In 1200 ad, William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, set sail for Ireland on his first visit as Lord of Leinster. Threatened with shipwreck, he vowed to found an abbey wherever he could safely land. On reaching safety in Bannow Bay, he redeemed his vow bequeathing about 9000 acres of land for a Cistercian abbey. Consequently, Tintern Abbey, overlooking Tintern stream, is sometimes called Tintern de Voto – ‘Tintern of the vow.’ Once established, the abbey was colonised by monks from the Cistercian abbey at Tintern in Monmouthshire, Wales, of which Marshal was also patron.
Not to be confused with Tintern Abbey, of Wordsworth fame, also a Cistercian Abbey, this abbey is now in ruins since the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1536 ad. There is ongoing restoration work in progress and it is a lovely place to visit. I was there last year and I took this photo of this curious little bridge over the Tintern River.
Recently I’ve been watching sunsets from my back garden. This painting is an amalgamation of two images. The scene at Tintern needed drama and a sense of timelessness which a photo can’t achieve. The sunset colours needed to be applied to the scene. A photo of this scene at sunset would have produced a silhouette of the landscape, or if the exposure was based on a ground reading the sky would have been ‘burnt out’.
The colours are different from my usual. They are: Cadmium Red (red), Cadmium Yellow (yellow) and French Ultramarine (blue). Viridian Green and Raw Umber were in there also. As you will see in the video (next post) the sky has quite a lot of green. The ground has a lot of the red and yellow. This crossover helps to tie the sky and ground together to produce a natural looking landscape.
As I said I’ll have a video of the painting process for the next post. The painting took under 2 hours to complete. See you then.