David Abbott

Cornwall

Trying to paint a few days in Cornwall.

The earth, stones, sky and water of Cornwall are charged with power that is hard to process, a landscape fully submerged in the past and implication on the present. It is a landscape full of itself and makes heavy demands unlike the quiet Gloucestershire landscapes that do well for some adornment.

Maybe the thing is to consider elements, rather than views. The abstract things of air, soil, leaf, an ancient path, rocks etc. In Cornwall everything is accumulated, packed down or blown away. Can you paint Cornwall with a clean brush?

Land's End, Cornwall by Turner

The thinner washes that worked for some of the Fen landscapes feel too ethereal for the thicker Cornish experience, where the landscape emits a tumbling squad of rugged shapes in deep colour; where the air can be scooped and can act upon you, where soil becomes stone becomes a church, where the human response to the land hasn't changed in millennia, where fields remain stubbornly small, walled by Anglo Saxons their borders left as gospel ever since.

November 1, 2021

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