This is a varied and large exhibition, with about 30 framed paintings and also a wall of unframed paintings, of which more below. The framed paintings include landscapes, still lives and abstracts and also a few interiors. The landscapes are of favourite places, in particular of the Lake District and of a small town in Southwest France where I learned a great deal about painting. Some are ‘fieldscapes’, a few are of buildings and there are also woodland and water scenes, the last especially in Oxford. There will also be a wall of unframed paintings, arising from the special circumstances this year. I have been attending classes given by Steve Empson for many years and, this year, when classes were forced to go on-line, Steve responded by issuing a series of weekly challenges to his students. The challenges were often very thought provoking in themselves and, of course, we had to respond within a time limit. I really enjoyed this and a wall in the exhibition will display some of the resulting ‘rapid’ paintings, mounted but not framed. I am hoping that visitors will enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed painting them. Please also look on my Instagram account, where I will be posting images of all the paintings along with full details. And now, to conclude, rather than writing any further about myself, I shall finish with some comments written in my Visitors' Book over the years. Obviously, these are selected but are generally representative of the whole. To find out whether they are true, you have to come and have a look! So here goes!. . . .-'Excellent, Jean. Your landscapes do seem to capture the moment and savour it',. . . . 'Very, very good',. . . . 'Lovely exhibition. So many we'd like to take home',. . . . 'Wonderful interplay of colours and textures', . . . . 'Beautiful, inspiring work', . . . . 'Vastly impressed by the texture and depth', . . . 'I want to write volumes about the delights', . . . .'Fantastic. Love the colours and the atmosphere'. . . . 'Lovely. My favourite exhibition', . . . 'Lovely use of vibrant colours and great depth', . . . . 'Beautiful and serene', . . . . 'Stunning', . . .. 'Loved the ones of the Lake District', . . . 'Wonderful abstractions and landscapes you could walk in to'. . . .
Come and have a look if you can.
When I took early retirement from my career as a chemistry teacher and was looking for a retirement interest, i decided not to follow many of my friends into an academic course on the History of Art. Instead, wanting something a bit more practical, I joined a 'Drawing for Beginner' class and discovered, to my total amazement, that I could draw. Since then I have been very fortunate in the people who have taught me and what had been planned as a hobby rapidly became a passion. I have already mentioned Steve Empson, who has always shown great patience when dealing with this often self-opinionated student. Thankyou, Steve. I am also greatly indebted to Francis Pratt at the Painting School of Montmiral (in Southwest France), where he shared his deep knowledge of the true nature of colour and also of the implications of this knowlege when making a painting. These included, among many other things, the use of colour to put light into a painting and also to produce an illusion of depth. I spent many sessions at the Painting School, and, since then, have always done my best to put his principles into practice . If you read the quotations from my Visitors' Book, above, you will see that, quite often, his ideas have worked! He also claims that the serenity which sometimes draws a comment is another result of applying his theories and I think he is probably right! Thankyou, Francis!