The Art of Cycling

It was good to catch up with Rosemary Holcroft at Water Street Gallery again today and also to see the works in the gallery’s current exhibition. The following works are available from Water Street Gallery….

“Mountain Biker In The Landscape” oil on canvas

On a bright day on the Pennine moors a mountain biker appeared over the ridge and began the fairly rapid descent along a rutted track. The mountain biker seemed almost part of the landscape but I liked the way the red helmet was set albeit for a few moments against the blue sky and the blue jacket against the tussock grass. I have some knowledge of what it feels like to ride through this type of landscape having set-up and run a mountain bike club for over 12 twelve years. I have, indeed, been in touch with the landscape on too many occasions…and I have an unenviable list of fairly serious injuries to prove it! The original framed painting is available from Water Street Gallery but limited edition signed Giclee prints are also available from me…;-)

“The Finish” etching.

There are only two of these etchings left…from a small limited edition of 10. One is mounted and available from Water Street Gallery, the other is framed and is currently in my studio at Falcon Mill. This etching was inspired by my interest in road cycling and the fascinating battle of the sprinters at they hurtle towards the line. Fear, daring, courage, excitement, skill, athleticism, jubilation and disappointment can be witnessed in just a few short metres as they hit the finish line.

“Spring Is In The Air No.1” acrylic on board.

This was done en plein air one morning looking towards the east as the morning sun began to take the chill off the day. I had cycled past this scene on numerous occasions and had promised myself that I would return to paint it when the light was right. Sadly the first time that I returned with my paints the clouds closed in and provided the sort of blanket grey flat light that does nothing for me! The second time I returned the spring sky remained clear and I was able to fulfil the promise I had made to myself.

“Reflected Sky” acrylic on board.

I had taken a visiting friend and fellow artist to this little oasis of calm to paint en plein air. My friend found his inspiration on the opposite bank and we worked our paintings until we felt that they had captured the mood. When painting in such a location I am reminded of the words of the monks from Coldingham Priory. They believed that working the land was a form of worship and I find myself empathising as painting the landscape whilst in the landscape can be a spiritually up-lifting experience. This remains so in the face of challenges provided by changing light, moving foliage in the breeze, ever changing reflections and the technical difficulties of composition, form, tone, colour and space. I was recently talking with an old friend who told me that he destroys his watercolour paintings once they are finished. The importance of painting, for him, is the act of painting and the final piece is of little significance. I fully understand this approach and many artists will tell you that if they knew that they were never ever going to sell another painting….they would still paint. I do not often feel an influence but during the painting of this acrylic on board I kind of hoped that it might please Corot if he could see it.