Artwork for Richard Gilbert
The Good Companions
The Sacred Oak
Breinton Orchards XVIII
Breinton Orchards V
Breinton Orchards VII
Breinton Orchards XIV
Not only am I fascinated with how the subject has been represented by artists and writers but my response to a landscape though drawing and painting usually evolves slowly over months and sometimes years, even in a single work. Recently, inspired by Camille Pissarro's depictions of orchards at Eragny-sur-Epte, I have painted the orchards at Breinton Springs that are owned by the National Trust and Hereford Cider Museum, thereby creating a series of canvases over the course of one year. Other ongoing projects focus on ancient trees, ghost trees and particular hills in the Marches. In 2020-21 I made a calendar cycle of large works based on Stonewall Hill, that lies on the border of England and Wales, which was created in response to an epic drawing of the same hill by Mary Rennell in 1967-68, when she lived at The Rodd.
For me, landscape comes not just from context but the task of envisaging how a patch of land can be represented though the medium of oil paint tasking account of the formal considerations of colour, form and composition. Central to any work is the search for a colour palette. I find that Herefordshire has its own unique range of greens that is constantly re-invented through the seasons. Green can reflect the climate, the soil, the weather or even the colour of the sky but the colour can also can convey the arc of life from youth to old age.
I focus on projects developing bodies of work based on specific locations engaging with ideas involving time and the seasons but also taking account of contexts such as how artists or writers have depicted a particular landscape. Being interested in how landscape has been depicted in the past as well as the present, inevitably my 'hero' artists are all landscape painters and almost all are great painters of trees. The depiction of trees in British art has always been central to a national debate about who we are but in addition to this, my broader artistic interests lie in the likes of Bruegel; the Flemish 'world landscapes'; Dutch 17th century 'landskips'; the German and English Romantics; the Neo-romantics and in the 20th century the work of Eric Ravilious and the Nash brothers. I find that this tradition provides a framework for a fascinating dialogue about the depiction of the world that is so mulch more than just landscape.
My practice is based around painting, watercolour and drawing following an earlier period exploring sculpture. It has been supplemented by teaching, running workshops based on drawing trees and community engagement activities such as the Big Draw, for example, creating large scale countywide drawing with 'A Journey through Herefordshire' at Hereford Museum and Art Gallery in October 2019.
Following undergraduate study at Falmouth and Wimbledon Art Schools, I studied for an MA at Chelsea School of Art and an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I have had exhibitions in Hereford, the Midlands and London and contributed towards group shows in the UK and Europe. I have work in public and private collections here and abroad.
'Common Ground' - A journey into Herefordshire. Hereford Museum and Art Gallery, September 2019
'Round the Year from Stonewall Hill: A Journey in Time and Space'. Hereford Museum and Art Gallery, August 2021
'Into the Woods' SpringCheltenham, Cheltenham, February 2022
'Inspired by Pissarro, painting the orchards at Breinton Springs' Online at Apples and People Commissions website, from April 2022
'The Sacred and the Tree' a group show with the Arborealists at Norwich Cathedral Hostry, May 2022
'Six artists in search of a perfect hill', Ludlow Assembly Rooms, July/August 2022