Wednesday 5 March 2014

Malta Sketchbook #5: Tigne Battery - Roofscape

Tigne Battery - Roofscape
(Charcoal and compressed charcoal over two pages of A4 sketchbook)

A rather overcast day, but that lent a sombre aspect to this drawing of the concrete roofs of the Battery, looking out over the countryside. 

I wonder if it brings to your mind, as it does to mine, the eerily vacant townscapes of de Chirico? Or is it a case of fixing on a landscape a predetermined aspect? There's no doubt that, even allowing for the reduced lighting, the drawing has become more about me than the place itself. 

John Ruskin saw this practice of projecting our own moods onto trees, clouds or complete landscapes as misguided and branded it the pathetic fallacy.  His view was very influential but failed to kill it off: witness the work of Nash, Sutherland, Piper and a whole host of other painters down to the present day.