This Virtual Exhibition showcases my artistic journey during Covid. My salvation during lockdown has been my garden, indoors and outdoors, and my imagination. So, my paintings this year are full of flowers and the natural world. They are inspired by my garden and my memories of places visited in times of greater freedom.
I use colour, texture, new materials and experimental mark making, to evoke sensations of opulent vegetation in real and imagined landscapes, so that the viewer can escape for a while by experiencing the sounds and smells of the countryside, when travelling there in reality, is impossible and forbidden.
In my paintings this year, the ancient meandering river constantly flows towards the sea, moving inexorably through the reed beds, as the season’s change from Spring, through Summer to Autumn. Just as it has for aeons. At the coast, the waves crash indolently onto the seashore in summer, but smash with a brash brutality in winter. Whilst the human world changes, the natural world continues unchecked. The rhythms and freedoms of nature cannot be cancelled or confined by Covid, as our's can be, and have been.
This year too, I have begun to explore how to merge my background of training in Western Art culture and practices, with my admiration and love of the ancient Eastern tradition of Chinese Painting. I am at the beginning of this journey with my abstract paintings of the imaginary vistas of Xanadu. I call this series “Fusion”, depictions of a mysterious world, “Where Alph, the sacred river ran, Through caverns measureless to man, Down to a sunless sea” ( “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge”).
I am a slow painter. It has taken me 50 years plus to reach the point at which I feel that I can begin to call myself, tentatively, an " artist ". Since the age of 3, when my grandmother praised me for staying within the lines of my colouring book, " Ooh, you'll win prizes with that!", I have wanted to paint. But other things got in the way, so it is only now in the last few years, that I have begun the life I have always wanted to have.
But I don't stay within the lines! I love to experiment with materials new to me, like Cold Wax Medium, or other substances mixed with oil paint, to provide texture or with different ways of mark making, such as with brushes made with twigs, wire, wood, or with waste packaging like bubble wrap.
My aim with any painting is not to produce a "photograph" of the scene or object, but to delve into the essence or "chi" of its' being, and to hope to share that insight with the viewer. I have a long way to go, but it's a wonderful journey. I do hope that you enjoy my Virtual Exhibition. Later in the year, I hope to welcome you to a "real" Exhibition venue. Follow me on https://www.instagram.com/floweringmagnolia