Is this seat pictured above the best in Wales? Stunning views are featured at this Red Kite Bird Reserve, called Nant-Y-Arian just outside Aberystwyth, Ponterwyd in Wales. I took a trip down here with my friends at the beginning of November 2013 as it’s a spot we always escape from the small town life that Aberystwyth has to offer.
We followed one of the trails, and found this seat, where I sat for approx. 40mins just looking. I took a few photographs to document the type of day it was, but there are very few times where I remember being so stopped in my tracks by the beauty of the land around me. The transience of the landscape, and the fleeting nature of it was very apparent to me that day, and I felt inspired to paint.
The next day, I began to paint a direct reaction to the landscape I had just seen and that was so fresh in my mind. From photographs and a few small thumbnail sketches to work from, I relied heavily on my instinct, intuition and memory. I adjusted and readjusted previous marks, responding to colour, form and what was left from before to build a constructed and experimental landscape. I wasn’t interested in achieving a direct representation, but rather an impressionistic interpretation. I was chasing the ‘essence’ of the landscape. I wanted to portray how the landscape made me feel, I tried to keep it light, vivid and full of life.
My coursemate Kristy had a turn at reacting to marks that I had placed on the canvas. The result is a moody, landscape-esque type of painting. It balances somewhere precariously between figuration and abstraction.
Falling in love with paint all over again!
Transient, fleeting moments of the landscape is what I try to capture in my painting practice. I try to capture the ‘essence’ of the landscape, even though when I paint it may not appear completely figurative.
A trip to this Reservoir In Ireland at the Start of October, left me inspired. Stillness, colours, sense of depth, composition were all things that stayed with me.
Landscape is All-powerful, uncontainable, untameable.
These three Aerial View Paintings marked the peak of my Undergraduate degree in Fine Art Painting at Aberystwyth University. Throughout my Three years in Aberystwyth, I had been heavily inspired by the rugged Welsh landscape, and found a love for cartography in my second year of study. Moving away from Map work, the concept of the Aerial View stayed an important influence. Being from Ireland, I always loved flying back and forth to see the land from above. I was fixated with the natural forms, lines and colours of the land and how from above the earth looked like some kind of abstract painting. I began painting instinctive and gestural Aerial landscapes which were a direct response to my experience of flying and the earth from above.
However, at the end of my Undergraduate degree, and embarking on my Masters, I strived to move away from the Aerial View, with the idea of beginning to incorporate the skyline back into my works. I still was interested in forms, and experience of being in the landscape, but just didn’t have such a specific ‘category’ as such for my paintings. I was excited to begin experimenting in my Masters degree, unsure of the outcome, but relying on the process rather than the end product.