'Context' - A Blog

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My First Time Ploughing
(and why you should have a go)

07/05/2021

When I first got to use a plough in earnest, it all turned out rather a mess...but what a superlative piece of kit it is... ...more

The Farm Machine in the Nettles- Will it Ever be Used Again?

30/04/2021

How the enigma of an old plough in the nettles led to an insight into the landscape all around and helped seed a lifelong interest in the significance of ploughs, ploughing and ploughlands. ...more

A First Experience of Horse Ploughing

25/04/2021

How I ended up behind a horse and plough because of a day’s sketching ...more

The Scent of Spring

16/04/2021

A lovely spring smell is in the air which takes me back to the scent of grass and earth mixed together on a Sussex farm... ...more

Esker, Esgair, What's in a Name?

09/04/2021

How paying attention to the geographic definition of esker and its Welsh equivalent, esgair, was a missing key to understanding the landscape around me. ...more

Naming a Place

02/04/2021

How a place name comes about in the first place and what it might tell us about those who first used the name. ...more

The Meaning of a Place Name

26/03/2021

How looking at the roots of the old words for the hills and other places in the landscape around us, can bring us into closer touch with our surroundings. ...more

View of a Hill

19/03/2021

When we look at hill, do we ever see it properly? ...more

A Change of Perspective

12/03/2021

How seeing the same things around us from a different angle for a moment, might help us gain a little sense of escape from the day to day difficulties that surround us. ...more

'Cockney Sparrows'

05/03/2021

Why the determination of these little birds draws comparisons with the inhabitants of wartime London. ...more

The Brightness of Sparrows

26/02/2021

How a tiny, unassuming brown bird provides cheer and inspiration in the cold of late winter. ...more

February Thoughts from a Shepherd’s Viewpoint

19/02/2021

How thoughts in February centre on damp and difficulties, at one of the hardest times of the shepherd’s year. Yet there is solace and strength to be derived from the sheep themselves. ...more

The Meaning of a Figure in a Landscape (Part 2 of 2)

12/02/2021

Should the figures in our landscape paintings be harmonious or discordant, or even there at all? ...more

The Meaning of a Figure in a Landscape
(Part 1 of 2)

05/02/2021

Should the people in our landscape paintings be from now or the past and should they confront or soothe us? ...more

Distracted by Figures in a Landscape

29/01/2021

How the single figure of a person in a landscape can distort our perception entirely. ...more

The Poor and the Parish Boundary

22/01/2021

When the Poor Laws meant that a parish boundary really mattered ...more

The Difficulties of Light, Dark and Parish Boundaries

15/01/2021

A voyage around a parish boundary to show the difficulties of keeping track of tonal values in a painting. ...more

The Best of Winter’s Light

08/01/2021

Why the quality and form of light matters to artists (and all of us?) ...more

The Brief Beauty of Now

01/01/2021

Appreciating the colours of winter ...more

A Figure of the Future in the Landscape

24/12/2020

How much stranger is it, if a figure ‘in our mind’s eye’ in a landscape is our self? ...more