H John Pope returning to his goldmine

John Pope returning to his mine. 18 x 30 in.

I have not been as busy with mammals as with birds, but I have made quite a few large ‘landscapes with figures’ and even more landscapes without a figure in sight. An empty landscape is not a disturbing picture but it seems to me that one with only a small number of people in it can look forlorn, as if some devastating event had struck. To make the space look healthily populated I find it needs at least fifty inhabitants. Claude’s famous drawings and the large oil paintings of his that they record demonstrated this to me the minute I saw those drawings at Chatsworth. Some of my landscapes have been small enough to paint in oils or watercolour out of doors, while others were too large for that and were worked up from preliminary sketches. There are several watercolours in the collection.