I don’t go far. Almost all the landscape I use is within a very few miles of my studio. It is a landscape of creeks, quays and seawalls, of beaches, saltings and mudflats. It is the last of the Essex marshes before you cross the Stour and head north into Suffolk.
I have several regular routes that I walk, usually along the seawalls, carrying an A4 sketch pad and a small box of graphite sticks and crayons. It is like going to church or the library, rifling through the books, knowing what you are looking for, making notes, enjoying the quiet, seeing what comes to light, hoping for the unexpected.
I make rudimentary drawings, often of the same thing for months at a time. I guess it is partly learning what it is I am looking at and why it demanded my attention, but partly it is having time to be quiet and expectant out in the landscape.
The drawings are the framework upon which the paintings are hung. Painting is possible without a subject, but for me the subject keeps the painting meaningfully tethered to the world. But the paintings are not about the topography as such. The act of painting has its own meaning, one that is not external to the painting but carried within it. Meaning is not found in the painting, it is the painting.
Simon Carter, April 2020