About my work

Martin Laurance, Swaledale
My work is about landscape. I try to go beyond the immediate sensation to something felt and experienced, seeking to find the spirit and inner reality of place.

To achieve this I walk and draw using sketchbooks and loose pieces of paper to record sensations, colours, structure and form. Many of my locations are very well known to me and have been walked over and drawn many times over a period of years and in differing seasons.
In the studio I use this raw material to create work that is true to the sum of my experience.

I work in a variety of mixed media; oil, acrylic, collage, ink, watercolour and gouache, either on their own or in various combinations on paper and canvas.
There is no set formula for any piece of work, the choice of materials used and the size is driven solely by what is right for a particular piece.


Most of the landscapes I work in are ones where a sense of man's interaction with the environment has left traces, either
ML painting in studio
directly visible or now obscured and only sensed. Often these are areas where the built and the natural collide.
A good example would be Orford Ness in Suffolk, the former military and nuclear testing site, now owned by the National Trust and given over to managed decline and natural wilderness. As artist in residence I spent two years exploring this complex, multi-layered 'island'; trying to understand through drawing it's visual history and the often conflicted feelings and emotions the buildings, the ruins and the traces left behind aroused in me.

I also work in landscapes that carry the marks of ancient history as well as the ruins and marks of past industries. For many years the north Cornwall coast and the atmospheric moors of West Cornwall have been important.
Locally, I am drawn to the coast where change is constant. Recently I have been concentrating upon the eroding coast of Norfolk where the beaches and cliffs are constantly moving, disappearing and re-appearing.