Karst Landscape – finished state

oil painting of karst limestone landscape

‘Karst Landscape’ (St.Avit de Senieur, Dordogne)
Finished state
Oil on Canvas

large oil painting…



The bright spring sunlight has returned. Seeing it again gave me the prompt that I needed to finish off this large oil canvas fom last year. Sometimes a painting needs a year or two (even more sometimes) before it arrives at completion.

See the work in progress & some commentary in the post : Karst Landscape at the End of Winter (in the category rocks or WIP)

“Karst topography is a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karst

Read about painting & rocks:
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part one
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part two
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part three
  • How to draw rocks & cliffs part four
  • Cliff in the Vezérè Valley – ‘Sous Le Ruth, No.1’
  • Rock Formations – John Ruskin – Prehistoric Shelters in the Dordogne
  • Caves in art – Ruskin
‘Study of a Tuscan Landscape – Val d’Arno’
Pen & Ink, nib on vellum
Approx 15 x 22 cm
Uffizi Museum

‘Study of a Ravine in a Rocky Landscape’
Pen & Ink, nib on vellum
Approx 22 x 15 cm
Windsor Leoni Volume

Been looking again at Leonardo’s pen & inks. I wrote about them here:

I enjoyed reading about them here: http://www.lairweb.org.nz/leonardo/landscape.html

Vasari recorded Leonardo as, “frequently occupied in the preparation of plans to remove mountains or to pierce them with tunnels from plain to plain.”


‘Croix de Renard’ – Detail
Ink & Pastel
© adam cope
I’m not currently planning on moving any mountains, other than maybe a little bit of pottering about in the spring garden;-) And maybe doing some more doodles of rocky landscapes….

‘Deux Bicorne – Bis’
Large oil on canvas

look again at this leonardo oil painting of rocks in one of his backgrounds – wow!


rocks by leonardo on itheir side

rocks by leonardo
on itheir side’
don’t bump your head as you go through!



Oil on two canvas
each 64 x 55 cm (approx 21,5 x 25 inches)
© adam cope

“Here, by the riverside, the motifs multiply, the same subject seen from different angle offers a subject for study of the greatest interest, and so varied that iI think I can keep myself busy for months without shifting my position, inclining sometimes more to the right, sometimes more to the left.” – Cézanne, to his son Paul, Aix, sept 8 1906
More about Ditypches & Parallax in Painting

Here’s a reference photo, at dusk, as I imagine there’s possibly a few of you who might not know what misteltoe looks like (it’s the round clumps in the trees).


Mistletoe is a parasitic shrubs that grows in trees, living of the host-tree’s sap. Mysterious plant I love it & have four clumps in my garden. We used to celebrate New Year with it in my southern english home town of Winchester.

“Mistletoe bears fruit at the time of the Winter Solstice, the birth of the new year, and may have been used in solstitial rites in Druidic Britain as a symbol of immortality. In Celtic mythology and in druid rituals, it was considered a remedy for barrenness in animals and an antidote to poison[11], although the fruits of many mistletoes are actually poisonous if ingested as they contain viscotoxins.” Mistletoe-WIKI


Carnival à Castillonnès

‘Val diguisé comme un sanglier’
© The Artist.

….et voici Kermasse il y trois ans, déja!




© the artist

Landscape as the Mirror of the Soul

‘Misteltoe 2’
Part of a diptych
Medium Size Oil on Canvas
65 x 54 cm (approx 21 x 26 inches)
© adam cope
‘Meaning’ is often conferred to the landscape by us humans. Certainly, us artists find ‘meaning’…. us image makers, who weave our lives in & out of both inner & outer worlds, trying to mesh them together into images. When image becomes ‘Image’. Landscape as the mirror of the Soul.Van Gogh’s letters show him finding ‘meaning’ in the stars. Mondrian’s early landscapes are visible expressions of his search for Theosophical meaning in the world. Do we look for something that doesn’t exist ? Doesn’t exist outside of our imaginations? Outside of our busy mental lives?

Maybe the artist should stay silent about his images. Leave the interpretation to the onlooker.

The artists’ vision arises at the same time as she finds meaning… there are so many technically perfect paintings of landscapes but they don’t speak to me of the mirror of the soul, nor particularly much about the place, the lanscape either. I feel taht the artist has taken herself to much out of the equation & her visionis diminished.


detail of ‘Misteltoe 2’

“This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet.” – Rumi

“Poetry lifts the veil from the hidden beauty of the world, and makes familiar objects be as if they were not familiar.” – Percy Bysshe Shelley


Oil on Panel
30 x 40 cm
© adam cope

Another painting about looking through a (veil) screen of trees to a view of hills the other side :



La Taillus’
43 x 39 cm
Oil on canvas
© adam cope