Dixter – the quiet corners: Botanicals
I have been painting all my life – only in the past few years have I started showing work in a local exhibition and at a gallery which has proven encouraging… I have usually painted things from the natural world, be it landscape, flora or fauna as well as some architectural, both home and abroad.
From the turquoise waters of the country of my birth (Barbados) or the warmth of the sun on the sienna and terracotta tones of the ancient villages in the South of France, to the gentle rolls of the lush green hills and valleys around the Sussex Downs and the creatures and their habitats within, all have captivated my attention and still do, perpetuating a motivation to commit them to paper first by pen then water colour.
The past five years I have focused more on my immediate environment, the animals and plant life within, those that have crossed my path, sightings, observations recorded and recalled… kingfishers, dragonflies and damsel flies in Brede Valley, Rye… owls, woodpeckers and hares in the surrounding neighbouring field to my cottage… a forest of fungi in woods in Northiam, in a bountiful Autumnal crop.
I paint at the cottage, in the garden and in the open – in a quiet corner somewhere.
The latest series Dixter – the quiet corners: Botanicals follows from the first studies of the quiet corners: Fungi. In context, the following series will lend itself to the quiet corners: Structures.
I am inspired by lifetime of Sussex links, childhood memories of staying in a Northiam weather-boarded cottage, family in the Old Town and St. Leonards-on-Sea and the past fifteen years of visiting Great Dixter. it was this last that drew me to put pen to paper on the lovely memories of visits to this unique place and colour them in with water colour. I have spent time working both in the garden and estate and I wanted to share the wealth of its tapestry of the grounds and details therein… the essence and the quirks and so started a series based on photographs and sketches I’d collected over the years.
Still developing my style and technique in watercolour, I once upon a time attended a wonderful foundation course under the tutelage of Rod Harmon and Bob Falla based at the old site of Hastings College of Art. I thoroughly enjoyed the forays into the world of fine art: life painting in oils and drawing, print making and etching. I continued with a BA in Design at Manchester. I think the later studies in Horticulture, the intricate detail and wonder worlds that nature has to offer, has proven the most rewarding as I attempt to chart those elements seen at first hand.
The latest series Dixter – the quiet corners: Botanicals are available at a gallery in Rye who have encouraged me on this journey and will be kindly showing original paintings in watercolour; limited edition prints (of x20), and cards from August… Ethel Loves Me, I thank you!