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Inspired: Martin Truefitt-Baker




by Webmaster, 22nd January 2019

Paintings and linocut prints by Martin Truefitt-Baker, Brecon Beacons

Originally from East London, Martin moved to Wales over 40 years ago. He lives in an old stone cottage near Llangattock, Powys. A former art teacher in a Valleys secondary school, Martin’s started concentrating on his own work in the last few years.

Above: Usk Trout linocut

“I wanted to reflect how things look underwater; you can see Crickhowell Bridge curved round, following the line of the trout. I included swallows, a mayfly and celandine to indicate it’s spring.”

 

Red Kite Over Snow linocut

“This is from the wildlife-rich valley behind where I live, which is called Craig-y-Cilau. There are lots of red kites nesting up there. If you’re right at the top of the cliffs on Llangattock Mountain you can look down on the red kites flying beneath you – it’s quite amazing. I was also looking at the shadows of the trees on the ground and they reminded me of an architect’s blueprint – that’s what inspired the background to this picture.”

 

Pine Cone

“In this painting I did a couple of years ago I wanted to close in on the form and detail of a pine cone. If you look at one very closely, they have this remarkable structure – a double spiral in both directions, a bit like the middle of a sunflower. Viewed from above, they’re structurally really complex. I tend to take a small sketchbook and camera out with me on walks to record things, and then back in my studio at home I paint a distillation of what I’ve seen.”

 

Magpie Silver

“This painting, which I did in February 2017, was chosen by the Society of Wildlife Artists and exhibited in the Mall Galleries in London. I have a medlar tree in the garden, just outside my studio. There were some magpies fighting in the tree, chasing the smaller birds and I’d been taking some sketches of them and some photographs. It had been snowing, and a light dusting on the hillsides and the mountains opposite made the day look almost silvery. That was why in this painting there had to be five magpies: to fit in with the rhyme [‘One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never to be told...’].”

 

Otter Moon linocut

“This is based under Crickhowell Bridge again; in summer you can see the moon rising through one of its arches. A couple of years ago, the otters were entertaining everyone in The Bridge End’s beer garden. A friend took some great photographs which he let me use as reference material. Like with my print of the Usk trout, I’m mixing up what’s above and below the surface of the water. The otter’s chasing the fish round in a circle, the moon’s there in the background, and the trees echo the circle, too. Lots of people mistake my prints for paintings – as linocut prints are usually black rather than multicolour like mine. It’s a long and complicated process to produce a linocut print as detailed as this.”

 

Frosty Morning Tree

“I’m very interested in the symbolism of the solitary tree up on the mountain, and this painting was based on a real tree I saw in the valley behind where I live. I liked the way the sunlight was catching the frosty branches and then reflecting off them, as well as the bright green of the moss and the lichen. Through its branches – in the background, and very faintly – is Sugar Loaf mountain, near Abergavenny.”

 

Scroll down for more examples of Martin’s work…

 

• To see more of Martin’s work visit truefitt-baker.co.uk

• Martin also has a joint exhibition currently on at Oriel CRiC until 9th March. For details, tel: 01873 811970 or see visitcrickhowell.co.uk

 

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