Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

Welcome

I started this blog in 2011 with the aim of sharing some of my images capturing many of the locations here in Ireland where I live, along with some great places visited on my travels. I very much hope you enjoy the posts you find here, since 2011 this blog has had well over 150,000 visits and 70,000 likes for it's pages and I would like to say a big THANK YOU ! to everyone who has already visited this blog leaving a like or making a comment, both of which are very much appreciated. I look forward to many more posts and also reading all the great blog posts from so many great people in the WordPress community :)

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Looking at a Painting : Industrial City by Ls Lowry

Lowry, Laurence Stephen; Industrial City; British Council Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/industrial-city-176858

Lowry, Laurence Stephen; Industrial City; British Council Collection; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/industrial-city-176858

I have posted a couple of times since the new year, relating to the Manchester Born artists Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887–1976) he was born in Old Trafford, Salford and studied in the evening at Manchester Municipal College of Art. He was a man who rarely left the North West, finding his inspiration in the landscape of North Wales and Lancashire, and in the streets of Manchester and around Salford.

Possible this painting “Industrial City” is one of my favorite cityscapes that Lowry produced, I say possibly because he was prolific in this area of his portfolio and I love so much of his inner city works.

I grow up in Altrincham, a town only a few miles away from city center Manchester and while I missed this core era that Lowry was working in, I have lots of memories of the city looking like it does in these paintings.

During my early years I can remember these streets and factories being slowly torn down and replaced with office blocks along with new more modern houses. Its hard to imagine these days what life was like for a lot of the people captures in Lowry’s drawings and painting, living and working within the same mile, most people hardly traveling very far outside their surroundings.

Industrial City

Lowry restricted his palette to black, vermillion, Prussian blue, yellow ochre and flake white. Whilst there is a naivety in his rendition, he deftly caught the hustle and bustle of men, women and dogs on the move against a background of terraced houses, mills and factories.

The things I love most about this painting , well firstly its angle of view, Lowry paints as if he was standing on top a hill overlooking the homes and industry below. I also like very much the distance in this painting, a distance that few of the people captured in it could experience themselves at street level. To me this distance captures the expanse of the city, each small area making up the whole, yet enclosing people within their own spaces of home and work and life.

City life itself is captured here, every element of the community (Home, work, shops, play, chat, church and industrial dirt – so much of it!).

In the distance through the city smog you can just make out the hills and moors, fresh air and spaces that so clearly is just out of reach.

I feel this painting is LS Lowry at his very best, some artists go in very close with life in order to capture and reflect on it , Lowry pulls back in his view and adds in so many elements that you have to spend time exploring his work, in order for you to see the full message and story he want you to see.

This was life in a Northern English town, lowry painted it and also lived it with the people he captured!!!!

Landscape drawing, Boolabrien lower, nier valley, county Waterford.

The view of boolabrien lower nier valley ireland nigel borrington

The view of
boolabrien lower
nier valley
ireland
nigel borrington

The Nire valley in county waterford offers some of the most amazing landscape views in the south east of Ireland, I used a Wacom MobileStudio Pro tablet to draw this sketch of one of my favorite positions, sitting on an old stone seat that looks across at the farm fields as they slowly make their way up into the hills above.

His Dream Of Skyland, A poem by : Li Po

The sound of the sea Nigel Borrington

His Dream Of Skyland
Nigel Borrington

His Dream Of Skyland

The seafarers tell of the Eastern Isle of Bliss,
It is lost in a wilderness of misty sea waves.
But the Sky-land of the south, the Yueh-landers say,
May be seen through cracks of the glimmering cloud.
This land of the sky stretches across the leagues of heaven;
It rises above the Five Mountains and towers over the Scarlet Castle,

While, as if staggering before it, the Tien-tai Peak
Of forty-eight thousand feet leans toward the southeast.

So, longing to dream of the southlands of Wu and Yueh,
I flew across the Mirror Lake one night under the moon.
ode-to-the-coast-034

The moon in the lake followed my flight,
Followed me to the town of Yen-chi.
Here still stands the mansion of Prince Hsieh.
I saw the green waters curl and heard the monkeys’ shrill cries.
I climbed, putting on the clogs of the prince,
Skyward on a ladder of clouds,
And half-way up from the sky-wall I saw the morning sun,
And heard the heaven’s cock crowing in the mid-air.
Now among a thousand precipices my way wound round and round;
Flowers choked the path; I leaned against a rock; I swooned.

Roaring bears and howling dragons roused me –
Oh, the clamorous waters of the rapids!
I trembled in the deep forest, and shuddered at the overhanging crags,
one heaped upon another.
Clouds on clouds gathered above, threatening rain;
The waters gushed below, breaking into mist.

A peal of blasting thunder!
The mountains crumbled.
The stone gate of the hollow heaven
Opened wide, revealing
A vasty realm of azure without bottom,
Sun and moon shining together on gold and silver palaces.

Rainbow over the river suir 1

Clad in rainbow and riding on the wind,
The ladies of the air descended like flower, flakes;
The faery lords trooping in, they were thick as hemp-stalks in the fields.
Phoenix birds circled their cars, and panthers played upon harps.
Bewilderment filled me, and terror seized on my heart.
I lifted myself in amazement, and alas!
I woke and found my bed and pillow –
Gone was the radiant world of gossamer.

So with all pleasures of life.
All things pass with the east-flowing water.
I leave you and go – when shall I return?
Let the white roe feed at will among the green crags,
Let me ride and visit the lovely mountains!
How can I stoop obsequiously and serve the mighty ones!
It stifles my soul.

– Li Po. Translated by: Shigeyoshi Obata

The river Suir , county Tipperary

A winters morning The river Suir County Tipperary February 2017  Nigel Borrington

A winters morning
The river Suir
County Tipperary
February 2017
Nigel Borrington

A winters morning along the river Suir county Tipperary ….

February and while sometimes it can feel like spring is just around the corner, some mornings can be as cold the coldest the winter can offer here. With this cold weather can come some of the most stunning views of the season along the river banks here in the south of Ireland, frost and mist and the deep blue of a morning sky …..

winter-by-the-river-suir-tipperary-nigel-borrington-01

winter-by-the-river-suir-tipperary-nigel-borrington-02

winter-by-the-river-suir-tipperary-nigel-borrington-04

A week in Seville , Spain

Seville  Spain  Nigel Borrington

Seville
Spain
Nigel Borrington

Just returned from a great weeks Holiday in Seville , Spain.

What a wonderful and historic city it is with its great cycle friendly streets, churches, royal palaces and rivers. I will post more on individual places but for now here are just some on the many places I visited and images I took.

seville-005-spain-2017-nigel-borrington

seville-004-spain-2017-nigel-borrington

seville-003-spain-2017-nigel-borrington

seville-002-spain-2017-nigel-borrington

LS lowry his drawings and his teacher Pierre Adolphe Valette

The drawings of LS Lowry

The drawings of LS Lowry

At the end of last week I posted an introduction about the artist LS Lowry, he is one of my favorite artists and from my home town of Manchester in the UK. I have started a full study of his work and intend to post a few times relating to his artistic development as well as the different styles he worked in and area he selected for his art works.

It think its important to match Lowry with his night school teach Pierre Adolphe Valette, who was a French Impressionist painter. His most acclaimed paintings are urban landscapes of Manchester, now in the collection of Manchester Art Gallery. Today, he is chiefly remembered as L. S. Lowry’s tutor. I post here some of his painting as they cover a lot of the inner Manchester city areas that Lowry also later work in.

Pierre Adolphe Valette

Pierre Adolphe Valette

Lowry’s drawing

L S Lowry is known mostly for paintings,however the artist valued his drawings just as much.

Lowry was concerned with the qualities of line and tone. He continued to draw compulsively until the last years of his life, producing a huge range of works. His work does not just consist of his industrial scenes, but also includes highly finished drawings of the life model, careful portrait studies, rapid sketches made on location and harming sketches of children and dogs.

Lowry did not merely see drawing as a means to an end in producing his paintings, but as a significant and worthwhile medium in its own right. He would often makPierre Adolphe Valettee sketches, in situ or from memory, and later produce a much more detailed, fine piece of art from this sketch. In his early work, Lowry drew in a very strict and linear style, with little or no shading. Over time, however, he came to prefer a technique of rubbing out and over-drawing. Lowry would rub heavily worked areas of tone with his finger to achieve a dense velvety smoothness.

This technique of layering often gave his work a sense of ghostliness especially where traces of an earlier drawing can be seen underneath. Lowry did use mediums other than pencil for his drawings and his collection of work includes pastel, chalk, pen and ink, felt-tip and biro drawings.

Lowrys Night school teach was Pierre Adolphe Valette, when Lowry became a pupil of Valette he expressed great admiration for his tutor, who taught him new techniques and showed him the potential of the urban landscape as a subject. He called him “a real teacher … a dedicated teacher” and added: “I cannot over-estimate the effect on me of the coming into this drab city of Adolphe Valette, full of French impressionists, aware of everything that was going on in Paris

Valette’s paintings are Impressionist, a style that suited the damp fogginess of Manchester. Manchester Art Gallery has a room devoted to him, where the viewer may compare some of his paintings with some of Lowry’s, and judge to what extent Lowry’s own style was influenced by him and by French Impressionism generally.

The Lowry hosted an exhibition of about 100 works by Valette, alongside works by Lowry, between October 2011 and January 2012. It included paintings of Manchester from Manchester Art Gallery and loans from private owners.

I feel that you can see just how well these two artists click in the night school classes, as the influence that Valette had over Lowry clearly stayed with him all his artistic life ….


The Painting of Pierre Adolphe Valette

valette-yorkst

oxford_road_manchester_1910_valette

valette-india

albert_square_manchester_1910_valette

More painting by Pierre Adolphe Valette here

Selection of drawing by LS Lowery

Life drawings

ls-lowry-life-drawing-5

ls-lowry-life-drawing-4

ls-lowry-life-drawing-3

ls-lowry-life-drawing-2

ls-lowry-life-drawing-1

Landscape Drawings

landscape-drawing-6

landscape-drawing-5

landscape-drawing-4

landscape-drawing-3

Francis Terrace, Salford 1969-72 L.S. Lowry 1887-1976 Presented by Ganymed Press 1979 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P03277

Francis Terrace, Salford 1969-72 L.S. Lowry 1887-1976 Presented by Ganymed Press 1979 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P03277

landscape-drawing-1

A New Wind farm, Ballybeigh, county Kilkenny

The Mountain of Slievenamon  County Tipperary Ireland Nigel Borrington

The Mountain of Slievenamon
County Tipperary
Ireland
Nigel Borrington

Wind Farms, Love them or hate them ?

They must be one of the most controversial additions to the modern landscape, many like them but more people dislike and protests against their construction.

Here in Ireland, over the last decade or so we have seen a massive growth in their development with our landscape increasingly covered with them !!

Wellington Tower, the Crag Grange Nigel Borrington 10

My personal feelings are more neutral than some, I feel it has to be remembered that Ireland has few natural energy resources and sourcing them from around the world is expensive.

There are also much more damaging methods of creating energy than these modern windmills.

The area of the hills above Kilmanagh, county kilkenny is currently having two news wind farms developed, these images below show one of them. The image at the top of this post shows the views of the area before the development started, clearly very stunning!, yet I still find the construction of these massive towers more interesting than not.

Wind farms, I guess – they are always going to be loved and hated at the same time !!!

New wind farm, county Kilkenny

new-windfarm-county-kilkenny-nigel-borrington-068

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2 hour painting, The town of Allihies west cork, Ireland

Allihies copper Mines and town Irish landscape painting  Nigel Borrington

Allihies copper Mines and town
Irish landscape painting
Nigel Borrington

Allihies in west county cork is one of my favorite locations to visit in Ireland.

The town is located at the far end of the Béara Peninsula, west cork, the landscape scenery here is just stunning. The town itself is about as remote as it gets in this part of the world. There are many coastal walks along with paths that wind through the hills. The town is also well known for its copper mining history with many of the old mines still standing in the hills acting as a backdrop for the town.

There is a museum that you can visit details here : Allihies copper mine visitors center

My painting / sketch here was painted digitally using a combination of PC applications and taken from some sketches and photos I came home with on the return from my last visit.

Friday Art and Artists : LS Lowry

LS Lowry Self portrait 1925

LS Lowry
Self portrait 1925

At the start of January while I was back in my home town of Manchester in The UK, I spent sometime with family members in visiting the Lowry Gallery in Salford, Manchester, UK.

The Lowry Gallery Salford Manchester, UK

The Lowry Gallery
Salford
Manchester, UK

Lowry is a much loved English artist, particularly in the North west of the UK, being born in Stretford, Manchester.

Here are some basic details about him,

Laurence Stephen Lowry was born 1 November 1887 in Barrett Street, Stretford. His father, Robert, worked as a clerk in an estate agent’s office. His mother, Elizabeth, was a talented pianist. By 1898 the family were living in Victoria Park, a leafy suburb in south Manchester, but in 1909 financial difficulties necessitated a move to Pendlebury, an industrial area between Manchester and Bolton. Lowry’s mother hated it, and so did Lowry, but, ‘After a year I got used to it. Within a few years I began to be interested and at length I became obsessed by it.’

After leaving school Lowry took a job as a clerk with a Manchester firm of chartered accountants, Thomas Aldred and Son. In 1910, after being made redundant from a second job, he became rent collector and clerk for the Pall Mall Property Company and stayed there until his retirement in 1952.

As a child he had enjoyed drawing, and he used part of his income to pay for private painting lessons with the artists William Fitz and Reginald Barber. In 1905 he began attending evening classes at Manchester Municipal College of Art. His tutor in the life drawing class there was the Frenchman Adolphe Valette, who brought first-hand knowledge of the Impressionists, such as Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro to his classes. ‘I cannot over-estimate the effect on me at that time of the coming into this drab city of Adolphe Valette… He had a freshness and a breadth of experience that exhilarated his students.’

By 1915 Lowry had begun attending evening classes at Salford School of Art, based in the Royal Technical College on the edges of Peel Park. One of his tutors there, Bernard Taylor (art critic for the Manchester Guardian) advised Lowry that his paintings were too dark. In response, Lowry tried painting on a pure white background, a technique he was to retain for the rest of his career.

Peel Park LS Lowry

Peel Park
LS Lowry

Peel Park, and the views across it from the Technical College windows, appear regularly in Lowry’s work. He had begun to see the possibilities of painting what he saw on his doorstep, rather than more conventional landscapes based on the countryside nearby. The best known story Lowry told of how he became interested in the industrial scene described how, after missing a train at Pendlebury station, he saw the Acme Spinning Company’s mill turning out, ‘I watched this scene – which I’d looked at many times without seeing – with rapture.’

A closer study of Lowry

Over the next few days and weeks I want to take a much closer look at the paintings and drawings that Laurence produced, looking at the subjects that he worked with and the technique’s he used to record his world.

As an artist he has been labeled and stereotyped as a naïve “Sunday painter”, based on the way he painted his landscapes and drew people along with animals.

During this visit to the Lowry Gallery however and with the help of the guided tour, it became very clear just what a complete artist Lowry was. Having a chance to see a collection of his work from his very early days at night school, until the final works of art he produce has helped to show me just how diverse and skilled an artist he was.

The areas of his work I want to study can be seen in his work I have selected below, including (Life drawing, pencil sketches, oil paints, landscape and city scape work), I will enjoy very much looking at his art work and I hope to learn a great deal from him, for my own efforts at drawing and painting.

Art works by LS Lowry

Life drawing LS Lowry

Life drawing
LS Lowry

City-scapes  A Northern Town 1969-70 L.S. Lowry 1887-1976 Presented by Ganymed Press 1979 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/P03274

City-scapes
A Northern Town 1969-70 L.S. Lowry 1887-1976

LS Lowry  Landscapes in Oil

LS Lowry
Landscapes in Oil

LS Lowry  The Lake Oil on canvas Industrial Landscape of Manchester

LS Lowry
The Lake
Oil on canvas
Industrial Landscape of Manchester

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