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.
Beatrice Hoffman grew up in Germany and studied sculpture at the Norwich School of Art from 1986-9. She is based near Oxford and works mostly in solid and coiled clay, creating sculptures both figurative and abstract to be cast in bronze ( resin), varying in height between 25 and 230 cm. With her sculptures, Beatrice wants to achieve a certain degree of simplicity and abstraction. Some of her ideas for sculptures derive from her other career as an arts educator and therapist, which makes her very aware of the psychological and expressive potential of sculptures. Beside sculptures for the domestic and garden environment, she has been working in polystyrene and plaster on a larger scale (2013-14 as part of an artist-in-residency at the Chenderit School), suitable for either garden or a a more public setting.
Born in Darjeeling, India in 1952, Gerry Dudgeon studied Fine Art at Camberwell School of Art, gaining a first class Honours degree in 1979, followed by an MFA postgraduate degree from Reading University in 1981. After a travelling scholarship to New York, he was based in London working as a painter in studios at Wapping, the Barbican and Brixton before settling in West Dorset. His paintings can be found in many UK collections including The Marquis of Bath, Cadbury Schweppes, Royal Caribbean Cruises and The Slade School of Art. He exhibits regularly at the RA Summer Show, the New English Art Club and the RWA, Bristol.
This series of work is inspired by travels to remote areas of Morocco. These paintings capture memories of dry desert landscapes, snow-capped mountains and the hazy, mysterious light of dawn and dusk. Dudgeon combines the rich mineral colours to be found in the landscape with shapes and patterns observed in Moroccan carpets and ceramics. The mud-built kasbah towers of Berber villages also feature prominently in these paintings, where colour is used to create a sense of atmosphere and mood.
Oblique references to architecture and folk art are a subtle reminder in these works of Morocco’s rich cultural heritage.