Tag: Acrylic

The Watcher

In the distance of this painting the distant brotherly hills of Frodsham and Helsby sit under a late autumn sky and if you listen carefully you might hear sounds of geese and other autumn passage migrants making their way along the Mersey Estuary. Someone in the reedbeds is waiting patiently, but is he watching, or being watched?

Chingle Hall

For those familiar with the image and title of this work, the subject needs no further introduction. This painting depicts a private hall in Lancashire celebrated for its history and individual character.

The Last of Summer

The conception started with the idea of a particular species of bird, for my original intention was to have a Swift as the sole subject of the painting. Time and tide in the studio led to the Swifts playing more of a supporting role, in a work which eventually became an allegory for something much greater. By a quirk of fate it was completed in a timely manner to match the work’s eventual title.

The Last of Summer (2017) painting of Whitby by John Elcock
The Last of Summer (Whitby Harbour) (2017)

The work shows Whitby harbour looking East, a location which is an affectionate nod to the painting’s owners. A huge sky dominates the town in order to give a fitting arena for these most extraordinary birds who are meeting under the gathering clouds. Soon they will undertake a long journey taking the last of summer with them.

Acrylic on canvas, 90x60cm


Quartz, Erratic

The great bowl of Cadair Idris in mid-Wales is the subject of this painting. I climbed as far as Llyn Cau in the winter of 2017 accompanied by the odd raven and, nothing else. Your reward in the biting cold and the ice that starts to form on your boots at elevation is a spectacle that stays with you until the summer.

Cadair Idris a Quartz, Erratic painting © John Elcock
Cadair Idris

Many artists have attempted to capture something of this mountain, most notably Richard Wilson’s famous 1760 painting in the Tate Gallery of Llyn Cau as observed from Mynyyd Moel. In fact the principal subject in my work is the boulder, for as you stumble towards Llyn Cau one cannot help notice the blocks of stone lazily deposited by ice in the valley, etched and marked as if by a giant hand.

In one location the white quartz boulder shone in the furze, a true erratic, as lost perhaps as a painter on the lonely slopes of the mountain.

Acrylic on canvas

The Hollow Mountain

In this remote and wild area of mid-Wales, nothing in the landscape is quite as it seems. Where dense conifer plantations hug the valleys, once was temperate rainforest. Rocky outcrops and cliffs, the product of slate mining rather than glaciers. Quiet villages, full of the ghosts of the many thousands who once worked the land so assiduously. It is a remarkable place, happily now characterised by the kind and generous Welsh and their magical language.

Occasionally you will see a black Mouth yawning in the side of the Valley, slate spewed lethargically down its wooded chin, and from its cold interior the hidden fact that as a local so enigmatically put it to me – that the mountains are hollow.

The Hollow Mountai (Mynydd Braich-goch) painting J A Elcock 2017
The Hollow Mountain (Mynydd Braich-goch) [2017]

In this painting of Mynydd Braich-goch taken from the Abercorris woods in the Dyfi forest I wanted to cement this concept and nail the blackness of the mouth to the canvas. The colours are hyper-real but do exist, as you will see from close observation in the field, in the ochres and sienna of the ground and the blues of the Welsh slate.

The mountain was hollow. If you were to strike it, it would ring like a bell, the sound would echo through the valleys to the roar of the jets.

This painting was completed in the winter of 2017 as artist-in-residence at Stwdio Maelor, Corris.

Exhibited at the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2018 exhibition www.lynnpainterstainersprize.org.uk

Acrylic on canvas, 30x30cm


Buy now on Saatchi Art