This year’s exhibition includes recent oil paintings, mostly landscapes, seascapes and snow scenes, both local to the Oxfordshire area and from further afield. Other watercolour and acrylic works accompany the oils. Along with these original pieces a selection of reproduction giclée prints, hand-printed linocut prints and various greetings cards of my previous paintings will also be available. Once again I am sharing the display space with fellow artist Patsy Jones so there will be a wide variety of pieces on view in the outdoor ‘gazebo/garage’ setting (wind permitting on the gazebo!). Other work will be visible in front window display and indoors.
I am a self-taught painter based in the Vale of the White Horse, Oxfordshire (though I do have an art O-level). Painting has always been around from as long back as when I was in school doodling things seen out of the classroom window when I got bored. After a career in corrosion chemistry followed by managing an IT network, during which time painting was a hobby that progressively 'got out of hand', finally I have to time to put my artwork first and foremost and take on the challenges, joys and frustrations of trying to realise the inner vision.
I am attracted by water (in whatever form: clouds, rain, snow, rivers, seas, lakes, puddles) with accompanying rocks, hills or open vistas. I love the effects of light glancing across the landscape highlighting features in a changing quicksilver manner, here one moment - gone the next and always a challenge to capture and render in paint, whatever medium. Then there are the colours of the changing seasons that captivate the eye and beg to be painted. Why is it that the best view or that particular light effect always seems to be from the middle of a busy road or encountered when you cannot stop to capture it? It’s hard to pin down what will compel me to reach for the brushes but colour, light, atmosphere are requisites.
My paintings range in size from 61x46cm (24x18inch) down to 20x20cm (8x8inch). Oil paintings on canvas are usually left unframed but are painted ‘on round all sides’ so may be hung directly as they stand but also leaves you free to frame them to your own taste subsequently if you wish. Oils painted on panels are usually displayed framed but may be made available out of the frame if you prefer. Watercolours will be hung framed but others are available in mount-mat with a backing board.
I'm lucky to be able to work in a spare bedroom that started out being organised with clear working spaces, storage and a floor space you could see but over time the flotsam and jetsam has spread to cover everywhere except the small desk where I sit to paint unless I'm working at an easel. I'd love to invite you to view my 'open studio' but there’s hardly room for me in there, let alone a visitor. I work mostly in this ‘studio’ or at painting group sessions with local art group members, working up the final image from sketches I’ve made and multiple photos I’ve taken. I re-arranging the landscape ‘furniture’ as suits, sometimes quite drastically as with some of my montage paintings. I aim for colourful atmospheric images, whatever the subject matter. My style is mostly realistic but there will be the occasional rebellious painting when I purely have some fun with the paint, ‘go wild’ and see what happens. I’ll use whatever tool works to make marks: fingers, twigs, cotton buds, old credit cards, even brushes. I started painting with watercolour and it remains my favourite medium but recently I have been working more in oils with the occasional acrylic or reduction linocut. It challenges the brain to change from working mainly light to dark (watercolour) to go dark to light (oil) or then even to light to dark and reversed image (reduction linocut).