Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

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Artist from My Home town (Trevor Grimshaw)


Trevor Grimshaw
Open Space
1974

I guess we always, no matter how long we have lived away from our place of birth feel that Home is Home!…

I have lived here in Ireland for almost two decades now but when it come to artists I still have two at the top of my list who lived and worked as artists in or around the greater Manchester area in the UK.

At the top of my list will always be Ls Lowry 🙂 I have a post on his work here Ls Lowry and here, If you want to know more about his life and work, Manchester has a great gallery (The lowry Gallery) dedicated to his life and his art work, its a fantastic Gallery and a great source for his history.

While I love the art work of LS Lowry the art work by my other favourite Manchester artist Travor Grimshaw has always been very much in my mind when I think of amazing drawings from the industrial past of the city Manchester, along with many other surrounding towns which at the time contained industrial landscapes such as Bolton.

Northern Townscape 1974 Trevor Grimshaw 1947-2001 Presented by Christie’s Contemporary Art through the Institute of Contemporary Prints 1975

What I like most about Grimshaw’s work is his ability to limit this images down to a single style and his limited use of materials – along with his his use of moody monochromes. I work a increasingly with drawings these days and love the feeling produced when just using medium’s such as charcoal or pastels along with graphite.

Here its like he knew perfectly well that these limited materials were perfect for representing the smoke and coal dust filled factory landscapes of the English north west and he stayed with these materials for the vast majority of this well know works.

Trevor Grimshaw (1947-2001) – Two Telegraph Poles – 1972

Take this image (Two Telegraph Poles) for example, like a lot of his drawings and painting there is little subject matter in them, if you compare these images to the paintings of LS. lowry, these landscape are empty. There are none of the hundreds of people all going about their activities.

All the art work is done here by empty views that contain some of the most moody drawings I think I have ever seen ….

Here is a full description of Trevor’s life and his working career ….

Life and work

Grimshaw was born in Hyde, Cheshire in 1947 and studied at the Stockport College of Art from 1963 to 1968. He developed a unique style working in oils, charcoal and graphite to produce atmospheric, stylised images of the Northern industrial landscape, mainly in monochrome.

As a child he had a passion for steam engines and trainspotting, which continued into adulthood; for example he made the journey to the scrapyard at Barry in South Wales which held hundreds of steam locomotives awaiting scrapping, and made a personal photographic record of the occasion, 34 photo images being used in his publication “Stilled Life”. Much of his work overall features steam engines.

He spent much of his working career at Manchester advertising agency Stowe Bowden Ltd.[citation needed]

Artistic career

Grimshaw exhibited widely in the UK (including at the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy in the 1970s) and in the US and Germany. His work was included in the private collections of L.S. Lowry, Edward Heath (two drawings purchased in 1973), the Warburton (Bread) Family and Gerald Kaufman MP., and he is represented in a number of public collections, including The Tate Gallery, Salford Art Gallery, Stockport Art Gallery and Bury Art Gallery.

He illustrated The Singing Street, a book of poems by Mike Harding, and executed limited edition lithographs for Christie’s Contemporary Art. He also did the title slide images for the early BBC Great Railway Journeys of the World series. Artist Geoffrey Key described Grimshaw, a long time friend, as “one of the most important graphic artists working in the north during the last half of the 20th century”.[This quote needs a citation]

While Grimshaw is most celebrated for his black and grey graphite portrayal of post-industrial Britain (e.g. canals, cityscapes, viaducts, steam trains) his portfolio included diverse other subjects such as megaliths, Stonehenge, quarries in North Wales, motorway construction and the solstices (often in combination). Colour treatment was largely reserved for Cheshire landscapes, and pictures of Clarice Cliff ceramics.

L.S.Lowry attended one of his earliest exhibitions, buying three of his major early works to hang alongside his small collection of Pre-Raphaelites. Grimshaw became a regular visitor to Lowry’s home in Mottram.[citation needed]

In 1973 the North West Arts Association published Townscape: Trevor Grimshaw, a book reproducing 30 drawings. In 2004 a major retrospective exhibition was held at Stockport Art Gallery.

By the time of his death, in a house fire in November 2001, Grimshaw had become an alcoholic and a reclusive figure. He held his last show in 1997 in the County Museum and Art Gallery at Prostejov, Moravia, Czech Republic, his 50th show in his 50th year.[citation needed]

Grimshaw’s daughter organised a retrospective exhibition of her father’s work, which took place from February to May 2004 at Stockport Art Gallery.

In June 2014 an exhibition of his paintings, organised by family friend (and owner of the collection).

Ceridwen Grimshaw (Trevor’s youngest daughter) recently discovered negatives taken from Grimshaw’s 1970’s 3 trips to Barry Scrapyard (see above). Almost 100 of these images were unused and 90 will be exhibited at Stockport War Museum and Art Gallery from 11 May 2019 to June 15, titled “Trevor Grimshaw – Unseen Barry Photographs”. Grimshaw’s intention was to show the effects of Barry’s salt air on over 100 steam locomotives awaiting scrapping (although most were eventually saved).


February evening at Beach : Duncannon Beach, Co.Wexford, Ireland

Duncannon Beach, County Wexord, Digital painting,
Nigel Borrington 2020

February evening at Duncannon Beach

The light by the last wave lingers on fronds
of seaweed fingering wave-wet rocks where
brim-filled pools overflow before they
empty when the water surges then sucks,
surges, then sucks.

glistening, sun warmed, lit by the last
light of day while slow footsteps meander
with the gentle waves rhythms, rising, falling,
so calming in my ears, that crest falling
with an almost silent swish, hearbeat’s grace.

All troubles tumbled away calmed first,
washed by light where the last wave lingers.


Images of Winter – In the storm

Digital Drawing
winter hedgerow
Nigel Borrington December 2018

Digital Drawing
Tone Brushes, MyPaint with Wacom Pro M Tablet
Winter Hedgerow
Nigel Borrington December 2018

With Storm Dennis on its way to Ireland this weekend, Winter is still very much here, oh well time for me to stay inside and draw 🙂 🙂 or paint.

I am working on some still life work, a drawing of a sheep’s skull ……


High on a hill an Acrylic, February 2020 – Poem : In hallowed hills by : CA Guilfoyle Jun 2015

High on the hill
Acrylic on canvas
Feb:2020
Nigel Borrington

In hallowed hills

CA Guilfoyle, Jun 2015

When we were far
and very young, in a place with no roads to follow
only a winding path, a branch to grasp
a place to fill the hollow

Blue the summer, with drowsy daisies came
petals, petals, we drew circles round the sun
gold spun, our halo heads of pollen
gold the bees of sleepy flowers
amid clover grass heaven

Days we lived deep in hills
we were endless green, in unmapped countries
stretching past the farms afield, in other worlds
too far to see, we lived beyond the gray of days
and we were free, in the shining silver
of our hallowed hills of ever.


New art work 2020 – February light on Tipperary Fields

Acrylic on Canvas board
Nigel Borrington
Feb : 2020

Over the last few months and for the first time in a good few years, I have been attending some art Classes at our local art school KCAT, so I wanted to share some of the work they have helped me start to produce again, here on my blog!

The course has covered the subjects of drawing and of painting, I need to get my drawings and paintings so far captured so I can post them here, something I will do this week but for now here is an acrylic landscape painting, a view of a late February afternoon about 10 miles from home. I love these late winter days when its sunny, the Sun light on our green Irish landscapes is just amazing 🙂


Hans Op de Beeck – Staging Silence

I feel in the need for some inspiration having taken a break from blogging over the last month or two in order to help with some big projects, Now I find myself a little removed from any creative ideas…

So over the next couple of weeks I am going to take a closer look at the work of some of my most loved artists.

Hans Op de Beeck (1969, Turnhout) is a Belgian visual artist who lives and works in Brussels. For over twenty years he has exhibiting internationally.

I first viewed his work at the Butler Gallery in Kilkenny back in 2014 and was instantly taken by his film making, I love his view of the world and the way he reflects on the passage of time in his videos.

Here is just one such a film : Staging Silence

‘Staging Silence’ is based around abstract, archetypal settings that lingered in the memory of the artist as the common denominator of the many similar public places he has experienced. The video images themselves are both ridiculous and serious, just like the eclectic mix of pictures in our minds. The decision to film in black and white heightens this ambiguity: the amateurish quality of the video invokes the legacy of slapstick, as well as the insidious suspense and latent derailmentof film noir. The title refers to the staging of such dormant decors where, in the absence of people, the spectator can project himself as the lone protagonist.

Memory images are disproportionate mixtures of concrete information and fantasies, and in this film they materialise before the spectator’s eyes through anonymous tinkering and improvising hands. Arms appear and disappear at random, manipulating banal objects, scale representations and artificial lighting into alienating yet recognizable locations. These places are no more or less than animated decors for possible stories, evocative visual propositions to the spectator. The film is accompanied by a score which, inspired by the images themselves, has been composed and performed by composer-musician Serge Lacroix.


Monday Poetry : Wildflowers by – Deb Jones

Wildflowers
By Deb Jones

Wildflowers
Every year I get a gallon
Of wildflowers seeds
Just imagine!

February is when I toss them
Into the wind
In an ever widening circle

Irish wild flowers
Sheeps bit
Slate quarry’s
County Kilkenny

The moisture laden breezes
carry them over 10 acres.

And the field I leave the most seeds in
is actually a pasture.

Violets, yellows, whites and blues
They come in such beautiful coloured hues

A field of wildflowers grow
And I let them grow unknown
Until they bloom no more

A pleasure to look at
A treat to sit in the middle of

Sometimes we need color in our lives
For no other reason
Than “Why not?”


Nature on the forest floor, Moss ….

Life on the forest floor
Moss
Nigel Borrington 2019

Moss is one of the most prevalent of woodland and forest plants, it covers almost all of the trees, living or dead. It green colour is one of the strongest to be found and when found in any patches of sun light breaking through the trees can be stunning.

Commercially there is a substantial market in mosses gathered from the wild. The uses for intact moss are principally in the florist trade and for home decoration. Decaying moss in the genus Sphagnum is also the major component of peat, which is “mined” for use as a fuel, as a horticultural soil additive, and in smoking malt in the production of Scotch whisky.

Sphagnum moss, generally the species S. cristatum and S. subnitens, is harvested while still growing and is dried out to be used in nurseries and horticulture as a plant growing medium.

The practice of harvesting peat moss should not be confused with the harvesting of moss peat. Peat moss can be harvested on a sustainable basis and managed so that regrowth is allowed, whereas the harvesting of moss peat is generally considered to cause significant environmental damage as the peat is stripped with little or no chance of recovery.

Some Sphagnum mosses can absorb up to 20 times their own weight in water. In World War I, Sphagnum mosses were used as first-aid dressings on soldiers’ wounds, as these mosses said to absorb liquids three times faster than cotton, retain liquids better, better distribute liquids uniformly throughout themselves, and are cooler, softer, and be less irritating. It is also claimed to have antibacterial properties. Native Americans were one of the peoples to use Sphagnum for diapers and napkins, which is still done in Canada.

In rural areas, types of moss were traditionally used to extinguish fires as it could be found in substantial quantities in slow-moving rivers and the moss retained large volumes of water which helped extinguish the flames. This historical use is reflected in its specific Latin/Greek name, the approximate meaning of which is “against fire”.

Traditional

Preindustrial societies made use of the mosses growing in their areas.

Laplanders, North American tribes, and other circumpolar people used mosses for bedding. Mosses have also been used as insulation both for dwellings and in clothing. Traditionally, dried moss was used in some Nordic countries and Russia as an insulator between logs in log cabins, and tribes of the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada used moss to fill chinks in wooden longhouses. Circumpolar and alpine peoples have used mosses for insulation in boots and mittens. Ötzi the Iceman had moss-packed boots.

The capacity of dried mosses to absorb fluids has made their use practical in both medical and culinary uses. North American tribal people used mosses for diapers, wound dressing, and menstrual fluid absorption. Tribes of the Pacific Northwest in the United States and Canada used mosses to clean salmon prior to drying it, and packed wet moss into pit ovens for steaming camas bulbs. Food storage baskets and boiling baskets were also packed with mosses.

National Tree week Kilkenny


Image

Life of the forest floor

Life of the Forest floor
Woodcock Butterfly
Nigel Borrington 2019


Life on the Forest floor ….. Wood from a fallen tree.

Dead wood
Life on the forest floor
Nigel Borrington 2019

The forest floor is always full on life old and new, it offers amazing images with a macro lens and man times I just love getting in close and then waiting to see the captured images when I get home 🙂 .

In this image it was not until I looked closer that I noticed a small grub( Bottom Center of the image), munching away at all the dead wood, its these little insects that act as the recycling machines of the forest as they turn all the fallen trees and branches into a compose for new tree growth.