|Sanctuary (for now)
By : Deborah Susan Jones : Editor & contributing writer
Peter had gone to see a local printers, Saint Leonard's Press, based in St. Leonard's Churchyard in Ludlow, Shropshire and as is always the case never missing an opportunity to seek out new visual stimulus to encourage new paintings, went for a walk around the Churchyard and towards the back noticed that he could in fact see Ludlow's other, and more famous church, Saint Laurence's.
On the day the weather was quite dark, like early night in fact, overcast, and an Owl flew overhead clutching a small mammal, a mouse perhaps, and flew off towards the tower of St. Laurence's.
While observing the Owl and it's shrieking prey, the artist was distracted by a scuffling sound to his left.
Down in the depths of the overgrown foliage of the graveyard, atop a gravestone plinth, sat a small mouse, nervously snuffling around in a seemingly anxious state.
Perhaps it considered Peter to be the Owl's accomplice?
The whole event begged to be a painting.
And so, on the one hand, we have a simple picture depicting a local scene, and on another level, one of drama, fantasy even, given the unlikely mood of dark sky, tangled undergrowth and vegetation, hunter and prey, home of the dead, sanctuary of the living, scared kin, and outsider/onlooker.
Attractive to the painter's eye was also the variety of colour and from of the vegetation in the graveyard, from linear to spherical, offering a good range of visual variation and the shift in tonal range from the almost spiritual light coming from the distant church tower to the dark ominous depths where the, as yet free, mouse is hiding.
Sometimes reality is as surprising as fantasy.
Deborah Susan Jones : Editor & contributing writer