Lengthy Shadows Over Frosty Grass
By Tom Davidson

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Year
1994
Media
Printmaking
Subject Matter
Landscape
Reg. Number
P487
Size
61 x 68 cm

In this piece Tom Davidson creates a strong presence of light through framing the bright sunlight between two rows of dark vertical trees. His training in graphic design is apparent in the ordered composition of trees. The colour palette maintains cooler tones throughout - the sun presented in an icy white rather than a warmer yellow tone in order to convey the sharpness of a crisp, cold morning. The artwork has a singular vanishing point drawing the viewer to the sun. The use of one point perspective creates a more dramatic composition which serves to draw the viewer's eye to the point of focus. The intricate detail in the foreground shrouds the bottom half of the print in a dark vignette intended once again to draw the viewer's eye upwards into the powerful presence of the sun.

Tom's affinity with the visual effects of light is evident in his work through his use of contrasting areas of light, dark and colour. He begins with sketches which he then transfers in reverse onto the linoleum. He often adds small details during this process. His earlier career as a freelance graphic designer is apparent in the balanced composition and carefully considered colour combinations. Tom works from a single block of linoleum, using a reductive process printing the lightest colour first, cutting again and then printing a slightly darker colour on top. This process can take him up to five weeks to complete one edition.

Tom Davidson graduated in Graphic Design in 1977 and turned to printmaking in 1984. During his first year at college he found printmaking to be the most interesting and exciting of all the departments. Beginning with lithography, Tom enjoyed hand drawing on lithographic plates, one for each colour. First turning to linocuts in 1984, his early subject matter was the back streets around Carlisle. When he returned to the Scottish Borders in 1987 his subject matter changed to trees and rivers. He "always loved walking through woodland and along riverbanks" and his interest stemmed from the visual effects light has on wooded areas and water.

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