Helen Slater Stokes gained an M.A. from the Royal College of Art in 1996. Having set up her practice in 1999, exhibiting both nationally and internationally, she went back to the Royal College of Art in 2013 and completed a PhD by practice in 2020. Helen lectures and has presented research papers at numerous conferences, most recently the Glass Art Society (GAS) Conference 2019, in Florida. Her work has been selected to be shown at the British Glass Biennale 2017 and 2019, and is held in both public and private collections.
Helen uses the medical science of optical perception in conjunction with historic and contemporary illusionary image techniques. This work discusses our notion of ‘Space and Place’ and challenges our spatial perception. Pieces adopt traditional observational drawing techniques to capture perceived depth, in conjunction with contemporary lenticular image and lens technology. Her work asks questions about the observed three dimensional nature of an image and the possibility of fabricating a virtual space within glass.
Peter Keegan is a professional artist living and working in Buckinghamshire, UK. Trained at Cardiff School of Art and working in oils, he follows traditional techniques but uses them in a way to depict his subjects in a modern and original style. His aim in portraiture is to always create a painting or drawing that reflects the subject’s likeness and personality, as well as capturing those special elements which make the subject truly ‘them’. He also paints and exhibits figure paintings, local landscape and still life paintings. Peter is a member of the Visual Images Group, an honorary member of the Winslow & District Art Society and is an elected member of the Buckinghamshire art Society and the Oxford Art Society.
Peter co-presents the podcast ‘Ask an Artist’ – the podcast dedicated to offering free advice and guidance about the business side of being an artist. He is also a brand ambassador for Michael Harding Oil Paints and Rosemary & Co brushes.
From the beginning of 2020, Peter was made the first ever Artist in Residence at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. To celebrate their 10th anniversary, he has been commissioned to paint a number of large scale canvases depicting life inside the theatre. The project will last for the next 2 years and any completed paintings will be displayed along the promenade inside the theatre. The exhibition is free to visit now the theatre has reopened.
Some of Peter’s work can be found in public collections as part of the Public Catalogue Foundation.
As a landscape painter I am always inspired by the beauty and forms of nature, but it is only I the last few years that I have developed a way to incorporate elements of the landscape within the canvas. Every day I walk across the fields and through the wood picking up natural materials and photographing the countryside as I go. I love the shapes and colours of the trees, grasses and leaves that create the landscape. Then the challenge is to take the natural materials and breathe new life into them, capturing the structural and textural elements and drawing them out with paint and medium.
I love the tactile, building up of texture and detail that brings the dead foliage back to life with a new beauty and purpose. These humble grasses and natural materials are dried and pressed before being immortalised within a hardening material so that they are embedded within the canvas in a layering process, built up with paint and metallic mica powders. My art practice is environmentally conscious with water-based environmentally friendly materials as I hope to illustrate the beauty of the landscape and what we have to lose by destroying it.
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.