11.5.2013 – notes from a palace on painting

by deanmelbourne


The following notes are paraphrased in note form for my own use from Robin Ironsides’s critical study of painting in Britain since 1939.

Sutherland is a painter of landscape but his mountains burning at sundown are the theatre of human passions and his woods are the womb of human impulses.

Blacks,browns and reds, sounded a severe almost a chiding note.

The entrances to woods are the threshold of secrets.

If the painter explores the hollows it is to discover the death-throes of of an oak or to surprise a conspiracy among the rocks.

A quality of painting that is disturbing and suggestive – that gyrates in the imagination.

Sutherland had an emotional vision of the human predicament.

Bursting, moonlit growths of nature.

This kind of art seeks to “associate the beauty at which it aims with the less accessible channels of individual existence”.

Palmer’s pictures implicitly summon mystical communication with nature and the everlasting upheavals of the seasons.

These notes were taken sitting in the gardens at Blenheim Palace by Chantal Powell. Surrounded by spectacularly orchestrated nature of Capability Brown these notes take on real significance. In discussion with a friend they crystallise into a real sense of understanding.

Dialogue is as sunlight to my leaves.

Moments in the sun emphasised by a pause in the cools spring wind. Majesty and fakery. Natural phenomena on an artificial stage. Stone torsos, grass green water and warnings. Many many warnings.