Preparation for Landscape Artist of the Year

From being told I had been invited to take part on Landscape Artist of the Year up to the time of my heat I had around two months to prepare. I needed to practice to complete a print in around four hours which was a big challenge. Below is a brief summary of the evolution of my plans. A fuller article, and another article on taking part, will be posted once my heat is screened on 10th February 2021. 

East London Waterways

I decided to start with a series of prints based around the Lea Valley and East London waterways. Most Sundays since Lockdown my cousin and I go for a run up or down the Lea Valley and the places we pass inspire the images. The icons in the sky are a common element of the series illustrating wider issues behind the human landscapes of both the climate crisis/global warming and Covid19.

20-07 Hackney Marshes Bridge.jpg
20-07-10 Hackney Marshes Bridge Photosho

'Walthamstow Marshes Bridge'. This is my first attempt at the series. The elements have not come together and I'm not happy with the colours, finish and composition. The sky and water are an early version of my climate crisis icons. 

Rory Brooke Ponders End Red Flowers draf
Rory Brooke Ponders End Mill Screenprint

'Ponders End Mill'. This is the second in the series and I'm much happier with the outcome. The image on the left is a Photoshop sketch study, again before I'd finalised my sky icon pattern. The image on the right is the complete screenprint, though with the icons in the sky added in Photoshop.

Rory Brooke Ponders End Draft Small.jpg
Rory Brooke Ponders End Mill Field.jpg

'Ponders End Mill Fields'. This is the third in the series. The image on the left is a Photoshop sketch study, again before I'd finalised my sky icon pattern. The image on the right is the complete screenprint whic included the sky icons this time.

20-07 ELP Studio print.jpg
20-07 ELP Studio ps v1b.jpg

'Mile End Studios' (including the ELP studio on the ground floor). The fourth in the series is another what I consider failure. The image on the left is the complete screenprint but I'm not happy with the sky icons in the windows, the colours and the rough finish of the blockout paintwork. The image on the right is a subsequent Photoshop edit of the image. This is an improvement but still has a way to go.  

Rory Brooke Ruins Lane 2 small.jpg
Rory Brooke Ruins Lane.jpg
20-07-31 Eype Layers 3 Colour v2.jpg

Dorset Photoshop 'Prints'

Two weeks before my heat I was down in Dorset for a few days holiday. I couldn't take all my screenprinting equipment with me so devised a way of replicating a screenprint by painting each layer of colour in black, taking a photo, importing in to Photoshop and colouring the blocks. I prepared three pictures this way, two of the holiday cottage garden in Ruins Lane, Chideock, and one of Eype beach.  

Rory Brooke West Wycombe Park.jpg
Rory Brooke West Wycombe Park 2.jpg

West Wycombe Practice

A week before my heat I was told it was to be held at West Wycombe Park. I researched images on the web and created two prints. The first was a view of the house from across a lake, and the second was of the Temple of Music building in the grounds, also reflected in the lake (which turned out to be the scene in the first West Wycombe heat). It had been an intense period preparing for the event. Hopefully I was ready.