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Thoughts on a painting about a mining village above the sea, Pendeen

Having, in February 2013, just finished an ambitious piece about an ex-mining community in Cornwall caused Tom to think about work, life and connections between the different stages of both. Mining village above the sea, Pendeen
The painting came from a morning spent in Pendeen, a place just a few miles north-east of where he lived at that time in St Just. After enjoying the bustle of the farmer’s market in the centre there, Gabrielle and Tom climbed Pendeen Carn, the hill that overlooks the whole coastline there. As they looked back Tom was struck by the juxtaposition of Geevor mine near the cliff top in the distance, the nearer fields and miner’s cottages and just below them some standing grave stones on the hillside. On each level a repeating series of shapes seemed to form a counterpoint to those on the other levels. Over the following days and weeks, as Tom worked on the 1 metre x 1 metre canvas that he felt was needed to do justice to this particular landscape prospect, he found himself pondering that here was an image of work/home and life/death in balance, all of it presided over by what he called ‘that ocean light that is so characteristic of Cornwall’.

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Architectural painting

An architectural context for paintings is something that could be deeply inspiring for Tom ever since that time in Italy in the early 1970s surrounded as he was by the fresco-painted murals of Tuscany. A musician friend across the Piazza was renting an apartment converted from an old farm building and the canvas shape of Tuscan farmhouse 1973 ( ) was a temporary hanging Tom designed to fill a wall space in his apartment that had once been a barn doorway. To Tom it seemed a far cry from the damp Cornish winter around him as he wrote,  though it’s undeniable that fitting images of three dimensional forms into sometimes unusual two dimensional shapes continued to intrigue him here.

Image of my Tuscan Farmhouse wall hanging