Wednesday 9 March 2011, 11:06
But I hadn't seen any of Sutherland's Pembrokeshire paintings. That was all new to me. I'd never been to Pembrokeshire either - and to see all the different areas and the way it inspired Sutherland, that was a revelation. The way he was able to take all these ordinary scenes and imbue them with such fascination and make them into such painterly works of art - incredible. He was a fascinating man.
Each painting had a very modern feel to it where you felt he wasn't actually doing a slavishly photographic representation of the country that he was looking at, he was doing a very stylised, unique and different view of it. He was picking up various things like bits of thorn bushes and found objects on the beach and doing very stylised little sketches of odd things that appealed to him and then incorporating them into his paintings.
He would sometimes sketch tiny things from the landscape, and make them huge in his paintings. Each bit of wood or stone or small metal bolt became a unique and integral part of each of his works, so that you imagined they had always been there. You think that you could go there and you could find that actual tree, with great big thorn bits sticking out and massive metal shapes and you'd say to yourself, 'I'll be able to find that and see it still looking like that'. But of course his paintings were not photographic representations of any scene, they were all a conglomerate of his observations of various bits and pieces wherever he went.
I found it quite awkward when I tried to reproduce one of his paintings and then add some of my own sketched sections into it. I couldn't get them to look like Sutherland's creations - they all looked like my impression, and my impression of his work wasn't like his work at all, somehow. So it didn't work as well as I'd wanted. His stuff always looked so sculptural, and mine certainly didn't.
Rolf was in conversation with the BBC Cymru Wales press office.
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