David Abbott


Collecting together thoughts and finds on landscape and painting.

  • Adding to "the stock of available reality" John Berryman on R.P. Blackmur.
  • Wordsworth's "spots of time."
  • A bustle in your hedgerow.
  • Paul Nash's "solving the equation" of elements in the landscape.
  • Ursula Le Guin's magical realism.
  • Inscape.

Desire and Rebecca Solnitt's 'Blue of Distance':

  • Desire as "The colour of where you can never go"
  • "The far becomes near, and they are not the same place."
  • "And I'm not sure the island was meant to be arrived at for up close it's glowing gold would have dissolved into scrub and soil"
  • The "tangible landscape of memory"
  • "This place, which is always spoken of as though it only counts when you're present, posesses you in its absence"
  • "Introspection outdoors"

  • Maybe the micro is the key to a strong sense of the macro.
  • Landscape as known thru art. Are Ravilious's/Rowntree's views of England more English than the landscape itself?
  • What do we see when we're looking? What do we see when we're not?
  • Not painting 'beautiful landscapes' but the effects they have on the soul/self.
  • When a landscape resonates it is with memories of other landscapes. Each painted landscape is a stack of memories. The composite landscape.
  • Making is an idea.
  • The painting matters, as does the body of work.
  • Can we look at landscape afresh?
  • For me, the act of painting is about remembering.

From The Unquiet Landscape by Christopher Neve:

  • "There is also the quite distinct feeling that we are permanently screened off from things by the limitations of our perceptions and that we shall only know them as memories."
  • "The past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later; and thus we don't have complete emotions about the present, only about the past." Virginia Woolf
  • "She does not need to sretch or exagerate her subject because it is her own temperament which produces the change." (On Sheila Fell)
  • "About once every seven months, two colours will come together and look right" Sheila Fell

From The Summer Isles by Philip Marsden

  • "...places drawn by longing and memory, places just beyond our reach, places that aren't really there at all..."
  • "The nostalgia that is most powerful is...the sudden transcendence, the piercing of the present to reach a season long gone. It is not just a moment of recall but carries with it the exhilerating sense that all time exists behind the screen of the physical world."
  • "...the borderless spaces of the imagination."

  • "It was a great surprise to realise that my practice has this whole other shape that's not at all confined to the studio". Amy Sillman from Faux Pas
  • "Pictures of emotional situations" Howard Hodgkin
  • Deep, tired landscapes. Beyond beautiful. As our connection to the past. To our inner and outer worlds. Marks on landscapes. The human hand everywhere.
  • Deep history that swallows human time.
  • Every landscape is an inner landscape.
  • Tactile surface - age, friction through time.
  • Christian Wiman defines religion as "everything we do with our spiritual experiences". In that sense my paintings are religious paintings.
  • "Remembrances" as John Clare referred to thoughts-turned-poems about the landscape of his childhood.
  • Painting is "but another word for feeling." John Constable
  • John Clare's "divinity of fields"

February 17, 2022

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