Growing up in Northumberland, Scotland and North Yorkshire, fostered a love of landscape and nature in me from an early age.
Current work explores my relationship with British landscape although I am interested in beautiful and striking landscapes worldwide. Travels to Sri Lanka, India, Tunisia, Spain and Morocco influenced my early work and still filter through into my English landscapes.
Every summer I paint a small collection inspired by Galicia in Northern Spain and I am hoping for a future Artist Residency with Nautilus in Lanzarote to paint that striking sculptural land. For the rest of this year and throughout 2019, I am Artist in Residence at The Yorkshire Arboretum near Castle Howard.
We are fortunate to live in an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) in North Yorkshire. Our house has no vehicular access. Mature Beech trees, the river Derwent and gentle hills surround me. I paint largely in fields, taking materials out in my wheelbarrow, balancing canvases on hedges until the previous layer is dry. In a day there may be up to six pieces of work strewn around the countryside waiting for the next stage in their development.
Working initially from what I see, I return at some point to complete paintings in the studio. Built on observation and emotional impact, the work becomes a hybrid between the real and imagined, the seen and felt. Sketching is often done on the canvas itself as I try to capture the immediate presence of a moment. The power and subtlety of colour is central to my practice. I spend a long time building surfaces, taking paint and images away and adding new, until balance, depth clarity and surprise are found.
As we move into a more mechanised digital world, where many people are increasingly divorced from the land and any relationship with it, my work seeks to record the power and beauty of the natural world, to document a period in time and capture moments and places that may never exist in the same way again.
A believer in the importance beauty and the uplifting properties of Art, I like to think of my paintings as Talisman. They will reveal themselves over time with their rich histories of place, layers and colour.
“As artist in residence at the Yorkshire Arboretum on the Castle Howard estate I have been immersed in the visual world of trees. Adam of Special Day Films has recorded some insights into the work I have in progress there.”
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(photographs by Lucy Saggers & Joe Thomas)