'Bethesda Quarry' by Peter Prendergast

For my A levels i am using this as one of my artist studies that guide to me create my final piece. My school makes us write essays on each of the artist, heres mine.

It will help any of you using the artist to understand what the work is about and the ideas and effects of composition, colour and materials

Comment back on the it! Thank you :)

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`Bethesda Quarry' ­ Peter Prendergast
Peter Prendergast, a well-known welsh artist and was mostly known for his exquisite landscape
paintings with bold brushstrokes and exceptional colours. He allows his work to include a vast
amount of energy and vigorous depth with detail as he takes on the view he sees. Bethesda Quarry,
the painting I have decided to use in my work is dated to be worked on in 1980.
The Bethesda Quarry is taken from a range of paintings of Peter Prendergast has done including
landscapes. Peter Prendergast quoted how he liked the scale of the scene as it interested him. He
attempted to draw it in 1970 but he couldn't. The scale highlights the close objects moving to the
background and becoming larger and more vivid creating depth and distance. The village is shown
to have a building which in my opinion seems to be flat due to the colours and the way it is structures.
I like the fact that most of the objects and drawings are overlapped with miniature detail. This is new
to me but it also made it harder for me to draw as there were a lot of different dimensions to this
image taken in. The contrasting lines and shapes are motivating as they are all in different
directions and allowing the image to be complex but a fascinating scene to look at. The painting is
shown to be out of frame which I like as it shows the reality of the image and allows us to see the
village through what he has painted. This also reduced negative space which I think is something I
need to take into take into account when doing my own work. Prendergast uses a vast amount of
distortion as he has changed the original form of the quarry into sections of unusual shapes to
form the landscape.
There is a sense of contrast and tonal differences in the colour through the darker blues and
warmer yellows, I think the yellow compliments the blue as Prendergast used a cold palette
however he also used a warmer palette in areas to spate the image and also bring out the
originality. The yellow breaks up the image but also introduces a frame of shadows and brush
marks. The painting shows him overlooking a village with a very interesting atmosphere which is
shown through weather. He emphasized on the sum coming out through the golden yellows which is
shown through the hills and the misty atmosphere, this also brings out the light and shadows in the
image. The yellows allow us to see the scale between the images. I feel the painting is vibrant
through the colours Peter Prendergast has decided to use and the shapes. The shapes are seen to be
very diverse and unique. Prendergast wanted to use colours which represented the village through
local colours but he felt it did not work so he used an invented palette. I think the colours used were
moral and full of drama which allows the image to have a different meaning.
Peter Prendergast uses brush strokes to convey movement and expression in the landscape. He
works quickly so he can mix paint directly on the canvas, although landscape is specific it changes
constantly because of the effect of the weather. His brush strokes suggest energy to try and capture
the changes in the lighting in the landscape. In this landscape painting Prendergast used oil paint and
in my opinion used layers of paint to create the right lightness in the painting.


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