painting with the earth – greencliff 27313

after some years of research into other dimensions of my art practice, i have given myself a small space to paint again. while a greater part of my work promotes an understanding and connection of the places we live through gathering, geological interpretation and creative uses of earth pigments through workshops and presentations, i rarely give myself the chance to explore them myself. for the last 20 years painting has performed a number of functions within my practice, not least an opportunity to connect to the subconscious, bringing forth images and symbols locked within myself, often in response to the materials and landscape i inhabit.

painting with the earth – greencliff 27313 greencliff 27313 (p ward/f owen 2013)

a quiet and meditative afternoon spent in the company of the 350 million year old seam of ‘bideford black’ (about which i am presently leading a project with a local public gallery – www.bidefordblackblog.blogspot.co.uk) prompted the collection of a range of colours and a time to feel deeper emotions. a pair of peregrines flew overhead, announcing their courtship and their power. the sun appeared and reappeared from behind a cloud as we sat in its growing warmth sheltered from the unseasonal icy wind. full moon waves gently rolling the pebbles below us at the base of the ridge…

reaching out - letting go (earth pigments; p ward 2013) reaching out – letting go (earth pigments; p ward 2013)

life blood (earth pigments; p ward 2013) life blood (earth pigments; p ward 2013)

this time (earth pigments; p ward 2013) this time (earth pigments; p ward 2013)

“Aesthetic appreciation of the natural environment is not simply a matter of looking at objects or ‘views’ from a specific point. Rather, it is being ‘in the midst’ of them, moving in regard to them, looking at them from any and every point and distance and, of course, not only looking, but also smelling, hearing, touching, feeling. It is being in the environment, being a part of the environment, and reacting to it as a part of it. It is such active, involved aesthetic appreciation, rather than the formal mode of appreciation nurtured by the scenery cult and encouraged by photographs, that is appropriate to the natural environment.” Allen Carlson, 2009


working hard for what we believe in (bideford black; p ward 2013) working hard for what we believe in (bideford black; p ward 2013)

language (earth pigments; p ward 2013) language (earth pigments; p ward 2013)

pebble ridge (earth pigments; p ward 2013) pebble ridge (earth pigments; p ward 2013)

If you would like to see more of my earlier work and earth pigment paintings please visit www.peterward-artist-illustrator.co.uk …

P Ward 2013

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2 Comments on “painting with the earth – greencliff 27313”

  1. Caroline Preston says:

    Hi Pete…
    Great to see new paintings of yours. Love ‘working hard for what we believe in’, Bideford black. What are the dimensions?

    Hope all is going well…what happens if you use the earth pigments mixed in seams with clay/as slip & fire them? Have you tried it? I’m attending a paper clay workshop in June, (you may know of it through Sandy Brown) & really want to add earth pigments to experiment with the idea of wood, clay, earth meets fire…

    Hope to bump into you soon,

    Caroline 😉
    (Preston) xx

    • pw130524 says:

      howdy caroline – lovely to hear from you!
      hope you’re enjoying being back at beaford and balancing work with mummyhood – much respect!
      naughty me, just knocked this bunch of paintings out this afternoon – a creative eruption indeed! glad you like them.
      ‘working hard for what we believe in’ is about 56x30cm (on paper) – do you want to buy it?!
      as far as using the pigments in clay work, i think it is somewhat problematic – firstly, the bideford black tends to burn out at relatively low temperatures as it is primarily carbon (coal) and the other pigments will change colour depending on how they oxidize. having said this its always worth a go!
      anyway, likewise be good to see you sometime soon.
      take care, best wishes and happy playing
      pete 🙂 x


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