Brittany has been a great source of inspiration for artists from across the world drawn to the beauty of its natural landscapes and unique quality of light. The women artists who came to draw inspiration from the rich colours and distinctive landscapes of the region have sometimes been overlooked and I highlight some of these pioneering painters here.Women Artists in Brittany — Bonjour From Brittany
Marie Bracquemond (1 December 1840 – 17 January 1916) was a French Impressionist artist, who was described retrospectively by Henri Focillon in 1928 as one of “les trois grandes dames” of Impressionism alongside Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt. Her frequent omission from books on artists is sometimes attributed to the efforts of her husband, Félix […]Art Sunday: Marie Bracquemond – Under the Lamp — Random Writings on the Bathroom Wall
*Impressionism radically changed the way we view the world.
This land is gracious
Sculpted by an unknown hand
Well known in our hearts
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
Painting of the beach of the small town of Heacham in West Norfolk, England.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
This one was a bit of a departure for me. I haven’t done much abstract style painting but I will certainly try to do more.
This one is of a dark, brooding landscape straight from the imagination.
copyright Francis Barker 2019
When March was still and new
before I was of an age to care
we’d visit the fields across the way
where she’d earn some more pennies
in that cool primavera air
Here I would watch her
peeping from between deep rows
where lingering water drained
like instant coffee in footprint pools
only recently covered with snow
With an abattoir efficiency
she’d pluck off each clean head
sometimes pause for a smoke
stand straight to feel her back
or maybe tick me off instead
To the sound of mellow bells
we’d walk home for biscuits and tea
when I’d hear her cutting vegetables
leaving me with a comic
a ginger cat curled up on my knee
© poem and image copyright dfbarker 2012
Not seasonal, I know, but it’s nice to think of the spring.
We awake to whiteness,
standing still to take it in,
like nothing will ever move again.
A few footprints in the snow,
silent records of an earlier day.
You say this is how it should be,
our minds lost in books, our dreams,
stretching out in listless days
and long nights. I yawn down
the stairs to click on the kettle,
soothed before a misting window
by the straight-falling flakes.
© copyright David Francis Barker 2011
First published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’ available at:
*If you are having a Christmas break, have a peaceful one
** Many thanks to all of those who have read or commented on this blog. I am very grateful.
I have been a member of the Woodland Trust for many years and so was very pleased that they planted a wood within half a mile of my house.
This mixed media painting was completed using sketches I made in July 2001. They had been lying about for ages until I came across them this year. Needless to say, due to the maturity of the wood, this view does not exist anymore!
Sir Roy Strong is so right about the English landscape. It is intrinsically wound up with English identity; no matter how urbanised we get, all of us who are English, or who may want to be, are attached to the open views of England, the hills, the mountains, the coasts and the fens.
I believe he is right. Scotland and Wales have their own measure of independence. We must discover our own identity and the process has begun, although England and Englishness never went away. She has been patient, waiting for us to open our eyes. The English rebirth has indeed begun in a profound, sustained, inward, but ultimately legitimate way. I hope to play my part in it.
And did those feet…?
At one time, when I was much younger, I didn’t like the flat, south Lincolnshire landscape, even though I was born and raised in it. Yes, it can be drab, especially in the winter, but as visitors are quick to point out, the skies are indeed tremendous.
A Fenland landscape, like any land or seascape, needs a focal point and I have a particular liking for whitewashed farmhouses. Spring is a very good time, as there is a welcome splash of colour with the yellow and white daffodils and narcissi.
In fact, fenland landscapes and especially Lincolnshire landscapes, I regard as a combination of land and seascape. Someone once said that the south Lincolnshire churches sail passed like ships at sea. Quite so.
It may be only August but feel free to contact to discuss a Christmas commission, or for any other occasion for that matter.