A Joint show with artist Sian Jones at ..The Waterfront Gallery, Nelson Quay, The Docks, Milford Haven. Private view 10th June 6.30 – 8.30. All Welcome.
‘…along the path’ (From 2011 Show Statement)
For this series of work I returned to the familiar coastal landscape near my home in Pembrokeshire, beginning as I often do, by just walking with my camera. Although these photographs were not used as direct source material (often I transfer images onto my computer and never look at them again) they remain an important part of my process. The viewfinder is a tool for studying the landscape rather than capturing it, allowing me the luxury of taking time to stop and notice the details of things.
When we walk, we stop occasionally to admire the view, yet for the majority of the time we are looking downwards. Despite this we usually fail to notice the strange beauty of the undergrowth; the tangle of plant life that forms other micro-cosmic worlds. In the studio these observations are transformed, becoming more loose and expressive as I engage with the physicality of painting, sometimes verging into abstraction.
This series ranges from large ‘oversized’ impressions of plant life to the tiny specimen like paintings. The latter are reminiscent of ‘collection cases’, accumulated historically by botanists who were obsessed with the small details. They would surely have marvelled at my ability to collect specimens ‘digitally’ and almost effortlessly.
Ironically, for me it is not about botanical accuracy or convincing colour, but about how being in the landscape makes me feel. My approach to painting the landscape is introspective.
I use a variety of techniques; work is built up in layers, combinations of thick impasto with thin glazes. Often I include ‘sfumato’, where oil paint is subtly blended to produce a misty atmospheric effect. This allows me to imbue the work with a personal feeling for the landscape; a sense of intimacy and wonder.
Sarah Jane Brown