Together with my partner Gabrielle I’m working, as I write in June 2013, towards leaving The Turn of the Tide Studio in St Just near Lands End in the UK where we have lived since 1986. A date for our move is still to be finalised but creeps inexorably closer. Amid the excitement of making plans towards our new home and the hard work of sorting through twenty-seven years of accumulated paraphernalia, artistic and otherwise, an element of sadness at leaving familiar haunts remains for us both as well as the hopes we have for the future. It could be that such mixed feelings are finding their way into what I’ve been able to find time to paint recently.
So for example as I was putting the finishing touches to a recent painting, as so often at such times, a title occurred to me. It was Farewell to Lands End ( http://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/farewell_to_lands_end_000.html ) for the piece re-presents a distant prospect of this famous spot as seen from Carn Bosavern, the hill just behind The Turn of the Tide Studio. In basing it on an angle of view directed towards the afternoon sun I found that sombre shadowy tones predominated across the foreground with gorse topped hedges providing some much needed warmth, a foil to the increasingly hazy and cooler coastal forms beyond. This backward glance of farewell perhaps begs the question: “what next?”
Gorse blossom time, Kenidjack Valley by contrast comes from a vista in the direction that people here term “up-country“. It‘s the direction of our planned move. The source of light in this painting was firmly behind me so that I was able to give full play to the brightness of sunlit gorse, of spring greenery and of the bluebell tints in the distant sea and sky. Perhaps a less wistful and more cheerful mood has come through here. See for yourself at http://www.hendersonsmith.co.uk/gorse_blossom_time.html .