Nancy began her artistic endeavours at a young age but after taking an early art A Level at age 15, academic studies took over, leading to a 30 year career in the charity sector. She kept painting throughout and in 2019 was persuaded by artist friends to exhibit her work. Fast forward 2 years and Nancy has sold work globally, had worked selected for prestigious exhibitions and been invited to exhibit alongside doyennes of the art world including Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry and Maggi Hambling.
She says “I have been delighted that my paintings have received wide appreciation and now hang in homes as far afield as New York, Jerusalem and Melbourne.”
“I aim to capture an essence rather than a literal interpretation of each subject. I enjoy not just the colour but the textural quality of paint and I work with both to achieve the finished painting. With a dandelion, for instance, I paint with needles to capture their distinctive petals and for my poppy paintings I make my own ‘palette knives’ from recycled plastic.”
Nancy had work selected by the judges for the Royal West of England Open Exhibition 2020/21, Broadway Arts Festival 2021 and shortlisted for the Bath Society of Artists Open Exhibition (November 2021).
She says “I am excited to be working in partnership with select galleries across the UK such as Kingfisher Art in Chipping Norton as it means more people can see my work.”
The common thread in the subject matter is Nancy’s love of nature, and her contemporary floral still life paintings are inspired by species grown in her small city garden.
Alex’s paintings are poetic, process led responses to landscape. They come from a deep love of the world, and a sense of awe and wonder. She hopes they will remind you of places you have known or would like to know. Using remembered and translated experiences, source drawings and photographs, she describes embodied encounters with light, sky, journeys and the changing season. She is interested in the 3dimensionality of a painting, carving into and raising the surface through processes of construction, destruction and material play. Her paintings evolve through an intuitive and physical interaction with materials.
Alex’s process of a painting has several stages. She begins by walking, running, drawing and taking ‘fast photographs’ outside. This is a way of feeling the landscape at a cellular, and sensory level. In the studio she has prepared birch or poplar panels with layers of a traditional gesso ground. Alex then creates texture with a brush and palette knife or by sanding and carving back into the gesso. Thinking about the 3 dimensionality of the picture plane, she begins by using a high-quality light fast acrylic ink to reveal the textured surface and add base colour. She builds on this colour ground by adding, and removing, layers of acrylic mixed media. The painting gradually evolves through an intuitive and physical interaction with the materials. Alex aims for a sense of balance or charge between saturated areas of colour patina and stripped back areas without paint. She says, “I know they are finished when I feel a sense of “lining up”, when the painting and I have both said enough. Often, this is when the painting tells me its name.”
Alex has exhibited in the UK, United States and Romania. She has work in commercial and private collections in the United States, Japan, Norway, Germany, France, Holland and across the UK. She completed a five-year artist fellowship at Digswell Arts in 2016 and has held AIR positions with Middlesex University, Brent Museum and Archives, English National Ballet, Wizard Presents Production Company and Watford Museum.
I am a contemporary painter placed within the English landscape tradition, where I find excitement and inspiration from the beauty and elemental nature of landscape: the earth, the sea, the sky. I am particularly drawn to open landscapes, moor land, valleys, salt marshes and tidal mudflats – quiet, remote places which evoke a sense of contemplation and solitude.
My paintings convey the interplay of my emotional response to things seen and experienced within landscape through the physical activity of painting, a form of internal dialogue of remembering, visualizing and interpreting. Photographs and drawings are used only to act as a transitional reminder of a sense of place as the paintings are developed to produce a distillation of light, atmosphere and mood.
The activity of painting is immensely important to me. I paint intuitively, building up surfaces initially with my hands working directly into the oil paint to create a suggestion of space and depth. Subsequent layers of transparent and opaque paint are poured and splattered onto the canvas, scrubbed back, re-worked, drawn and scored into, using palette knives and brushes to create marks and texture until the essence of landscape has emerged.
I enjoy working on a variety of scales from more intimate portrayals to larger expressive works and I frequently work on several canvasses at a time. I am influenced by the magnificent works by Turner but I also love the work of many other painters including Rothko, Jacob van Ruisdael, Edward Seago and Joan Eardley.
As a contemporary seascape and landscape painter, Barry’s aim is not to capture, but to celebrate the place he is painting. The way that light plays across the land and sea has always been a huge inspiration for his work.
Barry grew up on the South Devon coast and much of what he paints is inspired by the exciting lines, dramatic shapes and varying textures of the coastline. His goal is to find the same feeling that made him stop and draw or photograph the scene in the first place.
Photography and sketchbooks play a pivotal role in the developmental process of Barry’s painting. On visits to new and familiar places he will sketch, make notes (such as tide times, sea state, weather conditions and OS map references) and take photographs that will later influence a series of works on paper and canvas.
Having moved to rural Oxfordshire, Barry is greatly inspired by the rolling landscape around the River Thames and beyond. His work aims to celebrate this beautiful scenery, whilst reflecting the energy and dynamism of the environment.
Kate works with paper, cutting intricate designs by hand to create delicate, complex layers. There are 2 quite different strands to her work which use this technique to create distinct visual outcomes.
The geological series explores pattern and colour in the landscape and natural world on a macro and micro level. Satellite imagery reveals beautiful colours and pattern in the landscape, both natural and man-made, and micro images of plants and natural objects often reveal surprisingly similar structures. Kate is especially interested in marks on the landscape created by natural forces such as flowing water, or scars created by human activities such as mining and farming; the shaping of our landscape over time.
The architectural series explores structure and light, focusing on traditional architecture as well as contemporary structures. By exploiting the qualities of cut and layered paper, the fall of light becomes central to the work and helps define the image.
Kate studied fine art at Camberwell College of Arts in London followed by a PGCE in Art and Design. She is a member of the Oxfordshire Art Society.
Scottish- born painter Catriona Herd splits her time between New York and the UK.
Catriona has staged successful solo exhibitions in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Edinburgh, Frankfurt and Woodstock, Oxfordshire.
Catriona travels throughout the UK and all over mainland Europe making plein air sketches in pastel and watercolour.
She is inspired by light, atmosphere and structure in the landscape and especially by colour. A misty, rainy day might seem neutral in colour but Catriona says she will see ‘blues, greens, ochres and purples…… a complex pattern of colour.’ Hence the need for extensive plein air sketches.
Her process back in the studio involves more studies in pastel and oil paint, trying to capture the rhythm and composition, before beginning a large oil painting.
Catriona gained a post graduate qualification at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. More recently she attended the Art Student’s League in New York, where she won a scholarship to Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado and a six week scholarship to study and paint at the Marchutz School in Aix-en -Provence.
Henrietta Lawson Johnston is a professional artist living in North Oxfordshire. After studying History of Art at university, she decided her first love was painting and spent some time training at the Atelier Canova in Rome where she chose oils as her medium.
Henrietta draws inspiration from her love of nature and the fascinating scope of still life, whether it be a simple object or the beauty found in ripe fruit. Her work is classical in style and her choice of light and tone calm in quality. She chooses to matt varnish her work, so that, while drawing on centuries of tradition in oil painting, the finished piece has a contemporary feel, enabling her work to sit well in any interior setting. Henrietta also works on commission.
Making ceramics is something I wanted to do for a very long time. I finally began a few years ago, when I spent 3 years at City of Oxford College on a one-day a week course. I soon discovered that I needed more time for making, and set up my own garden studio at home, where I have been working for a few years.
I throw and turn my vessels on the wheel, using either pure porcelain or porcelain mixed with some stoneware. My bowls and vases are made to be used or simply looked at. The forms I throw are mostly inspired by the classic shapes of oriental ceramics, though who could add to the perfection of a Song bowl? I make work in series of similar forms, but unconstrained by a rigid specification, enjoying the subtle variations between pieces. I relish exploring glaze colours and textures, and trying to find a variety of surfaces that complement the simplicity of the forms.
I enjoy the way pots look when grouped together, the shapes and shadows between the forms, and the relationship between the colours and textures of the glazes. My ceramics can be enjoyed as single pieces, but they seem also to complement each other when combined in small groups. I also enjoy how a good pot feels when weighed in the hand, that sense of balance that tells you when it’s right.