Outside, in nature, the surroundings make the decisions, the changing light, the ability to capture or respond to something, the fact that you bum has gone numb from sitting awkwardly for too long.
Ultimately though nature takes hold of you, wraps you up in the comfort of it's magnitude. Everything seems right. Its an intuitive response, its as if your brain is allowed to switch off and you are resting in a duvet of duck down. Yes you curse yourself for your lack of talent and wonder what you are doing but the overwhelming experience is one of love and respect for nature and for light.
|Tamar 1, from upper bank|
In the studio the work is ideas based, it comes more from the head, often from the gut, always brutally honest, but it's always coming from you, inside. There is no comfort, no support it's just you on your own, all the time. When I am tired I complain about my business, that it's always up to me, the accounts, pr, deliveries etc but it is my business, my work so who else is going to do it for me! But I think this may be the route of my complaint. The work draws it all from me, if nature stepped in it wouldn't all be up to me, I would have the support, the company.
|Detail of Tamar 2|
I hardly remember anything from being young but I do remember my Grandfather explaining the ecosystem to me beside a lake in Norfolk, starting from the bugs in the mud. He was a farmer and nature came first. I always think that I want to be a farmer but it may be more about a respect for nature.
|Tamar 3 - drawn first|
I recently tried not to cry in front of a Rembrandt painting, I felt the same sitting in front of the changing light on the river. The light was just getting better and better, the birds song more clear, more echoey as the evening stillness crept over. The lime green in the distance that had been dotted with white spots of sheep whose voices had earlier carried up the valley was turning pinky orange. Now the sound in the distance was a pigeons lulling call. At 8.45 a green bottomed boat with a red sail that could see the last of the evening sun sailed silently up the opposite bank of the estuary, about turned and went back towards the sea, the beauty of it made me feel insane.
|Tamar 4 Central Detail|
I know this is how people work, they sketch and take photos in situe and then work them up in the studio but for me the pleasure is being there, to hear the water moving and then the birds flopping about in low tide and bumble bee floating past or the distant engine pooteling out to its mooring.
|Tamar 4 Detail Right panel|
Looking out of the window in the morning the river had gone, just white, the dense oak tree was the only suggestion of there being something out there. I went down in the silence for a last look, the river was full. I couldn't sense whether the tide, like the mist was moving silently or the expanse of water was like me, resting, hanging, waiting until the next rush out.
for more sculptures about nature see also