Outdoor Focus Winter 2017 - Page 16

OWPG AWARD WINNERS 2017 OUTDOOR BOOK Winner David Bellamy for Arctic Light Judges Mark Whitely of Dalesman Publications and former OWPG member Chris Bagshaw Painting adventures in the Arctic From Arctic Light T What the judges said... In a market-place seemingly full of ‘personal accounts’ of some journey or another, this book is singularly different, bringing a fascinating insight into the creative artistic process, and providing a readable, informative account of exploring one of the world’s wildest places. he sketch was progressing well. Smugly I took great satisfaction in applying the watercolour, seeing the image of the natural ice bridge gradually forming on the paper. Then I felt the ground move – was I dreaming? It’s not supposed to do that. I worked on, then suddenly the ground I stood on – a mass of mud, stones and rock debris – lurched dramatically to one side. Towards those dark, fast-flowing waters of the glacial river that I suddenly realised were undercutting the banks. Where I stood the mud and rocks covered a shelf of ice which was starting to disintegrate beneath my feet. I rapidly applied another watercolour wash to the sketch, but as a great gap ripped open in front of me I was obliged to take the mother of all leaps onto safe ground away from that roaring torrent which would have swept me away under the ice shelf, watercolour sketch and all. In the Arctic, because of the subtle nuances in colour and tone in snow and ice, I prefer to sketch in watercolour whenever possible, though this can lead to problems when the temperature is well below zero. A drop of gin in the painting water can work wonders, but if the temperature really plummets even that doesn’t work and I’m left with frozen brushes. When really desperate measures are called for I get out the watercolour pencils and rub dry colour across the paper, then pick up a snow-ball and rub it across the sketch, rather as one might expect a baboon to paint. I then quickly draw into the mess of colour with a dark pencil or pen and the result can be passable. In fact it is sometimes better than my more considered work. In a violent Arctic storm, however, you can’t hang around. The temperature plunges and it feels like you’ve been hit by a brick wall, causing you to gasp, whilst all the art materials you’ve scattered across the ground rapidly begin to disappear under swirling snow or s ɥи)Ё٥)٥ ͕́ѥչхݥх)͍̰́ѥձɱ䁙͍ѕѡ́ɔ)ѡݥ̸ձѥѥЁѡȰ́ɥѕ)͕ٕѕ́ɅѕݥѠ́ѥ́ЁÝ)٥éѕՕ́݅ѕɍȁٔɽՍAX)̹Qɽ՝́ѥɥѥ́ѼɥЁ)ɕѕȁ݅ɕ́ѡѡɕ́ѼѡɅ٥ɽа)́ѥձɱ䁅ѥ͕ٔ٥ѡݥɕ̸(؁=ёȁ́ݥѕȀ)%ͥѡɕ!ݽ ɜ(]́х(