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Contrasting the seasons in the Black Country

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: January 05, 2014

By John Workman

  • A beautiful picture of Bumble Hole in oils by David Bassinder

  • David's painting of Bumble Hole in summer

  • Entrance to Dudley Canal Tunnel by David Bassinder

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DURING the last few months of 2013 we asked for, received and admired and enjoyed numerous examples of the abundance of artistic talent there is in the Black Country.

In fact we have many masterpieces still to be published, so expect more in the coming months.

In the meantime David Bassinder has emailed some examples of his work, classic views from this neck of the woods and scenes that illustrate the timeless heritage of the Black Country.

Canals feature in the three pictures we have chosen, a theme that occupies many of David's pictures, and a good selection of his work is currently on show in an exhibition at Ma Pardoe's (the Old Swan) in Netherton.

David Bassinder was born in Dudley and developed a love for drawing at an early age. He was encouraged to pursue his passion for art at school and he went to Stourbridge College to study for a diploma in Art and Design, then onto Wolverhampton University to take a degree.

Examples of the Black Country's industrial heritage in the landscapes and skylines that David grew up with have diminished over the years, but the canals remain as a constant reminder of the turbulent years, and now they form the backdrop of some very attractive vistas.

A lot of his work is done on location because David finds this hands-on way of painting both challenging and stimulating and, in the end, the most rewarding way to compose his pictures.

Two paintings of David's we particularly like highlight a well-known area of the Black Country known as Bumble Hole in Netherton, where the canal serves today as a favourite leisure facility, and he has captured the essence of the place in opposing seasons, winter and summer.

He works mainly in oil paint and his brush strokes have blended well with the oils on the frozen canal and the murky backdrop of trees in the distance. The stark outline of Cobb's Engine House, built in 1822 to pump water from the local mines into the canal system, adds to the feeling of cold and desolation in this wintry scene.

In contrast, the view of Bumble Hole in the summer is a vision of warmth and invites the viewer to escape into the parkland that Bumble Hole has now become. But still peeking out from trees now in full bloom is the engine house, just in case the visitor should forget the landscape's original purpose.

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