Artist Peter Podmore's life and work changed dramatically in the early 1990's all thanks to a passing cloud while walking in the Cheviots.
After leaving art college 17 years earlier he'd always worked in abstract format, but that day he noticed how a valley bathed in sunlight could be suddenly transformed by a passing cloud into a dark, cavernous fold.
"It was something I'd noticed before, but it had never made such a strong impression on me," says Peter. "The idea that light can change shape, form and sensation was something I'd tried to explore in my abstract work, but I suddenly felt the need to investigate more by going out into the landscape itself, by drawing in the open air.
He says the more landscape painting he did, the more focused he became and aware of the inexhaustibility of the subject matter.
"I was becoming involved in the work in a completely different way and in a way I enjoyed.
I had identified a natural incident on which I could impose my own rules of composition."
Causeway, Lindisfarne (top of page) and Cuddystone Hall
Peter says his seascapes, like this one entitled Lindisfarne 8, take him back to his minimalist roots because they are based on simple horizontals and subtle diagonals.
As well as the hills around his home at Westnewton in Northumberland, Peter draws much inspiration for his work around the nearby coastline on and around Lindisfarne. The image at the top of the page is of the causeway which links the island to the mainland at low tide.
This acrylic abstract called Counterpoint (2016) can perhaps by contrasted to these oils on canvas (2012) of rafters and shadows in nearby farm buildings.
Much of Peter's work involves combining calculation with spontaneity in exploring the moving shadows and changing light.
Peter moved from Newcastle to Westnewton in 1995, where he still lives and works from a nearby studio. He is now recognised for his sea and landscape work which reflects the beautiful and restless land and seascapes of North Northumberland.
Here is a selection of this work, which is mainly in pastel, a medium he prefers because it enables him to work quickly and freely in the open air.
Visit Peter's website to see more:
His work is also currently being exhibited at Gallery @No6 in Wooler, Northumberland until the end of November 2020.
Bamburgh Beach 10, Pastel, 2009
Easter Craggs, Harthope Valley, Northumberland