An exhibition of two halves, which rather well sums up the past year.
Here are the still lives which made up my world in lockdown - the jugs and glasses, the cups and spoons, the tins and pots and domestic items which I live with and which I had all the time in the world to get to know better!
And here, also, are the landscapes which beckoned once we had the liberty to roam - the tracks, the hills, the sun and shadows and rainy puddles which spelled freedom! Some of these are etchings based on last year living in Edinburgh and some, over the winter and spring, are paintings from the French Pyrenees.
I've always painted what surrounds me, so it was with real pleasure that I tackled both of these subjects. Knowing an object, having a relationship of sorts with it, gives it more weight for me in the finished painting. That may, or may not be apparent to a viewer, though it's more likely the viewer will have their own response to what's depicted and their own associations.
Similarly, the landscapes and interiors are local and personal, but they may remind the viewer of places they love or situations they recognise. You may not have walked that particular stretch of path, but you may recognise the feeling of anticipation when you come to a bend and you wonder what is beyond.
My studio is in my garden and can be reached without coming into the house. Bifold glass doors mean it is open to the air, so I'm intending to have a covid safe exhibition with the possibility of booking slots so you can visit in private. For non-booked visits there will be a limit of two visitors or one household at a time in the open studio to maintain social distancing and a waiting area in the garden. A one way system entering from Plantation Rd along the side of the house and leaving from the back door of the studio should ensure that there are no traffic jams! I have completed the Artweeks Site Risk Assessment http://ow.ly/pmnQ50Ejsbz and I plan to make the venue as Covid safe as possible. If you wish to book between 10am and 12am please use this link https://artsvp.co/a364a1
For me the best part of Artweeks is the interaction with the viewing public. It's a real pleasure to talk to people about painting (or other subjects!) and I learn things every year, so I'm hoping that it will be possible to have you actually here, at my studio. Though for those of you who can't come and visit, I'm hoping this virtual exhibition will give you a flavour of what I'm doing and I'm more than happy to answer questions if you give me a call.
I'm largely self taught with some really helpful evening classes and workshops along the way and I owe a lot to other artists whose brains I've picked and whose approaches I've learned from.
I paint in oils, either on board or canvas and generally on a modest scale as small canvasses are so much easier to manage when out and about with easel and paints. I draw using chalk pastels and get incredibly messy with them - perhaps as much on me and my clothes as on the picture. This year I've attempted to move to a rather looser, but more pared down style - fewer details, more significant marks. That means being accurate is even more important! It's an interesting process and riskier, as I can't just put it all down, I need to select. It's an ongoing process of learning and that, in itself, is satisfying for me. Only time will tell if others like the result!