Tag Archives: landscape

Lune Year Launch – Saturday 3rd December

My exhibition of drawings and paintings, Lune Year, will be on show at Halton Mill in December and January. The exhibition opening is between 12 – 4 pm on Saturday 3rd December, and all are welcome, do come along if you’re free. There is also an arts and craft fair at the Mill on the same day, and the cafe will be open. It would be lovely to see you there.

My work will remain on display at Halton Mill 10 – 5 (weekdays only) until Friday 13th January.

Lune Year Exhibition Flyer

I’m launching the exhibition to coincide with the anniversary of Storm Desmond, which caused extensive flooding in the Lancaster area and elsewhere in the North of England. The peak recorded flow of the Lune was equivalent to 41 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water going past the measuring gauge every minute, a rate that would fill the Royal Albert Hall in less than a minute. For anyone who knows this part of the river, the Lune was flowing over the top of the Crook O’ Lune bridge, several metres above its usual height. I have never before experienced such an event, and while the floods themselves were both terrifying and awe inspiring to watch, it was the aftermath which has really fascinated me. The river and riverside at Halton has been profoundly altered, with many areas washed away, new islands formed, and almost a year later, grass and debris are still hanging in the trees high above the usual waterline. After the floods receded, all these changes in the riverside really became apparent, and I decided to continue drawing and painting the river throughout the year; this exhibition is the result.

 

Doon The Water

Here are a few sketches from over the summer. I’ve been sailing, (doing my Day Skipper course, with Scotsail based at Largs on the Firth of Clyde, who I really recommend). I forgot to take any Paynes Grey or blue watercolour paint, other than Cerulean (sky blue). Most of the landscapes I saw were either basically grey, or blue, so I had to do what I am always trying to teach i.e. focus mainly on tones of light and dark and not worry about ‘accurate’ colour, just use what I like. I also forgot all but one useable paintbrush and I didn’t have any watercolour paper. It has reminded me that to sketch you really don’t need much at all, and also, how rubbish I am at packing.

Burnt Islands, Kyles of Bute

Burnt Islands, Kyles of Bute

Two watercolours from the Kyles of Bute. We’d sailed north from Largs to Port Bannatyne, (accompanied by porpoises much of the way), then up the east Kyle and anchored in Balnakailly Bay. I sketched these while we had a boat barbeque. We didn’t make fast progress because we were doing our Sailing Drills along the way, i.e. practising picking up moorings, practicing messing up moorings, practicing diving off the end of the boat and retrieving the tangled moorings from around the rudder, and so on. This was the only day of bad weather. Bad weather is so much more interesting to paint though, in my opinion. I enjoyed the challenge of perceiving/inventing nice colours out of the smirry dreich drizzle. (Scots is so much better than English for describing rain.)

Balnakailly Bay, Kyles of Bute

Balnakailly Bay, Kyles of Bute

Porpoise

Stunning photo of one of our porpoise friends

Boat BBQ

Boat BBQ

Me sketching

Sketching in the Smirr

The rest of the trip was lovely weather so I concentrated on sailing and didn’t do any more drawing. I painted the following afterwards when we stayed in a cottage further north in Argyll, based on photos and memories. We saw a few noteworthy other boats while sailing. This ketch (two masted sailing boat) was just really pretty, near Portavadie at the bottom of Loch Fyne. We saw the Waverley Paddle Steamer on a day out ‘doon the water’ from Glasgow. And a nuclear submarine near Arran.

Ketch

Ketch, near Loch Fyne. I had no ‘blue’ paint (cobalt or ultramarine) so had to mix purple and caerulean.

The Waverley

The Waverley Paddle Steamer

Smoke on Arran

Smoke on Arran

Arran is a stunning island, the hills are really imposing.

p1290434

Sailing Boats, Brodick

Sailing Boats, Brodick. Our yacht, Kitmar, is on the right. Not that you can discern anything other than a white blob.

p1290344

At Portavadie Marina. This is our sailing instructor Andy in front

The following sketches are from further north in Argyll after we finished sailing. I’m a skipper now, woo hoo!

West from Dunadd Fort

West from Dunadd Fort

Sketch from the top of Dunadd Fort, looking west towards Taynish Forest and Loch Sween.

Wee house, Keillmore

Wee house, Keillmore

Sound of Jura

Sound of Jura

Paps of Jura

Paps of Jura

Jura from near Kilmory

Jura from near Kilmory

Lune Year: Buddleia and Flowering Currant with Warlocks Whiskers

These drawings are of buddleia and flowering currant bushes growing alongside the River Lune in Halton, outside my studio. They are just beginning to bud, and I wanted to record the budding leaves and blossoms tangled in the ‘flood grass’, or warlords whiskers, as a friend calls it.

Buddleia & Flood Grass #1, mixed media

Buddleia & Flood Grass #1, mixed media

Buddleia and Flood Grass #2. Mixed media

Buddleia and Flood Grass #2. Mixed media

Flowering Currant with Flood Grass. Mixed media

Flowering Currant with Flood Grass. Mixed media

Without really planning it, I’ve embarked on a project I’ve called Lune Year. I am drawing and painting the river, and the riverside, for twelve months following the ‘big flood’ of December 5th, 2015. I’m fascinated by the way that the riverside has been so profoundly changed. From late November until mid January, give or take a few days, the river was in spate. On the night of 5th December, the river flooded to unprecedented levels. The environment agency recorded the flood on 5th/6th December as follows:
The River Gauge at Caton on the River Lune recorded the highest ever flow on an English river as 1742 cumecs (m3/second) – That’s 1742 tonnes of water flowing down the river every second! The flow peak was recorded at 00:15 on 6th December 2015 following the intense sustained rainfall from Storm Desmond.

The river throughout December and early January was pretty scary to be honest. However, it was also utterly fascinating. I spent a lot of time filming and photographing it, at different points within walking distance of my studio, and I began my series of paintings and drawings. I’m planning to exhibit them next spring, once the twelve months is up. In the meantime, I’ll post some of the work on my blog.

The Last Skydancer on show at Platform Gallery, Clitheroe

I’ve just crossed, or rather skirted around the snowy Forest of Bowland to deliver three paintings to the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe. They will be exhibited in “Creativity within the Beauty”, an exhibition of work by artists from across the region. The exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Forest Of Bowland being designated as an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

I’m exhibiting three recent paintings. ‘The Last Skydancer’ is my most recent Bowland painting. I originally conceived it as a study of the mid-winter moorland, before the snow. I wanted to capture the beautiful shades of colour of the moorland, which has huge variety even on a dull day, (as most winter days are here!). I added in a hen harrier, or Skydancer, as they are sometimes called, afterwards.

I had been reading about the plight of this upland raptor which is now all but extinct in England due largely to persecution on grouse moors. Hen harriers love to eat grouse, so are shot by gamekeepers protecting grouse for the shooting season. The Forest of Bowland used to be a stronghold of the hen harrier, but in recent years their numbers have plummeted – from 15 pairs in 2005 to effective extinction by 2014.  Then last summer, their luck seemed to pick up slightly when following a two year absence where no hen harriers bred at all in England, the birds somewhat miraculously returned to the Bowland fells to nest. Under 24/7 survelliance by RSPB staff and volunteers, nine chicks were raised, a bumper crop of skydancers. But shortly after having fledged the nest two of the young birds, Sky and Hope, went missing. It is not known what happened to them. Their radio transmitters and bodies have never been found, and despite the offer of a £1000 reward, nobody has come forward with any information and no perpetrators have been identified.

Despite living on the edge of the Bowland Fells, the closest I have ever come to seeing a hen harrier is on the Forest of Bowland signs, so perhaps it is somewhat ‘cheating’ to paint one. Nonetheless, I painted this in memory of Hope and Sky, the young birds who went missing last autumn. I hope very much that this painting is mis-named and that one day I might see a live Skydancer gliding above the moorland.

There are also two other paintings that I’ve recently finished on display in the exhibition, ‘Sheep, Hawthornthwaite Fell’, as seen in the snowy late winter of 2013, and ‘Autumn Sky over Wyresdale’, which shows the view looking west from the little Bowland fell of Nicky Nook.

'Sheep, Hawthornthwaite Fell', Oil on board 89 x 89 cm

‘Sheep, Hawthornthwaite Fell’, Oil on board, 89 x 89 cm

'The Last Skydancer', Oil on board, 91 x 66 cm

‘The Last Skydancer’, Oil on board, 91 x 66 cm

 

'Autumn Sky over Wyresdale' Acrylic on board, 40 x 30 cm

‘Autumn Sky over Wyresdale’ Acrylic on board, 40 x 30 cm

 

 

Eskdale, June.

Here are three unseasonable paintings of Eskdale, Cumbria, in June. I sketched while I was there, but it was only two weeks ago I finally got around to painting these.

Summer arrived late this year. Midsummer was cold and grey; the only clue to the season in upper Eskdale was the colour of the grass, a beautiful almost shockingly bright green. Small gaps in the clouds allowed shafts of sunlight through which picked out the shape of the fellsides and highlighted parts of the drystone dykes. The granite scree and boulders looks almost purple and blue in shadow.

The paintings will be for sale in an Affordable Art Show at the Storey Institute, Lancaster for the next few weeks. The show opens this Friday 29th November, from 6-9 pm – everyone is welcome.

Acrylic painting of Eskdale, Cumbria

Eskdale, Cumbria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acrylic painting of Eskdale, Cumbria

Eskdale, Cumbria

Acrylic painting of Eskdale, Cumbria

Eskdale, Cumbria

Paintings of Morecambe Bay in autumn

These acrylic paintings are of the view south west across the channels of the River Keer, which flows into Morecambe Bay carving beautiful shapes into the mud. In fading autumn afternoon light at low tide the sky and the land appear in soft and muted tones of grey, purple and blue, while the water in the river channels flashes silver. Living near the edge of Morecambe Bay I visit it as often as I can, watching how the light and colours change throughout the seasons. These were painted after a recent trip to Silverdale, near the border with Cumbria. As usual I painted using my fingers and a palette knife as well as paintbrushes. I’d like to say I do this because working directly with my fingers allows a more spontaneous, direct style, however, I think I really just like being messy.

The paintings are for sale at http://www.artgallery.co.uk/artist/janet_mary_robinson.

Acrylic landscape painting of Morecambe Bay.

Autumn, Morecambe Bay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acrylic landscape painting of Morecambe Bay

River Keer, Morecambe Bay.