6 November 2016

It's all a matter of perspective

A couple of weeks ago I was taken by a couple of a new ideas for making pictures inspired by some fantastic work I stumbled across on the internet. Being the uneducated fool that I am, I don't really know what to call this new style, but I can certainly explain what I got up to in my experimentation...

First of all, let's give credit where credit is due. Here is the picture that inspired my adventures. It's a lino-print by London-based artist, Paul Catherall called Trellik Blue. He's done a series of print runs from this particular design but this one is my favourite. I love the colours; I love the simplified design; I love the geometery; I love this picture!

The subject is a distinctive housing block in a pretty distinctive suburb of London. Here's what wikipedia has to say on Trellick Tower:
Trellick Tower is a 31-storey block of flats in Kensal Town, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England. It was designed in the Brutalist style by architect Ernő Goldfinger after a commission from the Greater London Council in 1966, and completed in 1972. It is a Grade II* listed building and is 98 metres (322 ft) tall (120 metres (394 ft) including the communications mast).
I really do need to find out more about the wonderfully named Ernő Goldfinger! Althought the architecture might be described as Brutalist, I'm not sure that this picture warrants the same title.

Here's something I'll slip in while I'm passing. It comes from a book I recently bought on Screen Printing, edited by George E A Goodey and published in 1956. The colours are even more vibrant in the original picture. Although there is a lot more detail to the design, I can see the similarities with what Paul Catherall is doing. As you look into the distance, the sheds start to take on that same minimalist look that we can see in Trellick Tower.

I wanted to try my hand at some artwork in a similar vein, but with a twist! ;-)

This was my first picture. All of the pictures I'll show you here are digital-only. My first step was simply to experiment with a reduced palette. I like it. I think that this design has some of the charm of the pictures above. The subject matter is older, but it feels new and modern presented in this way.

Actually all of the pictures I'll show you in this post are from my recent trip to Lake Garda in Italy. What a fantastic adventure that was. Lake Garda was a first for me and I even squeezed in a day trip to Venice. Wow!

This picture is of the castle that guards the picturesque peninsular of Sirmione on the south shores of Lake Garda. I spent ages in the hot sun exploring the ruins of the monastery. What a lovely place.

Here's something a little bit different and possibly my favourite of the bunch. This is where I introduced the twist by playing with the perspective. Can you see what I did? I don't even know how to describe it. It's not that there isn't perspective in the picture, but I'm presenting it head-on as if you're actually stood in that room, close-up. I still have the reduced palette, but this time I'm being a little more stark in my use of contrast to give the feeling of depth. Does it work for you too?

This picture is of Salò on the West Coast of Lake Garda. I think this was my favourite of all of the villages I visited in the area. My picture hints at an eerily quiet location, but don't be fooled, Salò is bustling with people and history. This was the home of Gasparo, one of the earliest violin makers. It was also chosen by Mussolini as his headquarters for his Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Now it has been left to the tourists.

This picture is from inside the Magnifica Patria Palace looking out across Lake Garda.

Next up, I attempted a slightly different manipulation of perspective. This time, rather than focusing on the horizontals, I focused on the verticals. I've done pretty much the same as I did with my picture of Salò by drawing the lines parallel. I guess the difference here is more in the pastel colours I've used which I think plays to the Art Deco tower.

This picture is of The Grand Hotel in Gardone. I only ever saw Gardone from the ferry, and this is the most striking building along that bit of shoreline.

While still in a pastel frame of mind I switched my attention away from buildings... to eagles. I called this the Eagle of Desenzano when I posted this on Google+, but more accurately this was an eagle I spotted whilst in Desenzano.

He clasps the crag with crooked hands
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
~ The Eagle by Lord Alfred Tennyson

Putting it all together, here is my final piece. This one plays with both the horizontal and vertical perspective with a more vibrant set of colours.

This is a fond memory from my favourite discovery. We were only ever meant to pass through Riva del Garda as we drove a circuit of the Lake, but I loved it so much that I managed to convince the family to take a look around. I'm so glad I did.

Pictured is the Museum entrance from the lake side. It has a sort of ethereal quality to it, a lot like the Salò picture above. This feels like a modern picture of a certain bygone era.

 I love the little modern roof peeking out at the top. Now that I've called your attention to it, it will look incongruous, but at the same time, it fits with the archaic feel of the picture. Go figure. 

There you have it... lots of experimentation and a few random mumbles about Art. I'm sure I have lots more to come ;-)

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