Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Two Further Visits

 The visits are going well and though it would be tempting to visit my field more regularly I need that interval between visits to process what I've seen and work on the ideas which are developing.

Third Visit:

On my to do list for my third visit is drawing and you may well see it again. The results are underwhelming and not shown here, but by now I know I must just keep trying. Photographs are easy and observations too, slices of bread in the drawing sandwich, so I should be able to do better.  This photograph makes this perfect point: It look many shots to capture just what I was seeing.  It also demonstrates the seeming dominance of green is not necessarily the case; it depends on the angle from which the shot is taken.


What I like particularly here are the strong uprights contrasting with the leaves' green growth and their curved shapes.


And now from above where the chickweed appears to dominate.


A cropped image of the hedge showing strong parallel lines, the developing trunks wrapped in their opaque plastic sheaths.  I managed to find some that had broken off and bought it home for the Museum of Curiosities.  Snail tracks dusted with dirt are marked in patches.  And again, in the image, there are parallel bands of sky, another hedge and the greening field.


Finally on this visit, more strong uprights and parallels, this time hawthorn suckers with their spiky offshoots.

Fourth Visit:

Weather plays such a part in these visits. It affects the experience on the day and how long I want to stay: the cold, the damp don't encourage lingering but it is after all only spring. Weather in the interim is significant too.  It will have shaped the changes I see.  

We have had rain and snow and sleet, some bright sunshine too, but not intense enough or for long enough to prepare me for what I see.

There are shadows on the road and the hedge is alive with leaves and blossom, full flower and knot-like buds.



As I move round the end of the hedge and enter the field there is another profusion of growth: rape has stretched up,the flowers  more golden than lemon yellow.  Gone are the speedwell and violets, instead the tufts of grass and the yellow of dandelions predominate.  Here too is a red-purple palette: red-dead nettles in clumps, their flowers pink-red with toning leaves. The veins of dock surprisingly red too.

Returning to the idea of  assemblages I mentioned in my previous blog, I notice ones created in the field: two finger sticks of twig, their bark unwrapping to reveal the dried striated wood beneath, and nearby a scattering of golden flints  remnants almost from an archaeological dig.  My eye is in and also sees one soft-furled hen pheasant's feather, a snail's shell and a stiff blue crisp of plastic.

Thinking with my Hands:

Even though I know Module 5 work may well lead to an embroidered piece in whites and neutrals I still want to explore the colours I am seeing.  This interest in thinking about colour has been further encouraged by Claire Benn's online course on "Exploring Fibre Reactive Dyes", which I watched  and found really interesting and am going to try.

First of all a patchwork idea based on the 1784 map.  I chose what I've called the Pond Fields, and tested out in colour magazine paper how two fields could be conveyed at this time of year.  It was interesting to see the effect of line and shadowing.  Patchwork is something I referred to when discussing the road/verge/hedgerow photograph, and earlier in this post the sky/hedge/field image.


Next paper weaving, a return to the Foundation Module. First two torn-along-a-ruler samples followed by one more free-hand example which I think is better.  Here I'm trying to look at the fields texture as well as consider the balance of colour.  So good to have the soil samples to cross reference.  In 1:55 I try to hint at reds-purples in the field.




Each time I visited my field the word green seemed inadequate.  Here I carried out a colour mixing activity using watercolours: two yellows (lemon yellow and golden yellow) mixed with two blues (ultramarine and turquoise).  No wonder the word "green" seems inadequate!  It does occur to me that I might have achieved stronger colours with gouache.


Further Explorations:

  • wrapping
  • monoprinting
  • making printing blocks

Further Research:
  • commonland/enclosures
  • hedges/hedgerows

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