Maybe it was the unrelenting sunny skies down here in the South East of England or may be it was the need to keep changing my subject matter to allow my technique to continue to evolve but I turned to Northumberland for this painting. This may look like the cliche view of Lindisfarne Castle, but you would have to negotiate slippery rocks and get your feet wet to get to the view point I imagined here.
The boat is a conscious reference to early Twentieth Century Cubist seascapes but the angle of the mast made a nice isosceles triangle not left hand edge of the mound. I put in the lobster pot and coil of rope because I thought this is the kind of gear a Northumbrian fisherman would use.
This is about the IDEA of the castle emerging from the rocks - so no windows and the IDEA of the boat so no rigging to the mast, no anchor cable, no buoy, no planking. All extraneous details omitted. The scree slope was a problem in trying to achieve that. They are all about loose lumps of rocks breaking out of the line of the slope, catching light and casting shadows. It bothers me that I am getting too illustrative. What do you think?
All the time my family lived in Newcastle the wind was blowing, so the clouds are ragged. Somehow whenever I have visited Lindisfarne it has been in wintry weather, so no sunlit highlights on the grassy slopes at the base of the mound or softening the walls of the castle.
So what grabbed me? In part it was the strong contrast between the different faces of the rock and castle walls which zigzag down the mound and partly it is the way this ensemble resembles a little volcano with a lava plug eroded out of it sticking up into the sky. It worries me that this could be seen as a re-emerging of an interest in Architecture when I have tried to put all that behind me.
When I was an Architectural student one of my tutors accused me of being a neo- Expressionist. We were meant to be so, so cool and ironic. He thought it was put down,I thought of it as a compliment and here I have let it all hang out.