Natural Instincts

CC2 Sketch Lockwood

CC4 sketch lockwood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four months ago Sarah and I picked up a jackdaw. We thought she would fly away after filling her with food but she now owns us! We are her parents who woke up at 5.30am for feeds and fretted when she first flew away from us. We have been staying in a makeshift home on three acres of land, where she is free to come and go. Sarah thinks we have been rewilded as the jackdaw has taken us further into her world; there is little access to the internet here and I feel a calmness after the initial battle against not engaging with the social media world – I have been disconnected!

Instead I have gorged myself on home grown tomatoes that the jackdaw and I watched and watered daily. She would sit on my shoulder and walk down my arm to study me snipping and tying them up. I would stand by her as she bathed in a shallow red clay bowl, protecting her from the marsh harriers, buzzards, sparrowhawks and cats that constantly swooped and crawled through the land to find her; she always had one eye watching out for them as they knew she was here. Often she would make me realise they were nearby, even before I could see them – her instincts are good.

I think her awareness was transferred a little and I feel another side of my instincts have been more finely tuned. In my work I find this is essential. I want to gather the essence of the environment around me. I find a lot of solace in the natural world but I’m also interested in the world that we are creating within it.

I don’t want to lose my instincts; I want to tune in and be able to capture a moment in my work that will show the light, weather or a feeling. I think it is the cleverer subconscious mind that I trust to gather that information, I think that this is where our natural instincts sit and watch over us.

Bathers II 97x127cm oil linen Lockwood

Bathers II, oil on linen 97x127cm  (this painting is one of four listed here that has been selected by The Society of Wildlife Artist’s annual show at the Mall Galleries, London)  Catching birds relaxing on a private area of marsh. I had an idea building for a painting when watching this scene. I wanted to capture their block forms in these sketches.

duck sketches 1 lockwoodspoonbill sketches 2

332 Raw Marsh 97x127cm linen lockwood

Raw Marsh, oil on linen 97x127cm   I’m trying to capture the cold, gritty rawness of the marsh here in Cley. This is how I feel sitting in the marsh hide, especially when the North wind is blowing in. I try to remember the information to take back to my studio, this painting is about memories of what I’ve just seen. I didn’t make any working sketches for some of these paintings. I want to rely on my senses and what my mind remembers.

 

Bathers I 97x127cm oil on linen Lockwood

Bathers I, oil on linen 97x127cm  I have a friend in North Norfolk who’s reverted 200 acres of farmland into a nature reserve near Holkham. After each visit, I return to my studio to download my memories onto canvas. I try to recreate the passing of time and movement of creatures that move within the space and how the mind sees through one object to fill in the form of another.

328 Pool Movement, Life Between the Reeds lockwood lo

Pool Movement, Life Between The Reeds, oil on linen 97x127cm   The light in Cley can be dramatic, glowing reeds and cracked dark spaces where the birds hide.

 

 

 

2017

328 Pool Movement, Life Between the Reeds lockwood lo

I’ve been taking some time out from delivering new paintings to galleries to develop my work. I’m still busy producing and hope to show my new pieces when I have a collection. I’m working on the movement of light and creatures on the marsh and pools from Rye to Cley Reserves.

Wildling Exhibition & Book Launch

I’ve been working towards a major exhibition  at the Pinkfoot Gallery in Cley, Norfolk. Wildling opens at 12pm on the 23nd October 2016. The definition of Wildling is: “A wild plant or animal, especially a wild plant transplanted to a cultivated spot.”  The exhibition and book is a collection of my work exploring the animal form and its belonging or place within its environment.

60 Edge of the Estate - Lockwood 107x255cm (2pc) oil on linen (deer)

Red Hare Publishing have been working with me to make a beautiful, limited edition book to accompany the exhibition. As well as the final oil paintings, we’ve included field sketches and working drawings. The book will be launched at the exhibition on 23nd October 2016.

April

deer running through forest-web-lockwoodSitting with my back against a great oak, surrounded by bleached broken branches that look like bones, I sketch Fallow deer ahead of me in a heat haze that is rising from the grassland. It’s midday and they are gently strolling, gnawing off the new grass tops, whilst some are resting, tucked in like sculpted blocks.  Jets fly above, scraping through broken cloud and a hidden Green woodpecker keeps on calling. Jackdaws annoy everything and don’t shut up, they scour and peck through the land and the deer.

I can smell animal pee against the tree I’m leaning on, or is it the ground I’m sitting on? Wafts of odour rise up and are whipped away by a sudden breeze. The deer move closer to me as children’s screams come from the forest behind them. Is it cat pee maybe? Then the smell of deer musk mingles in. I sketch a young deers head as it rests, its eyes half closed, the heat haze rippling around it as I close in with my telescopic lens. Sunlight reaches me and I feel its warmth. I capture more deer with a few lines as they turn and meander. The deer haven’t acknowledged me yet, they move in closer still, treading quietly and delicately between the great oak trunks and more jets pass over, shaking the air with noise.

The wind finally blows from behind me, pushing my scent right towards the deer and they change their course a little. A young deer looks up directly at me and further away they all slip to hide in the shadows and cover of great sessile oaks.

March

Herons-&-Egrets at the pool-LockwoodIt’s Sunday morning, early, with a sharp wind blowing off the marsh. My eyes are streaming with the cold but I’m here at Walsey Hills in Cley to see a large group of herons that have collected at the pool. They come and go, annoying honking Greylag geese and unsettling Little egrets that are picking their way through the mashed up water. Some are clattering clumsily as they rest for a while upon the nearby tree tops, while another heron searches for sticks and grasses. Others just stand, looking at nothing in particular, as if lost in thought. Stark white egrets weave in and out of the scene between the herons sculpture like poses until suddenly, movement is seen within the water. Action is quick as the heron stretches out its snake like neck, counter balanced on stilted legs. An elegant shape with beak poised like a blade. an unknowing creature is stabbed in an instant. and on and on it goes, like a modern dance.