Friday, 6 March 2009

The waterways project so far


The waterways project so far ........

As the weather gets warmer (my arthritis doesn't like this cold :>( ) I want to get a lot more work done on this project. It was always intended to be a slow burn project but it's a little too slow burn at the moment!

The beautiful huge willows that overhang the water in the charcoal sketch of the 15C packhorse bridge are now the sad pollarded stumps of the lino prints and pastel. Though interesting to draw, the landscape is poorer for their loss. I know they will grow again but it will be a long time before they regain their beauty.

So far I've only looked at Aylestone Meadows, the canal marina at Market Harborough and countryside nearby and the city centre with its old factories and weirs.

I've looked at aerial views thanks to mapslive.com and I'm interested in taking them further at some stage. They show you the context - how the bridges and rivers, canals and streams relate to each other.

In the Charnwood Forest area are old slate quarries, now flooded and surrounded by trees that I want to look at soon. Rocks and depth and craginess - something quite different from the tranquil canal.

update: link to oldest fossil found in that area in really ancient rock

So many things I want to do - I just need the time.

7 comments:

Katherine Tyrrell said...

As I sit here eating my muesli in front of the computer (my catch up time) I have just resolved to go out and walk to my project first thing this morning. All my long walks recently have been about outings to other places. Great for the 'lose weight' project but less good for my Ecology Park project.

I think we do naturally get lulls in projects (weather, illness, other commitments) and you had an incredibly demanding year last year with your Dad's illness and then death. It's in no way surprising to me that this project slowed down a bit.

However just look at all you've accomplished since December!

I TOTALLY empathise with the arthritis situation and how really painful cold damp days in winter can be.

However it's been a real lesson to me to find that exercise and sketching are in no way incompatible with cold dry days in winter - and the cloudy days are fine too so long as I get nice and warmed up with a long walk first!

This morning it's blue skies - so once I've finished breakfast, I'm walking up to the pond. Then I'm sorting pics for an exhibition - and if I have time I might manage a blog post! ;)

Finally - and this should have been up front - but you got a spontaneous outpouring there - I love the little maps. They make sense of all the great sketches and prints which I've seen before.

I was sat looking at the slideshow and thinking what a nice sketchbook display you could put together for that exhibition which is coming up. I wonder if they have a display case?

Lindsay said...

I was struck by your subject matter and your desire to shift to a rocky, craggy place. In addition to your work being very experimental (technique wise) you have a particular expressiveness...longing, a sort of aching beauty.

Lately, I too have been wanting something besides the rather sedate water of the Des Plains River. I've been learning about rocks, and geologic time and it's effects in our area and it feels literally quite anchoring to be reading about millions of years of survival in the stratified rock.

Another geologic process, erosion, would not be possible without the near constant force of water. Erosion and volcanic activity account for a "breath" of our planet's life.

Seems fitting to be wanting such a metaphor in life when there's loss and renewal happening too. Before studying some of the Geology of our area, I had never thought of the earth's processes as offering a comforting metaphor of survival.

vivien said...

lovely comments - thank you both!


Yes, I must find more walking time - but the cold air plays havoc with my asthma :>( - I'm just falling apart and only fit for the scrapyard!

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with that swish new lino set

When we have our group shows I do show the sketchbooks - I LOVE to look at other peoples sketchbooks and a lot of our visitors enjoy it too.

The maps do help explain and pull the work together don't they? Next time I work at Market Harborough I'll have to think about doing the same there.

Lindsay the research is so interesting isn't it? I've got a file of geological, historical, natural history - all sorts of info about the local waterways and I found it fascinating. I'm not quite sure how it will weave in yet but I'd like it to. It's great to know an area in more depth.

The massive changes in geology and the earth fascinate me too - I love the programmes that go into it in depth.

The craggy area of Charnwood is very old rock and they thought there were no fossils in it as it was too old - but a teenage boy found a fossil of a fern, confirmed by the scientists - one of the earliest ever fossils.

I love the experimental ink and wash sketches you've done - and you did some in my moley exchange book which I can't wait to see!

Jeanette said...

Winter puts restrictions on all of us I think, but its then that we find time to explore new techniques and ideas start to sprout.

You have such a wealth of inspiration and history before you in this area and you've only scratched the surface with it. Its exciting to see it unfold and watch the offshoots and ideas come to life.

muddy red shoes said...

I really like the way the ariel views help with the understanding of how it all goes together. And the moody dark images of the bridges...and I adore those poor willows, so atmospheric, lush!

Gesa said...

Yes - the geology and erosion are so fascinating - I wish I would have already done art when I was dragged to all those fieldtrips along the coast here and there. I think that's why I find Tina's paintings from along the coastline fascinating.

But similarly, the much more mundane, quiter (?) washing away of shellsand, the patterning along a shoreline between the tides is fascinating too :)

I think the use of your sketched maps is really useful; and the monoprints around the willow are very inspiring!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Your project looks wonderful so far vivien...you have done so much under the circumstances, its great seeing it all in sequence here and the maps pull it really nicely toghether. Exciting to follow a project and see it unfold.!
ronell