Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

art

Charcoal drawing – A tribute to the work of Trevor Grimshaw …….

Digital Charcoal drawing
In the style of Trevor Grimshaw

Following my post yesterday, I have started working with my PC based art application ( Krita ) in order to use its charcoal drawings tools to recreate as best as I can the landscapes style of Trevor Grimshaw.

Tomorrow I will give myself time to work at my desk with actual physical charcoal and chalk, I do feel very much however that a digital method of producing a work of art is just as valid in 2020, as working with physical materials, every mark made on my drawing above is made manually using a Wacom art tablet with an art pen. I often use this method of working to work out just how best to construct drawings and painting, when later it comes to sitting down with a sheet of physical paper or canvas.


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 🙂


A weekend drawing , Hookhead lighthouse county Wexford, Carbon Pencil on Paper.

Hookhead lighthouse
Carbon Pencil Drawing
Nigel Borrington
2019

Hookhead Lighthouse, County Wexford

This pencil drawing that I made a start on, on Friday evening and finished Sunday evening was taken from a set of photographs I took sometime back of the Hookhead Lighthouse, I was staying locally for a week and one evening just as the sun was setting on one side and the moon was rising on different sides of the lighthouse I took a photo that I have wanted for sometime to turn into a painting or a drawing.

The drawing is just the start I hope of creating a set of drawings and painting from all the images taken that week, this part of county Wexford is one on my favourite parts of Ireland, the coast here can be very dramatic and stormy at times yet stunning and peaceful on a summers day.


The Kite flyer, Charcoal on Paper

The Kite flyer
Charcoal on A2 paper
County Waterford
Nigel Borrington 2019


Allihies copper mine, Charcoal and graphite on paper – Nigel Borrington, 2019

Allihies copper mines
Beara Peninsula
County Cork
Charcoal and Graphite, on A2 paper
Nigel Borrington 2019

Allihies is just about as remote a place as they come in Ireland !!

Allihies copper Mine Museum

This Charcoal drawing shows just one of the pump houses at Allihies, county Cork. I think there are about 6 of them still standing around this small village.

It was In 1812 when life in Allihies changed utterly as a rich copper deposit was discovered in the area and the biggest copper mining enterprise in Ireland was established by the Puxley family .

The steam engine and pump house both pumped water out from the mine shafts and was used to lower the miners into and out-of the mine, some 250feet below the hill side. Its hard to imagine now the life these miners had , many did not live that long while doing this kind of work.

The Landscape around the mines is just wonderful with mountains facing the coastline of west cork, again its hard to image how the noise and smell of these pump houses change this location and the view of hundreds of miners returning home after a days work must have been something to see, they shared small homes in the village, mostly twenty of them shared the same small houses.


Storm clouds, BlackValley, Killarney National Park – charcoal and Pastel drawing

Storm clouds at BlackValley
County Kerry
Ireland
Charcoal and Pastel
Nigel Borrington 2019