Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pebbles, Paint and Possibilities

St. Ives
This rough and rugged place of pebbled beaches, azure blue sky, teal green sea, deadly cliffs, narrow lanes, iron age circles, tropical gardens, open moors, and herds of wild ponies overwhelms my creative senses to the point of near panic and procrastination.

Ever since I first arrived in Cornwall in 1999, I have been in love with the land, the sea, the history and the people. My husband's people come from this ancient place and still reside in villages of Mevagissey and Fowey, very near the place my husband, Peter, was born in Mt. Charles.


Charlestown Quay down the road from Mt. Charles

For the first 8-9 years of our travels to Cornwall, I was a mad woman absorbing the culture, environment, language, and history as quickly as possible ... while feeling an obligation to made art.

With limited time slipping away, I frantically filled sketchbooks with black and white illustrations of people, boats, historic locations and everyday life.  Or felt the rush, excitement AND panic in my chest as I attempt to capture the constantly changing light as the weather allowed.

Gorran Haven 2008
Rock Pool Series 2008
But in 2008, the abstracted, cubist landscapes of St. Ives artist, Peter Lanyon (1918-1964), made me rethink the way I approach space and perspective. This epiphany changed my approach to painting, as well as my abstract handmade paper constructions. But I still felt pressed to MAKE art.

But this year, I have not allowed myself to stress out about some pre-conceived fictional deadline.  Before we left the States, I gave myself permission - to slow down even more. 
To give myself ... my art ... my relationship with Peter ... and my spirit ... 
a chance to breath. 

This year, we returned to St. Ives by train.

St. Ives

St. Ives
Wandering in and out of galleries down to the Tate, it was Lar Cann's (1943 --) current abstract paintings of the rock quarries of Cornwall that gave us both pause. Simple, beautiful, intense, and textured in glorious colors!

What took me so long to embrace similar intense hues in my paintings? Fear of boldness? 
Thus, I am once again drawn to simplification, minimalization, and abstraction ... with the addition of a more passionate color palette ... allowing intuition to be inspired by the microcosmic landscapes embedded within and upon the beach pebbles themselves.  If you think my choice of colors seem too brash, you have never walked along the surf of a Cornish beach in the sunshine. 

Cornwall 2012 - Painting 1
Add a bit of cubist landscape ...  

Cornwall 2012 - Painting 2
Cornwall 2012 - Painting 3
And perhaps a sea creature or two ...

Cornwall 2012 - Painting 4
Work in progress
I spy from my temporary studio window, 
set high above the Mevagissey quay and the English Channel beyond ... 

pebbles, paint and an array of possibilities for our final week abroad.

1 comment:

  1. I am intrigued about your interest in my painting. (I'm the visitor from Liskeard identified on the live traffic feed.) If you look up the village of St Cleer you will see it is located on the SE edge of Bodmin Moor some distance from St Ives.The granite quarries to be found there are a principal starting point for the work - the colour, however, is from a quite different source. kaffeecan@btinternet.com and I will expand if you are interested. Lar