Monte Catria

#pathtoahigherplane – mystery and beauty of mountains

Monte Catria, a high peak in the Appenine mountains in north eastern Italy, provided inspiration for Dante’s Paradiso, the third part of his Divine Comedy.  He wrote several verses while living at the Hermitage at Fonte Avellana, a monastery built into the lower slopes of the majestic Monte Catria. Wild flowers grow in abundance here in the spring and cattle graze the high pastures in the summer months, while winter sees the mountain shrouded in snow.

Monte Catria Study #06
Monte Catria Study #06: Monte Catria shows off its constantly changing faces and moods – an irresistible challenge for the artist – July 2011 – 30 x 40 cm / 16″ x 12″ [Cat:751]
Even if I had not known about the Dante connection, I would still have been inspired by this mountain. It has a complicated geometry, and the endless variety of angles and the interplay of light engages my interest. Some years ago while staying nearby (and at a great vantage point), I was able to track the changes on the mountain throughout the day in a series of paintings that reflect this diversity. They represent my attempt to capture some of the mystery and beauty of this magical place.

Monte Catria Study #08
Monte Catria Study #08: Monte Catria shows off its constantly changing faces and moods – an irresistible challenge for the artist – July 2011 – 30 x 40 cm / 16″ x 12″ [Cat:753]
Monte Catria Study #09:
Monte Catria Study #09: Monte Catria shows off its constantly changing faces and moods – an irresistible challenge for the artist – July 2011 – 30 x 40 cm [Cat:754]

Leaves

#signatureoftime – growth and decay

Looking at the shape, structure and texture of a variety of species in varying stages of growth and decay is fascinating, leaves are also a constant reminder of time and the seasons passing

Leaves gather on the woodland floor
Leaves gather on the woodland floor [Cat: 31/0005, Leaves #0005, 6 mp / 6000 x 4000 pixel, Digital Photography, 2017]
Leaves is part of a group of works inspired by nature. While they provide life-long sources of interest, these subjects ultimately form the basis of my abstract paintings which are both hard-edged and yet fluid in appearance. Leaves looks at the shape, structure and texture of a variety of species in varying stages of growth and decay.

Underside of a prayer plant leaf
Underside of a prayer plant leaf [Cat: 31/121552, Leaves #121552, 6 mp / 5312 x 2988 pixel, Digital Photography, 2018]

Night life

My drawing of a famous Greek restaurant in Soho, which I visited the night before my interview for the Royal College of Art. It’s one of a series of shop fronts on the home page of my website that provide a link to different sections of my portfolio. Alternatively, you can click here to go to Drawing 1960 – 1980.

Testing colourways

#naturalforms – fluid sculpture 10

Using the digital palette, I can try out various colourway on screen, while this could be done with the physical paint, this method gives me the freedom to try many more combinations.

This example is using an image from the Bridge series [Cat: 07 NATURAL FORMS 020]