Low Relief Construction

A whole series of my work has been inspired by a drawing of my father’s from 30 years ago. His original was based on visually extracting shapes from a classic Tumbling Blocks schema used in drawing, painting, patchwork and many other formats.

This is his drawing on paper in ink and two thicknesses of line.

I have made a number of drawn versions of my own.

A sketched and cut version in heavy water-colour paper.
A sketched drawing in white crayon on water-coloured paper.
After many other versions in drawing, painting and cutting I have now embarked on a low relief version in painted plywood. The pieces were cut out usung a tiny reciprocating jig-saw that my mother owned from the mid ’80s.

Here are some of the stages I have passed through. Hopefully tomorrow it will be finished.

Drawn out with pencil and set square, then cut out with the jigsaw
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The complete design incised into the backboard
Laying out the pieces and deciding how far away from the surface they should sit.
Some of the pieces with spacers glued to the back
Painted and ready for assembly

Architecture of Toulouse and Castres

Toulouse Blagnac airport, new terminal. Ingenious wood slats behind the glazing panels filters the sun but lets in plenty of

 

light.

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The approach from the plane into the terminal, none of that grey bland utilitarian style here, it is perfectly functional and the yellow is joyous.
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From the outside you see the slatted wood but not the coloured glass dots that are placed at crossing points.
Architecture, France, Airport
Simple glass barriers along the walkways are half-painted in a delightful maritime blue, a sort of abstract beach scene perhaps!
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None of those hideous hard plastic chairs here, just soft red comfort.
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Even on the sunniest of days the light inside is soft with no glare – a calm space, just right when waiting to board a plane.
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Vertical tube lights hanging over the stairwell
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Wooden slats punctuated by circles of coloured glass at the crossing points. A subtle reference to stained glass windows maybe?
corten
An unusual gateway to a school, water-jet cut out lettering in Corten steel.

Castres

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The weir in the river, looking like an abstract oil painting
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River-side living – cantilevered balconies at every level

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Classical references in this old chapel.
corten steel
Some more Corten steel cut-out lettering, this time the letters have been fixed on supports in front of their corresponding gaps.
gardens
Ripe for an abstract linocut print maybe? The formal gardens at the Bishop’s Palace by the river

 

Roquebrun, Tarn, France

I was lucky to pay a fleeting visit to this green and rocky place last week, the weather was surprisingly warm, perhaps too hot for a 3 hour trek up the Gorge D’Heric but the scenery was certainly photogenic.

Bridge over the Orb
Sunday swimming in the Orb, below the bridge in Roquebrun. I think maybe something was being cooked up on a barbecue too.
Roquebrun
The little hill town of Roquebrun with its protecting castle which has views both up and down the river Orb
Pinks
The fertile flat land that floods in winter is well used and tended, growing everything from cabbages to mulberry trees, pinks to leeks
Portager
The river Orb flows between the rows of trees in the distance.
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Messing about in the river
Gorge d"Heric
Gorges d’Heric. – I just happened to be passing when this guy was trying to impress his girlfriend by throwing a big boulder into the river. She honestly couldn’t have cared less!
Gorges
Afternoon sunlight just hitting the edges of the trees on our way down from the top.
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Trying to catch the splash as my friend throws stones into the pool.
Grey rock
most of the fallen rocks were yellow brown but this enormous one was blue grey, been there a long time judging by the smoothed contours.
River Orb
Back down by the river Orb, perfect afternoon sunlight picking up the green of the leaves.

 

Figures of Eight Sides – after more cutting into the block

I have printed from this block in a few different colour variations but I think this dark blue/black is my favourite so far. I am going to try a dull brickish red too I think. And I might do some more cutting.

I have in mind to cut some more of the shapes out, deeply enough to fit in a shape made from copper sheet. Copper is beautiful when it’s highly polished but it ages really well too, gaining depth and variation ofcolour. In fact if you heat it, the surface develops amazing tones where a flame has licked it. Details to come . . .