|Watercolour artists in the Villuercas Mountains (Martin Kelsey)|
It was a summer that seemed never-ending, but the plunge into autumn, although a good month later than last year, has nevertheless been dramatic. Warm and sunny weather had three interregnums over sucessive weekends of rain. For the last two weeks we have hosted budding watercolour artists on a landscape painting course run by Peter Delahaye and during that time, each day in different settings, we explored by observation the shapes, shades and shadows that comprise landscape. Ever since my childhood, thanks in part to my father and also to the freedoms to explore, to discover and nurture patience, I strive to feel landscape, its myriad of parts and how they sum together. Watching for movement, picking up sound and colour. My media have been the pen and a camera and so it was an adventure to take the artists to our carefully selected sites and witness their own encounters with Extremadura.
|Amongst the olives (Martin Kelsey)|
|Autumn Snowflake (Martin Kelsey)|
As all good and patient observation does, the encounters the artists had with landscape became a personal exploration too. For some it had been the first time they had painted since childhood, indeed the first ever some claimed. The results were a fascinating mixture of figurative and abstract approaches, drawn from the encouragement to explore and experiment. It was a reconnection with self and careful witness of the dynamic of natural landscape.
|On the edge of the plains (Martin Kelsey)|