Seeking the West Winds by Libby Scott
March 20, 2018 by Perthshire Creates
Seeking the West Winds by Libby Scott at Birnam Arts, is Libby’s first solo show to be held in her home area of Perthshire, having previously participated in group exhibitions. Most of the works, which are paintings, sketches and prints, are inspired by locations in close proximity to the villages of Stanley, Birnam and Pitlochry.
The exhibition features mixed media work on paper, prints and drawings. The opening is on Sunday 25 March 2pm – 4pm, and all are welcome, the exhibition runs until Thursday 31 May.
Libby’s artistic inspiration is drawn from open panoramic vistas capturing the drama of the weather approaching from the west. Often her paintings are started on location directly from the scene and this makes for works that are spontaneous, full of energy, movement and light. She seeks to convey the symbiotic relationship between the elements of weather, land and the interplay of the hidden and the revealed scene.
Using a variety of artistic processes to convey her sense of journeying through the landscape and her feeling of being part of the scene. Libby expresses her intuitive response to the energy and enfolding drama of the landscape, capturing the feeling of movement and wildness. In her work, she seeks to evoke a glimpse, a moment in time and the sense of mood of the land and place.
Talking in detail about her inspiration, her process and her work, Libby says:
“Seeking the West Winds is a body of work based around my home. Stanley, Airntully, Birnam, Dunkeld, Pitlochry and Aberfeldy are the main subject areas, which forms this exhibition at Birnam Arts. It is very personal to me, more than usual, as these works have largely been done in situ and then completed in my studio. The final pieces are of the land and sky and within their structure contains the conditions of the moment.
On my home doorstep of Perthshire, I am surrounded by wide vistas, deep open skies and panoramic views to the west. I weather watch every morning by walking through the land, observing, feeling the wind direction, noticing the changes of the season and maintaining my daily practice of elemental connection. My home has a number of farms nearby and their activity on the land captures my attention through the marks they leave from planting crops with furrows in the earth and the borders of the fields. They lend perspective and depth to my drawings and paintings, and offer opportunities for gestural marks on the paper and in my sketchbooks.
I have an overriding creative focus to capture the scale, depth and the differing moods of the dynamic energy between sky and land. There is this magnetic tension that is played out between the two, the weather envelopes whilst the land anchors. Glimpsed nuances of transient conditions, hinted at moments of filtered light and vanishing horizons inspire me to capture these elements. All too often the scene is brief as the conditions fluctuate to a dance in time that is as old as the hills themselves.
In finding a location to work, I follow my own instincts – allowing my journey to lead me, often to unchartered routes. My decision-making process of where I go is often determined by where I am best able to explore and capture the landscape. I aim to find a place that offers opportunities in developing a relationship with the space and the scene. I will return time and again until the works reach a stage of completion.
When I come to a place I spend time looking, absorbing, writing, photographing creating evidence of my time there. This is to instil a deepening sense of my surroundings.
I carry a sketchbook, drawing board with prepared papers and a rucksack which holds a number of different tools and media that I carry – watercolour, pastel, graphite, ink and charcoal. Each item has a specific purpose and the scene will determine what I have in my hand at that moment in time.
My sketchbooks are my visual diaries. They are the link that reminds me of the sense of place and where I refer to the dynamics and energy used within a brushstroke or the drawn line. They bring me back to that moment of feeling the landscape, my effort of finding the location and creative activity that has taken place.
The beginning of my paintings, drawings and works on paper start in the landscape. They become imbued with the weather, the scene and of the moment. I work in an energetic, dynamic way mirroring the conditions surrounding me.
Returning to the quiet space of my studio, and referring to my sketchbooks, I will complete the works. The studio time I use to reflect, to look at the sketches and the paintings that I have started. I work in a more contemplative and considered way, processing the experience that I have undergone.”