Springtime in rural Aberdeenshire is beautifully colourful. Daffodil fields and oilseed rape cover the landscape in a patchwork of yellows and greens. Patterns are there to be sought out and found. Small Christmas trees polka-dot the terracotta earth, regular furrows provide stripes, and tall sinuous grasses catch the eye as the wind jostles them.
Framing this scene are the man-made structures, the rigid lines of fences and the cattle barns, turning the landscape into a geometric study. On dark, brooding days, the sun moves from between the clouds to light up sections of the terrain for just a moment – a glimpse of intense colour – while the shadows turn the ploughed fields into rich greys and browns.
This print is one of a series that documents the movement of light over my local landscape, capturing a moment in colour. When I return to my studio each day, I turn my memory of the composition into a collage or drawing and then eventually into a print.
To capture the intensity of colour in my prints requires the overlaying of several flat tones to build up vibrancy. The journey is an uncertain one and I often find myself adjusting colours by overprinting extra tones to make the hues vibrate against each other. Usually, only at the end, when it is all printed, does the effect reveal itself. For me the simplicity of the work comes from a direct feeling, a response to a moment.
Retty Haxworth graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1993 and is now based in Aberdeenshire. Her work can be seen at Oxford’s O3 Gallery from 10 October to 1 November.
You can find more art & design in Homes and Interiors Scotland magazine.