Rob Ford works specialize in mixed media abstract landscapes.
Ideas and inspirations come from just about anywhere, from the ring left by the morning ‘cuppa’ to the light of an evening sunset. With my most recent landscape paintings, the idea is a simple one. The inspiration comes from my local landscape. When I first moved to the east coast I found the landscapes frustrating. Where are the landmarks? Where are the mountains that I loved as a child in Wales? Where are the rushing streams and the wooded glens? There are none of these where I live now. The landscape has been almost entirely claimed by agriculture and modern housing developments dot the skyline, but now I have learned to love the land that surrounds me. The changes in the colours throughout the year from partly flooded fields of flint and mud in winter to seas of billowing wheat fields in the summer. I have come to realise that it is not what you see, but how you see it. A line of trees preceded by an open field can be the most haunting of landscapes, when for just a moment, maybe from the corner of your eye the light throws deep shadows and there is possibly a small spark of something eternal and ultimately peaceful and then almost as quickly as you noticed it, the sky moved and the memory of that is all that you have. My affinity towards the effect that sunlight can have was sparked while doing a commission for a local charity. I was sitting on the bank of a river, desperately trying to paint and draw a lock which the charity hoped to restore, (being an admirer of John Constables’ paintings I had leapt at the opportunity, as it was from this very spot that he had painted ‘the young Waltonians’) but the weather was against me, it rained, then it snowed, hailed and rained again and above all it was bitterly cold. Suddenly though, without any prior warning, the sunlight burst through the clouds and lit the landscape in a deep gold colour. Where I had previously been looking at cold greys and blues, pinks and oranges had suddenly replaced them. Greens became vivid and there seemed to be a sense behind what I couldn’t see before. Then just as I reached for a new palette, it was gone and the rain returned. I have been trying to paint that moment ever since!
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