Corsica. Rocks #3

Casteddu de Cuccuruzzu, Alta Rocca Corsica France

Pianottoli- Caldarello Corsica France

Pianottoli - Caldarello Corsica France

PS: Anybody out there who has the idea of how to avoid blogger brain dead processing of pictures of any size ? I'm getting mad at those jpeg blotches appearing every where. Tried to shrink the image at 750px but there seems no way to avoid a processing. I'm not speaking of the embedded one but the image in the popup which is supposedly the original (and the size is the same).


pmc #7

Castelletto Casarile, Milano Italy

One of the few experiences that I clearly remember from my early youth in Nanaimo (Canada BC) is what I could call "The houses tour" my mother liked to have with my father and me. We drove around with the car to look, behind the windshield, at various modern houses and their gardens. When in Valtellina I used to satisfy my, at the time non conscious, nostalgia by looking at some old copies of "houses & gardens" she took with her getting back to Italy. The spotting of different aspects of a garden made me somewhat trained in observation (I realized this a lot later), and the magazine reading familiar with the technical imagery. It is, maybe, what Bateson calls the "secondary abilities" generally left by parents to their breed despite all the efforts in favor to the more useful believed ones. To my delight BLDGBLOG posted this on twitter a couple of days ago.

A big thanks for the mention to Kent Wiley of Man Made Wilderness. I like his straight style. Making landscape images from the actual world poses a lot of problems on object/subject choice. But certainly scarceness is not one of them.


Corsica. Rocks #2

Constable and Landscape Art Theory

Some times it is nice to get back to classic (?) landscape interests. Mostly moved by the lectures I'm pushing forward, in the last six months I've started a study, rather large in views as my usual (not to say excessive), on Constable. The main volume along which I'm articulating the study is the nice and deep "John Constable and the Theory of Landscape Painting" by Ray Lambert. Here is a short pdf excerpt. Among the many virtues the book has is that of not trying to do a psychotwisted interpretation of the man. At last a book on a painter that tries to analyze the ideas, the culture of his time (I'm tempted to use the Zeitgeist) and the cultural background. I've greatly appreciated the "philosophy of science" perspective connecting him with Natural Philosophy. I've supported the lecture with several other online readings.
For the biography I've found a couple of publications in the internet archive from the Leslie's Family. I've already written about the Discourses of Sir Joshua Reynolds omnipresent in painting at that time.

There are several good reasons to study Constable's time frame. To start the area from which he comes was interested by the earliest modifications introduced with the very first steps of the industrial revolution. From the various biographies it is interesting to note that his native area was, at his time, a proto post industrial one, even if in ways and with aspects that may sound romantic in modern times. He was interested in depicting views of his actual world. A world he observed with great care and some obsession. As much as Darwin he was mostly an observer, and a dedicated one. He liked to observe. In his case painting comes after as consequence of observing (a proof he says). This I think is a great lesson for every Landscapist.

On the image making side a good point is made by the relation with the user, with great emphasis on the transmission of the viewing experience. Particularly I've found great interest in the strategic use of blurred areas in the mid plane of the painting so to force the viewer to get around each part of the image.


Back from Corsica. Rocks #1

Each time I visit Corsica I feel a strange sense of being home. The immediate reason, I've got to think, is the presence of the (relatively) high granite mountains you see from any part of the island. I grew from the age of six to eighteen in a place, the Central Alps (Alpi Retiche), where each time I looked out of a window (of any kind) there was some high granite peak forcing my sight up in the sky. But if that was not enough it is the whole human environment that feels that way. Local people is so disturbingly unfriendly and incline to violent behaviour to remind me immediately the general model of relationship I got used to in my youth. I'm not referring here to the apparent benignly that the mountain man reserved to perfect strangers. But even in that benign look you can feel the gauge on the friend or foe relationship starting, with few exceptions, from the foe position. It may be the right suspect against any kind of invader or self acclaimed landlord, and they knew a lot of them. Oh, by the way, local inhabitants like to call it Corsica and not Corse (the French translation). But more on this on a next post.

On the geological side it happens that this island, together with Sardegna, detached from the European continent and rotated counterclockwise to assume the current position. For an exact, and problematic, explanation of the drift see the abstract here.