Dancing light at Machpelah

I've been working on 3 giant charcoal drawings for the past few weeks, for the Inspired By Landscape exhibition at Cliffe Castle in September. Each sheet of paper is 8ft tall and 5 ft wide.  I've never done any drawing that big before and as my studio space at Brooklyn is very small, finding a space to do the work was a problem at first.

For a while I was stumped until colleague Lynda Thomas suggested I approach Trevor Smith who owns Machpelah Mill in Hebden Bridge.  Trevor has been really great and is letting me use the basement room there.  Its big and empty with white walls, a high ceiling and windows overlooking the shady canal so ideal for the job.  I'm leading a monastic kind of life there, mostly silent, very peaceful and total concentration on the drawing process.  I'm really enjoying it.

The only distraction if you can call it that is the dancing pattern of sunlight reflecting off the surface of the canal and projected onto the walls and ceiling, especially in the late afternoon.  I've often noticed and appreciated this kind of thing on canal walks on the underside of bridges usually, and it also happened at the National Trust mill house we stayed at during May, in North Norfolk, when the brook beamed light up into the building.

Anyway, I find this phenomenom completely captivating, the liquid light intangible and transient yet so intensely present. Its the quivering movement that makes the magic, and as with so many lovely things, its simple and complex.

The moving image would best show what I mean, but until I get a video a still will have to do although its hopeless really.

August Leaves

Leaves for a maritime climate.  These are all from the Presqu'ile de Rhuys, a peninsula on the gulf of Morbihan in South Brittany.  One of my favourite places, especially the beach and salt marshes surrounding the Chateau of Suscinio.

The top one is known as Salicorne in french and is a kind of Samphire.  I can never think of this coast without picturing its lovely green flowers and unusual scent.