Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Seago Country

"On Hill of Forss" - watercolour - 24 x 35 cm


One of my favourite painters is Edward Seago. He was working around the middle of the Twentieth Century, and many of his paintings were of the landscapes around his home in Norfolk, in the east of England. It's a very flat area, with lots of waterways and lakes, but the main feature of his paintings was the big expanse of sky. Scotland isn't normally thought of as being flat, but Caithness is sometimes known as the "Lowlands beyond the Highlands", and it is predominantly low-lying and open. Like Norfolk, the skies are big and have a wonderful variety of cloud formations.


I have always thought that skies are an important part of a landscape painting, and it saddens me to see many painters treating them in a superficial way. It seems as if they want to get the boring bit finished quickly so that they can get on with the interesting part. When the land is confined to a flat strip across the bottom third of the painting, you have no choice but to think more carefully about the sky!

When I came across this view recently, I was stopped in my tracks; it was like a Seago painting come to life! A common subject in his landscapes is a view on a marsh, with a drainage dyke and a few wooden posts, and often heavy clouds with rain in the distance. This scene was actually on top of a hill, but because of the open landscape, the impression was similar.


8 comments:

  1. Good morning Keith! ... What a delightful tribute to Seago... also one of my favourite English landscape painters... and for the very reason that you mention. You share a very strong and innate ability as Seago did... it seems to capitalize on normally "ordinary" landscape elements... such as large and wondrous skies passed over by other artists.

    This new painting is a prime example of that desirable "so much said... with so little" approach to painting. It is another gem Keith. Bravo!

    Your work does the Ranson and Chamberlain crowd proud... and that my Friend, isb the largest tribute I can offer you back!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce

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    1. Hi Bruce, I didn't know that you would be so familiar with Seago's work. He's very popular here, but I'm not sure how well-known he is elsewhere. He was side-lined by the art establishment, possibly because of his popularity.

      I'm gratified that you put me in that company, and I certainly try to maintain those ideals.

      All the best,
      Keith

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  2. Well Keith, one thing for sure..... your skies have always been such a big wonderful part of your paintings.
    I 've been awol for a while, but hopefully back now...
    BJ

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    1. Thanks Barbra Joan, It will be good to have you back.

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  3. A beautiful painting, Keith. I agree that the sky can often be the most important part of a view (or a painting); in so many cases, it is the sky that sets the mood and adds the atmosphere.

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    1. So true Diane, and it's a flexible compositional element as well.

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  4. I have a beautiful book about Seago and his works and am lucky enough to see those beautiful skies where I live too. My area here is close to the coast. The sky is important and your fresh looking watercolour painting depicts it so well.

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    1. The big skies are wonderful aren't they Caroline. I never saw so many full rainbows before I moved up here.

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