The opportunities to exhibit were closed down during the pandemic restrictions, so as things begin to ease again there has been a flurry of opportunities, many of them coming all at once! So this year, 2021, I am delighted to have had the opportunity to exhibit in the Big Art Fair in Hitchin in July, Ayot Art Fair 18th - 20th September, and Open Studios September - October 2021. This year I am exhibiting in my new studio in my garden at home in Wheathampstead , which I moved into just before the first lockdown in 2020. I have also been experimenting with exhibiting in our courtyard garden just outside the studio - but that is very weather dependent of course!
The easing of restrictions has also meant I have been able to meet up with my many artist friends and we have been able to share our creative journeys face to face once again. However the last year has taught us the value and opportunities that on line communication and connection can bring, and I continue to enjoy regular artists chats and share with artists all over the country, and sometime the world!
My paintings are an emotional and contemplative response to landscape. They are primarily process driven, allowing a semblance of landscape to emerge out of semi translucent layers of loose paint, collage and mixed media, partially revealing, partially obscuring what came before. The viewer is therefore encouraged to a personal response; a recognition not of specific place but rather of an emotion, atmosphere or mood relating to place.
My work is usually colourful, my paintings range from large canvases, a metre square, to small works no more than 15 cm square - I am particularly drawn to working on a square format, but not exclusively! My materials include collage and various mixed media, and I use a wide range of tools to spread and splatter paint, scratch into the surface and make marks. I like to create areas with detail where your eye can linger, balanced by areas for the eye to rest. I am not aiming to create a recognisable depiction of a specific place, I believe art should be transformative, and create a feeling of place, or have an emotional association. I am fascinated by the drama of light and dark, and my landscapes often reflect an internal world as much as an external world. This has been particularly true during the recent pandemic, when I have found that my work often describes something of my emotional journey.
I also found that the pandemic restrictions influenced my work in other ways - I worked on new surfaces, using bits of board that I had lying around, rather than using precious canvases, especially when exhibiting was uncertain and storage is at a premium. Painting on board has a different quality to painting on canvas - it can take rougher treatment, and can be sanded back creating interesting surface textures, so this challenged my practice and encouraged me to develop new techniques. As mentioned above, lockdown restrictions also offered the space and opportunity to take some on line courses to develop my work further. Every cloud....!