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Creating the winter artwork in “Criccieth” North Wales UK

Criccieth artwork creation

A few people have asked me about the artwork I created following my trip to Criccieth in North Wales in January. So I thought I would give a bit of background to explain a little more about how and why I created this particular piece.

The last time I visited Criccieth I was just a child and seem to remember going on a very cold family camping trip – though not in January I hasten to add! The beauty of the place and the image of the castle on the curved shaped beach stayed in my mind and I wanted to see this tucked away little bay again. It’s quite a journey to get there but I thought it might be interesting to see how my perception had changed seeing this magical place as an adult.

I wasn’t disappointed; the day we went was cold but dry with the most stunning winter sky. The truth be known, I hardly recalled what I saw in front of me, but the mysterious mood and essence of the place felt exactly the same as I remembered!

 

Criccieth North Wales
Criccieth North Wales

On my return, a particular image stayed in my mind and also appealed to my imagination. I almost stumbled across it when walking to the end of the street, facing the opposite bay to the Castle. It was all about that moment. The light from the sky, how it reflected on the water creating a magical sparkle, totally framed by winter Hydrangeas and other dried winter foliage.

“As I turned the corner I was hit by the winter light on the calm sea in the open bay. The beautiful sky of rolling clouds over head and the skeletal wild flowers created a fragile natural frame to the sea and sky beyond”

The winter colour palette can be challenging when it comes to representing what I have in my mind, whilst also capturing that magical moment. I didn’t want the result to look ‘frosty’ or ‘dead’ but perhaps ‘cold’ and ‘hanging on’ with reference to the vegetation!

“I wanted it to have an essence of realism, but also wanted to create something that gave a different dimension to my idea”

So, I set about creating my final artwork. My reference photos were varied and it took some time to select the exact image that would act as a backdrop to my design. The light was very important to me and I wanted to try to recreate the soft backdrop to what I thought were beautifully fragile Hydrangeas. Most of this was done in my thinking time. Once I’d selected an image, I created a digital artwork from my seascape photograph and printed it onto good quality watercolour paper using professional quality lightfast inks.

Criccieth creating the artwork
Criccieth creating the artwork

Additionally, I wanted to actually create a 3D layer to the artwork to try to capture the ‘framed’ feeling the Hydrangeas gave. As I experimented with this idea, I got quite excited as I decided to create a transparent layer to the artwork which added a 3rd dimension to the construction of the final design. This involved hand painting the image using both sides of the material. I concentrated on the detail of the delicate remains of flower heads and straggly stems in between. The artwork style I’ve used isn’t precise but slightly fluid and almost ‘pattern like’ to isolate and finish the dominance of the scene. Using both sides of the Perspex I set about hand drawing and painting this as a ‘3D layer’ using acrylics and multipurpose inks. Once completed I then set about assembling the final construction.

“I wanted to make the shadows cast by the artwork become part of the actual design when in situ, hanging on the wall in a room”

The best thing about this idea was making every element count towards the final presentation of the final piece. I was thinking of how the final framed artwork would look in a room as an ‘object’ or ‘product’ hanging on the wall in the different lighting conditions; subtly created night and day. I therefore chose a sturdy box frame to inset my background artwork, inset with a broad high quality mount, then inset the painted transparent layer, fixed with pins to off set from the background, creating the 3 dimensional impression.

The final result is an individual piece of artwork, created to order; so every piece is completely unique!

Find out more about the specification of the design and view our shop here:

Criccieth Shop
Criccieth Shop

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