Capturing The Essence…blog update

Sitting here in front of the computer, whilst outside the grey skies and raindrops envelop everything in a gloomy shroud, I can’t believe it’s only a few days since we returned from our holiday  – it feels like an age!! So to brighten my mood I have been looking at our holiday photos (wishing I was sitting with my coffee and apple cake at the Bar Illeta whilst admiring the view…)

Scrolling through the pictures got me to thinking about how images can capture (or not) the essence of a place; admittedly sound and smells along with taste also have their part to play e.g. to me, tapas is sitting in a little square in Palma with the Tapas del Dia por dos persons(?) and a cool drink whilst soaking in the atmosphere of the church on one side and the port on the other. Are you beginning to get the picture…..?

Whilst I am a sucker for the bigger picture, the mountains, the coastlines, the dales, moorlands…it’s also the little things that do as much to evoke the memories. Last year in Almeria, it was the windmills that stood out for me (admittedly not so little) whilst this year in Majorca, well see for yourself!

Ancient olive treeGroves of olive trees, their trunks all twisted and gnarled, the olives beginning to ripen…





Old doorwaysHoney coloured buildings with weathered doors and windows leading to cool interiors and shady courtyards…







Talking plantsAnd outside the honey coloured houses were luscious pots…





Even the bark had to get in on the show…Not sure what this tree was but it had the most beautiful patterns…







Iron MuleIron Mule








This Iron Mule in Estellencs had such an inquisitve look on it’s face I couldn’t help but smile….

And it wouldn’t be me without an old building or two –







on a blisteringly hot day we climbed (the book said it was classed as ‘easy’ – ha ha!) to the watchtower on a neighbouring headland. Because of Majorca’s position in the Mediterranean watchtowers were built on all the strategic headlands to ‘watch’ for invaders. Although not all of them have survived there are still a good few to explore…The honey coloured stone against the blue of the sky is a wonderful combination and the rough hewn stone adds another texture…



These are just a few of the things that for me capture the essence of our recent holiday…..

Capturing the essence of a place is something the following two artists do exceedingly well! And what makes their work even more special for me is that they both love South Wales, particularly Pembrokeshire, and North Norfolk, which along with the Yorkshire Dales, are two of my favourite places as well!

Chris Prout is based in Northamptonshire, and although he lives almost as far away from the coast as one can get in the UK, he loves the wild, emptiness of North Norfolk, the marshes and lonely cry of the curlew, as well as the rugged beauty of the Pembrokeshire coast. His wonderful  impressionistic works in acrylics, mixed media, inks and watercolours capture the essence of Norfolk; their watery skies, low horizons, muted colours and textures evoke such memories that I can almost hear the rustling of the reeds and the haunting birdsong. For a Leicestershire landlubber like me, his works are the next best thing to being there! Equally, his images of Wales’s rugged coast-line, although totally different in nature to Norfolk, again capture the sheer power and grit of the area. I can almost feel the wind in my face as I walk along the coastal path.

Chris Prout                  A Big Sky And Evening Walk In Silhouette, Chris Prout

Brynley Stallard is a new name to me (apologies Brynley!!) He lives and works in South Wales. Unlike Chris, Brynley captures the essence of the place in oils, loving the transparency of the medium. Almost abstract, his work strips nature down to its minimalist best. Etching and scraping into the layers of the paint, his work, to me, is all about the raw power of the ocean, the crashing waves, the moodiness (is that a proper word?) of the sea. Again, I can almost feel and taste the spray of the saltwater as I stand gazing out into the distance.

Brynley Stallard                           Port Eynon, 2014 Brynley Stallard

For me, any work that makes me feel as if I am actually standing in a particular place, drinking in the sights, sounds and smells, has definitely captured the essence and atmosphere – lovely work Chris and Brynley, you have certainly succeeded!!

Hope I’ve managed to acknowlege everything correctly and all the links work – apologies in advance if I haven’t! Really wish I had been able to get to Chris’s recent Open Studios but it clashed with our holidays – maybe next time Chris!!

Dare I admit to it – I have never painted in oils, and my experience with acrylics is very limited, so I am not sure how I would get on ‘capturing the essence’ of my recent holiday in those mediums……….


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