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Mixed feelings in transition

Together with his partner Gabrielle Tom was  working, as he wrote in June 2013, towards leaving The Turn of the Tide Studio in St Just near Lands End in the UK where they had lived since 1986. A date for their move was still to be finalised but crept inexorably closer. Amid the excitement of making plans towards their new home and the hard work of sorting through twenty-seven years of accumulated paraphernalia, artistic and otherwise, an element of sadness at leaving familiar haunts remained for them both as well as the hopes they had for the future. It could be that such mixed feelings were finding their way into what Tom had been able to find time to paint in these weeks before the move.

So for example as Tom was putting the finishing touches to a recent painting, as so often at such times, a title occurred to him. It was Farewell to Lands End ( ) for the piece re-presents a distant prospect of this famous spot as seen from Carn Bosavern, the hill just behind The Turn of the Tide Studio. In basing it on an angle of view directed towards the afternoon sun Tom found that sombre shadowy tones predominated across the foreground with gorse topped hedges providing some much needed warmth, a foil to the increasingly hazy and cooler coastal forms beyond. This backward glance of farewell perhaps begs the question: “what next?”

Gorse blossom time, Kenidjack Valley by contrast came from a vista in the direction that people locally term “up-country“. It was the direction of their planned move. The source of light in this painting was firmly behind Tom so that he was able to give full play to the brightness of sunlit gorse, of spring greenery and of the bluebell tints in the distant sea and sky. Perhaps a less wistful and more cheerful mood comes through here. See for yourself at .