2 June 2013

Walking and Drawing in Snowdonia

Four days, walking and drawing on remote mountains in Snowdonia, focusing on the rhythmic sound of walking and sounds of the surrounding landscape through the Zoom mic headphones. I first notice how easily I climb the steep gradient to the lake, listening has changed the emphasis, drawing attention away from the usual dominant visual clues of distance. Walking in silence with a new focus on listening has created a different atmosphere and altered my experience of the landscape. Confusingly, it has become internalised and at the same time a vaster space. It is quiet, sounds are distant, the mist occasionally lifts over the ridge and sun glints through from behind it. I stop and draw at a rest point

Up towards lake
Up towards lake

Shifting mists

My focus shifts; switching from listening to seeing, the steep incline of the path becomes more physical, more demanding. By focusing on the rhythm of walking I hadn't noticed how quickly I gained height, the remote mountain ridge now dominates. I try to respond with quick drawings of the ever changing mists that cover and uncover the varied contours ahead. I recognise Turner’s problems and how he used the advantages of a misty effect to accentuate distance in his work, confusing altering and denying form he develops his idea with and in the mist. His structures do not merely describe what is underneath it.

Walter Thombury, The Life and Correspondence of JMW Turner

Drawn from the National Gallery- pencil on small sketch book Jill Evans

J.M.W. Turner's The  Moon Behind Clouds 1825

J.M.W. Turner's  Moonlight with Shipping 1830


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