One of the greatest things about driving is the fact that I now have the means to go to places that are either inaccessible or extremely long to get to via public transport; I just pack up a bag, jump in the car and I’m off to wherever it is that takes my fancy, time and weather permitting of course.
Yesterday I decided to head up to the remains of Hadleigh Castle, not a great deal of the castle is left but there’s definitely enough to get a sense of the place and a feel for how it once stood so proudly and defiant against a most beautiful and scenic backdrop.
I found it to be an incredibly peaceful place to sit and reflect, there were a few people about but it wasn’t overly busy like many of the more popular tourist sites and attractions around the country. Continue reading “Hadleigh Castle”→
After a short hiatus and a struggle to get back into the swing of working on my art projects every day and keeping the blog updated regularly enough to justify having one, I’m finally getting back into the mindstate I require in order to get the work done.
In aid of this journey back to my preferred reality, this evening I decided that me and my wife should get out for an hour or so and go down to the marina at the local nature reserve and go for a nice walk in the serenity of the beautiful landscape which is unbelievably close to the council estate we live in.
In light of a few technicalities I’ve been having with getting started on my Tristan and Yseult painting, I’m going to put that on the back burner for a short while; though I have written an outline of the legend as I want it to be and will flesh that out and edit it to post real soon. For the painting itself, I will get round to it once the arisen problems with it have been solved.
In the meantime and due to the inspiration I received whilst writing my last post, I’m going to create some ‘Middle Earth’ themed artworks, it’s something I’m a huge fan of and also by regularly creating artworks it’s good practice and training for me.
This will mainly consist of loads of sketches and drawings, finally culminating in an oil painting showing one of Tolkien’s masterful narrative scenes; there’s also the possibility of one or two watercolour landscapes as well, I’m currently more comfortable with watercolours than I am with oils as I’m totally new to them therefore the one oil painting that I do produce may take some time to accomplish.
My next post will be on Wednesday 15th July and will contain some sketches that I’ve been doing for this project.
After everything had quietly sifted through my head a great peace came over me. Here, where the river gently winds through the girdle of hills, lies a soil so saturated with the past that however far back the mind roams one can never detach it from its human background. Christ, before my eyes there shimmered such a golden peace that only a neurotic could dream of turning his head away. So quietly flows the Seine that one hardly notices its presence. It is always there, quiet and unobtrusive, like a great artery running through the human body. In the wonderful peace that fell over me it seemed as if I had climbed the top of a high mountain; for a little while I would be able to look around me, to take in the meaning of the landscape. – Henry Miller
February 20th 2014, the day after me and my better half were wed, we headed off on the Eurostar to Paris to spend a few days in the city of romance; the beauty of this place is absolutely undeniable and it’s a place I will definitely visit again before long.
We did the usual tourist stuff, going up the Eiffel Tower, visiting the Musée du Louvre (obviously), Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame and the various other attractions that must be visited when in this city; but once place that I became totally besotted with is this simple river, the Seine. The reality of it is that it’s just a river, quite polluted albeit not as bad as the Thames of the Tiber, but at the end of the comparisons in many people’s eyes it’s still just a river. For me it was more than that, something about the way this particular river flowed, the way sunlight glimmered off of the surface, turning “just a river” into a body of fluently flowing beauty and elegance.
We came down to this particular spot for a little while everyday that we were in Paris; our hotel being only a 5 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower made this location very easy to get to. To spend time here was an experience that I’ll never forget, it made me feel at one with the environment and in tune with the natural elements of such a built up area; unlike the millions of tourists flocking around with cameras constantly glued to their faces, sometimes it’s nice to take some time and appreciate a place, take in everything around, the view, the smells, the sounds and let your brain record that information. This makes a much stronger more vivid memory than just a photograph; but they obviously help for a visual recording of what you have seen and to make one able to share a memory or the view of a memory with others as I am doing now.
On our last night in Paris we decided to take a river boat cruise as the sun was setting, it was a 2 hour cruise along the Seine and as a person that’s not overly keen on boats or ships I was in my absolute element; this was without a doubt my favourite time on water that I’ve ever experienced; an 8 hour voyage across the North sea during winter season being the worst.
I’ll add some photographs that I took now to show the aesthetics of the river cruise.
Not being a photographer and at the time these photographs were taken I hadn’t had any lessons in photography, combined with the fact that I just used a standard Fujifilm Finepix digital camera; the photographs that I took were not of the best quality and it worsened as it got darker. Truth be told though I spent more time using my senses than the camera and that’s how I prefer to capture a moment, but these photographs can still show the beauty of this place and it’s somewhere that’s got to be visited at least once in a lifetime.
The course I’m currently on at college is called an “Access to Art & Design Foundation Diploma”, basically it does what it says on the tin and upon completion with a pass, I gain the opportunity to “access” university and study at degree level in any art-related area. This is an intense course, packed with various different modules of art types; figure studies, graphics, printmaking, 3D, colour theory, mixed media, textiles and photography; eventually ended with a final major project.
At the moment I’m working on a few modules at once, this post however is in relation to the photography module, and also a touch of graphics I guess but it won’t be submitted for graphics as I have already completed that module.
The calotype was first introduced in 1841 by William Henry Fox Talbot and was one of the earliest methods of photograph development; without going too into detail and unraveling the entire history of photography and the variety of methods discovered, I’m just going to move forward.
I have made 2 digital calotypes, using Photoshop CS6 and 2 of my own photographs.
This photograph was taken in Paris, from the entrance of the Musée du Louvre, this photo, in all of it’s beauty was one of those happy accidents, when you just point and click and don’t realise the atmosphere and beauty that has just been immortalised in that very moment; in fact I didn’t realise until well after I had got back to the UK and was looking through the photographs I had taken. The digital calotype process has in my opinion, given this image an even better ambience and the true vintage feel that Paris emits through every piece of cracked pavement.
I took this photo of the National Gallery earlier this year whilst visiting, again the calotype process has added extra eminence to this historical and magnificent building, the antique photographic quality is a compliment to the beautifully powerful architecture of this re envisioned Parthenon; standing dominantly in London’s Trafalgar Square, swallowing tourists by the thousands.
Well, that is all from me for now I hope that if you have seen them, you like them; I certainly don’t profess to be a photographer in any way, but I am enjoying the module and the learning curve of camera use, which is incredibly harder than the point and click method I previously employed.