The Malthouse: Flora and Fauna Exhibition

It’s nearly here! All my paintings are ready and waiting to be hung next week for my solo show and I have been working on my most challenging scale to date!

After doing my first solo show ‘The Garden’ in December last year I was offered the space of exhibiting in the Malthouse Bar and Kitchen, in Stroud. I felt so honoured as I know some amazing artists have exhibited some stunning work in there before. Because it is such a huge space I also used the opportunity to work on larger canvasses and join them together into triptychs (my studio and my small car size being the only limiting factors) and it has really stretched my technique and ideas to work on such a scale. Above is a photo of me next to the ‘Hydrangea series’ of paintings, in order for you to see how large they are!

The exhibition begins on the 24th April to the 30th June and is open daily according to the Malthouse Bar and Kitchen opening times (10am – 5pm). My private view will be held on Saturday 29th April from 2 – 4pm, and I warmly invite you to come along and see the paintings. My greetings cards will also be available to purchase during the private view.

After working on paintings for ‘The Garden’ exhibition, I felt the need to continue with similar subject matter, but explore the way I responded to my subjects. This has transformed my painting into something more intuitive and almost abstract at times. Here is a snippet of my exhibition notes:

‘I admire the everyday life and the subtle movement in nature. The transformation of a rosebud to its bloom, the shifting light across a leaf or the wilted edge of a flower petal are just some of the aspects I discover and interpret through paint. Each season gives me fresh new material to work with and to inspire me.’

‘The way my eye travels through a subject, or moves around a composition, is also key to these paintings, as there is so much depth and and variety in one view of nature, my eye is often restless with exploring. In these captured moments, by studying closely, nature can be found to express both strength and beauty that is delicate, tender, yet powerful.’

Of course, I included my favourite quote, which I often think about when I am working, as it’s so relevant to what painting should capture: ‘I would like to paint the way a bird sings’ – Claude Monet

Look forward to seeing you on the 29th April – save the date!

The Cotswolds Hare Trail

Here it is folks! I was so delighted to be taking part in this years Cotswold Hare trail, and I had so much fun working on it. This huge 5ft tall hare will be joining many other hares also painted by local artists, schools and groups which will begin a trail around the Cotswolds on the 22nd May. Now the hares have been painted, I am waiting for a sponsor to take up my hare to join up with the trail. Once the trail is ended in September they are auctioned off for their forever homes. Perhaps you’d like one for your garden…

A bit about painting the hare – I designed the hare around the theme of the Cotswold garden. The rambling roses growing up the walls in the summer and the textures and unique colours of Cotswold stone, I felt made a beautiful combination to interpret into the hare. When my sculpture arrived, I also admired the shape and form of the hare, so I wanted the design to compliment the shape.

Different to my usual medium, I painted the hare in acrylic paint. I quite liked the acrylics I used, which were intense in colour and some of the colours had different transparencies, so I had a play in layering up the colours and experimenting with some bold, block colours. I felt the design needed to be bold and dramatic and eye catching. I treated the hare and the surface as if it were a canvas, which was the best approach really! It also needed to be fully weatherproof, so with an exterior gloss paint (I won’t bore with the details!) it is tough and can clearly stand any weather! Above – here it is surviving one of the many snow hits we had from eastern storms. Also looking magnificent…!

Last week, I was proud to see my hare amongst the many others at a special launch event in Northleach. I couldn’t fit all of the hares in one photo there were so many! Not one hare was painted similarly, and all were so unique in their own way, which was amazing to see.

For now, I have waved goodbye to him, and was quite glad to have the space back in my studio, but as soon as I know where he’s off to on the trail I can of course keep you updated!

For more information about the trail visit their website where you can view all of the hare designs and the artists involved. The hares were also featured in the news recently, here’s a clip from BBC Gloucestershire news