12cm x 12cm watercolour.
I’ve been trying out my new Rosemary watercolour brushes today and decided to have a go at some black and white photos by the late unsung James Ravilious. These are paintings I could never hope to get in a world that has changed so much since the seventies. James managed to compile an archive of a life that was on verge of changing. Take a look at his work on the link below, great stuff.
James took over 80,000 black and white images of all aspects of local life: landscape, farming, everyday life in the local towns and villages, and their special occasions. He also borrowed and copied over 5,000 early photographs of the same area.
The resulting historical span, and detail, he gave to the Archive makes it probably the most intensive record of any rural area in England. But it is more than that. Though never posed, James's pictures are composed with the eye of an artist, and they capture subtle qualities of light - the result of years of experiment with pre-war Leica cameras and uncoated lenses. Above all, they are warmed by his affection and admiration for the people whose lives he recorded. His pictures reveal real life as it was being lived in late 20th century rural England when the country traditions that have been handed down for hundreds, if not thousands, of years were still part of everyday existence.