This year’s exhibition has, for me and Jill Smith taken to the open air, for our title this year perhaps ‘Canvases under canvas’, or ‘Art within tent’, take your pick.
Jill and I will be supplying plenty of fresh air in my front garden, distances will be kept, hands cleaned, masks worn, imagine you are attending a masked arts ball!
If you cannot manage the days we are open please make an appointment for another day. There will be pictures in the windows through out Artweeks to give a flavour of what will be on show.
I am attracted to the edges, looking from the Ridgeway out across the Vale f the White Horse or the fringe of the Atlantic looking from the beaches of Cornwall to the Highlands and Islands. The challenge is to paint the space, to try to catch the depth and colours in distant mistiness or sharp line against the sky of a sea horizon. It isn’t easy to understand where our ideas originate but I feel they may begin in early childhood. Seeing the sweep of water over the Thames estuary, being pushed in my pram up Southend Pier a mile out to sea must have had some effect. These experiences were reinforced by a spell in the Somerset Quantock hills and Parrott estuary. More wide open vistas.
I rarely put people in my paintings, I don’t want anyone coming between you and the view. I hope you will look at the picture and see for yourself what I am seeing.
Other pictures are more personal. There are two by Wantage parish church, the heart of our town. The worn stones topping the wall opposite the side of the Swan were a magnet for small persons coming out of school, parents stretched up supportive hands to wobbly children slowly gaining confidence. A quieter corner in the heart of town now the school has moved from next door to the museum.
My oil paintings are mostly unframed but on block canvases ready to hang. This gives you the freedom to frame if you want to and to your own taste. I enjoy working on canvases up to about 60 cm but I am working on some 20 cm squares