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Artwork of the Month - June 2010


Swallow Falls

Artist: Tom Wright
Medium: Oil
Status: Loaned by the artist
Accompanied by The Moonlit Trail - composed & performed by the artist (link below)

Artist's Statement

We must all be prone to do things that occur spontaneously but we often find difficult to explain. The majority of my paintings have arisen in this way. An observer might well claim that I have no need to put any effort into what I do as it is similar to yawning or sneezing - we cannot stop it! It is true of course but, apart from fighting to unscrew glued up caps on tubes of colours, there are sometimes severe frustrations that you have to face in wrestling with what lurks in your head. This is much the same in musical composition that, incidentally, can be far more intrusive than what you see on canvas.

Most of my paintings arise from long as well as short term memory - I hardly ever paint 'live' as it were. That may be 'cool' but it is so convenient! Aspects of a scene both real and imaginary will inevitably contain some strong impressions that have caused them to be remembered anyway. Something will occur, it could be many years later, that jogs it! To that extent I will record on canvas these special features. The rest of a scene will be merely incidental. I find weather conditions, often wild, a compelling subject where freedom of expression abounds.

Accepting that that is how it is for me, I should imagine that a relaxed mind may be a powerful aide in recalling perceptions of events long past. Many years ago I was sitting on a riverbank in the hot afternoon sunshine as water cascaded down the rocks further upstream. A simply beautiful day. My only recollection was that it was somewhere in North Wales. I remember wondering how it would be in the moonlight. The impression remained latent for two decades or more but I eventually painted this scene based purely on a memory.

Last year in New Zealand, a chorister from Wales saw the painting on my ipod. He immediately recognised it as Swallow Falls and it confirmed where I had been after all those years. The piano music, 'The Moonlit Trail', was composed as an integral part of the work.

"Nothing in Creation is without blemish but it is the blemish that may yet appeal "



  • The Moonlit Trail