This is a ongoing project to depict the seasonal life of one location over the course of one year. Primarily it will illustrate one day from each month of 2018 in a set of twelve oil paintings. But I also intend making smaller studies, drawings and prints to go with them. And to share my inspiration and progress in a series of blogs. It has taken a year to gather all the raw material for this – the notes,photos and sketches – and it’ll take a good while yet to complete, as I have a full time job too!
The location is a characteristic South Devon landscape. A gently rounded hill viewed from a high north-facing field across a deep, narrow, stream-cut valley. A quiet place moulded by the enduring strength of it’s ancient geology, the centuries old utility of it’s fields and hedgerows, and the marvelous diversity of it’s weather and wildlife. In some ways it is timeless. Season follows season. The time honoured routines of farm work endure. The days lengthen and shorten again, heralded by sunshine and storm. But it is far from immutable. It is a workplace subjected to the fickle uncertainties of weather and economic demand. It’s wildlife fights a slow rearguard against invasive disease, habitat loss and climate change. The relentless demand for new building gradually engulfs it’s margins.
I have lived and worked here for 29 years, spending a greater part of my time outdoors, and have grown to love this landscape. The high open hilltops, secret valleys and deep maze of lanes fill me with peace and wonder. In this project I hope to convey a little of this accumulated observation and experience.