One of my plans for this year is to spend time exploring the Essex marshes. I sometimes feel that I know the Norfolk coastline better than my own so I decided it was time to redress the balance. At the beginning of January we walked out along the Dengie peninsula. It was bitterly cold. The tide was out but the mist made it hard to distinguish water from mud flat anyway. At one point I watched a flock of Knot disappearing and emerging out of the mist as they did their "dance" over the mud flats.
The walk is along the sea wall, with salt marsh to one side and farmland to the other. The difference in the colour and texture of the land on each side is stark. I was reading John Cage at the time and there was a bit about the visual equivalent of silence being "nothing to see". So I was thinking about this as I walked through this bleak, flat, featureless landscape. But gradually you adjust, so that each line of posts, a bend in a creek or a change in the vegetation becomes an event. So instead of "nothing to see" the small details become more striking - almost "noisy".
We went back last weekend. This time it was a bright, sunny March afternoon and warm enough to regret some of the layers I'd piled on. I love the way the colours of the marsh are changed by the different light.
My drawings at the moment are dominated by diffuse edges and long horizontals, punctuated by short vertical strokes.
My current reading list: