‘A good deal of skying’

August 20, 2013 § 2 Comments

John Constable, Cloud Study (1821)

John Constable, Cloud Study (1821)

I have done a good deal of skying for I am determined to conquer all difficulties…

-John Constable to Rev. John Fisher, 23 October 1821


Of all Constable’s work, it’s the cloud studies I love most of all. They represent a remarkable challenge for an artist – how do you capture in paint something in constant flux?

I’d be the first to admit that I lack Constable’s facility with brush and pencil, but ever since I acquired my Diana I’ve wanted to try making my own cloud studies on film. I obeyed his advice that the best clouds are to be found in July and August, and I shot from the location where he undertook a campaign of cloud studies over three successive summers: Hampstead Heath.

Constable usually noted on the backs of his studies the time, location, and weather conditions under which they were made – so in the same spirit, these were taken on 4 August 2013, between 1.15 and 1.30 pm, in warm, rather windy weather, on the southwest corner of the Heath near Hampstead Ponds.

Cloud study 1

Cloud study 2Cloud study 3Cloud study 4 Cloud study 5

Cloud study 6Cloud study 7Cloud study 8Cloud study 9Cloud study 10Cloud study 11Cloud study 12

(Technical specs: Diana F+ camera, colour slide 200 film [cross-processed], standard lens)


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