(soft pastel on medium water colour paper, 33cm x 23cm (57cm x 48cm framed))
This work captures the landscape memory of past settlement and cultivation patterns over which another, more formal, pattern of enclosure has been superimposed. The work is small, executed in soft pastel on medium watercolour paper. The support is more robust than the usual pastel papers like Ingres or Canson, and this facilitates the layered working of the pastel. Over most of the work the ground colours are applied with broken pieces of pastel used to simulate broad brush strokes. These ground colours, that are often colour opposites of the final layer colours, are then rubbed into the texture of the paper and fixed lightly. In some areas subsequent layers are applied and rubbed in a similar manner, with some blending, but without totally obliterating the first ground colour.
At this stage the main linear elements of the design are reinforced lightly, sometimes by drawing with the pastel tip, sometimes by dragging the flat of the pastel as brush strokes across the edge of a paper mask. A combination of these techniques with free painting with pastel pieces is then used to work up the detail. Some parts of the work, where several applications build the finished effect, may be fixed at this stage, shielding other parts with paper masks. All final applications of detail and highlights are not fixed, in order to retain the full brilliance of the pastel pigment.
The vertical vantage point facilitates an image that by accentuating pattern is both representational, grounded in the real landscape and tantalisingly abstract, while the subtle and skilful application. of soft pastel with its purity and immediacy allows the pigments to resonate with each other giving an overall vibrancy to the work.