half of the picture.

moonstrike 2

moonstrike 2

I felt I wanted to develop and increase the size of the town from the original moonstrike and to create a more substantial frame to give the picture more ‘focus’. The technique of constructing the criss crossing meteorite style white lines remained the same but the town resonates in the bottom centre of the picture with its tightly packed houses and churches dotted about, totally created from imagination.

Matrix

Matrix

Working on the theme of the perfect grasses but just a snapshot of the mid portion of the blades, the background was dot shaded (took ages) getting progressively darker towards the top. Adding my often used planetry or Sun shere behind the blades is highlighted more by the dark shading. Like many of my pictures, its best appreciated close up so you can loose yourself in the imaginary forest.

Lead mine chimneys

Lead mine chimneys

Again picking the clearest of days, chewing through some serious walking on the moors of N.E. England, these abrupt beautiful chimneys beset the clear blue skyline. Their seemingly permanent addition to the wildness of the moors Exacerbates their relative focus of attention, so I have tried to captivate the mood by highlighting the chimneys as detailed as possible but adding the space of the sky and moorland beyond. There is nothing sinister about the history of these structures, which would have surely captivated 1000’s of hours of hard toil and low pay. The innocence is captured by giving the sky make believe clouds. This picture is a relatively accurist way to portray these structures, nothing appearing too cluttered or trying too hard to ‘add’ to the general scene. Purely a snapshot of what my mind told me to do after that great hike. Well away from reality, time, pressure and noise.

hills of beeches

hills of beeches

Having spent most of my time in the south of England, the surrounding chalky landscape with its copses of trees planted meticulously at the brow of the hills was made into a dreamy idealistic panorama. Again, this is a real trail as you really don’t know how effective this would be until the finer, more distant hills are put into place which binds the picture together and gives it depth of field. I decided to make the landscape feel broader by adding a penetrating sun which creates more of a fantasy to this rather unique landscape

hedgerow

hedgerow

Following on from the popular landscape of ‘Perfect Grasses’ completed 10 years earlier, the winter hedgerow grew from right to left, realizing from the start that this project would consume vast amounts of time. The branches gradually increase in size as in all plant growth, again playing the ‘what if’ scenario if I persevere with creating these growth patterns. Definitely in this picture my mind as telling me of all the hours that I’ve put into my work over the years, will I see a financial return/do I really want to sell them/but I must if I’m going to become a serious artist and make a living. But then the process of drawing the ideas become disturbed and I carry on my own sweet way, battling with the onslaught of facing bills at the end of the month.

Gothic

Gothic

A picture depicting a view over a clean/modern city through two gothic style windows, the central pillar leaving the viewer to imagine what is behind it. I tried to depict different architectural structures in every building. The older terraced housing in the foreground has that feeling of being encroached upon no doubt in the near future will be eradicated forever. Attention to detail have been purposefully left uncluttered to help focus into the distance and the evening sky. The internal walls to the room simulate limestone blocks to give it a solid, secure feeling. The walls is not supposed to give the room a cold feel, despite it being sparsely furnished, if left white, I think would have done. To some people, this would be an idyllic city view and one could ask oneself what the building would look like from the exterior. Where else can you get a view high above a city from gothic windows?