Michael Porter

Michael Porter

I am a landscape painter who observes the minutia of what we see. 
If I can convincingly depict a small aspect of what one experiences whilst out there in the world then I count this as success.

The tree is often seen as the embodiment of nature, as both a product of the earth and the sustainer of the very world in which we live.

As a painter of nature my eyes continuously flit from twig to bark, observing the nest’s in its branches, an individually striated leaf, the twist of a climbing columbine around it’s trunk.  Neither is more important than another, they merge together to build up the overall picture.

It is not my intention to create an illustration of the landscape but create an image that corresponds to what one sees, to show the characteristics of place and make visual equivalents of that which is
before us.

I am drawn to bits of landscape that are often disregarded whilst at the same time cannot be overlooked, a dilemma indeed!

Michael Porter
Forest floor, 15-06-11, 110 x 120 cms, acrylic, gouache and oil on canvas

Michael Porter
Day and Night, Bethany series, 19-06-15, oil and acrylic on photograph, 50 x 100 cms

Michael Porter
Beside the Path  21-06-14, 43 x 39 cms, acrylic and oil on paper

Je suis un peintre paysagiste qui observe les petits détails de ce que nous voyons. 
Si je peux décrire de façon convaincante un petit aspect de ce qu’éprouve celui qui est plongé dans le monde, je compte cela comme un succès. 

On considère souvent l'arbre comme l'incarnation de la nature, à la fois comme un produit de la terre et le soutien du monde dans lequel nous vivons.

Mes yeux de peintre de la nature circulent continuellement de la ramille à l’écorce, observant le nid dans ses branches, une feuille seule, striée, la torsade d'une ancolie qui s’enroule autour du tronc. Aucune chose n’est plus importante qu’une autre, elles fusionnent ensemble pour construire l’image globale.

Mon intention n’est pas de créer une illustration du paysage, mais de créer une image qui correspond à ce que l'on voit, de montrer les caractéristiques du lieu et produire des équivalents visuels de ce qui est devant nous.

Je suis attiré par des éléments de paysage souvent méprisés, mais qui pourtant ne peuvent pas être négligés : un dilemme assurément !


Richard Bavin

Richard Bavin

Richard Bavin
Queenswood - Late Summer, 2015, charcoal, 345 x 460 mm

Trees have always filled me with joy and wonder and I can be absorbed for hours in simply looking. Throughout my life I have loved many city trees but these days I am blessed with an attic studio looking onto mature chestnuts and oaks, and a home in a valley filled with orchards and woods. Every tree, great or small, has its own character and presence, and walking in woodland is a deeply restorative pleasure in any weather.

Richard Bavin
Springtime Song

Most of my drawings and paintings depict specific trees and woodland in Herefordshire. My starting point is always to spend time walking or sitting quietly with sketchbook and camera amid the mud, wind, birds and midges. The act of drawing intensifies the experience and I feel fully alive! Patience and perseverance are rewarded by extraordinary moments when a scene is made astonishingly beautiful by some shift of light or weather. In the studio I distill these encounters and records into paintings, aiming to share what I have seen and felt as faithfully as possible with the viewer. 

Richard Bavin
Wood Edge on Foggy Morning

Winter is my favourite season with stark, bare tree forms, slanting sun and hot coffee to hand. Oak Tree, is based on a pencil drawing of a grand old estate tree whereas Wellington Wood - Winter Sun shows a stand of young oaks, regrowing after clearance, in a wood I visit often.

Richard Bavin
Wellington Wood - Winter Sun, 2012, watercolour, 460 x 670 mm

It breaks my heart to see how rapidly Britain's trees and woodland are succumbing to development and the ravages of pollution and disease, and I am involved in campaigning locally and nationally. But in my practice as an artist I choose to go on making paintings which delight in the myriad ways in which trees enrich our world and ourselves. At the end of my life I hope that my work will not be a eulogy for what we have lost but a celebration.

Richard Bavin
Old Oak, 2014, oil on board, 700 x 1000 mm

Peintre profondément amoureux des arbres et des bois, chaque mois je passe une partie de mon temps dehors à faire des croquis au fusain et à l'aquarelle et à photographier. Tout aussi importante est la solitude et le temps pris à observer et à m’imprégner de ces expériences.

Dans mon atelier grenier du Herefordshire rural, j'utilise ce matériau d’extérieur comme point de départ pour les aquarelles et les huiles. Mon but est de communiquer le caractère de chaque arbre individuel, le caractère des bois, et ce que l’on ressent à être là en différentes saisons et par différents temps. La lumière perpétuellement changeante en est la clé. L’essentiel de mon travail se construit par couches durant des semaines et des mois pour apporter profondeur et richesse aux couleurs.

Richard Bavin
Young Oak on Quarry Edge

En octobre dernier je me suis rendu au centre de la France, une occasion tant attendue d'explorer les magnifiques forêts de Blois et de Chambord avec leur faune abondante. J’ai rejoint les Arboréalistes à Vaux, où nous avons été bénis par deux jours de chaud soleil pendant que nous dessinions et photographions les arbres locaux dans leur richesse automnale. Cette peinture est la première d'une série consacrée à ce voyage.


Nick Schlee

Nick Schlee

Nick Schlee
Copse in meadow', 81 x 101 cm 

I am usually in a state of high anticipation when I go out to sketch. I have to find a subject that stops me in my tracks. If I am not excited how will the picture I draw ever excite anyone else? I usually draw from the car. If I have to, I get out and work leaning on the bonnet.

I first try to make a mental verbal note, on an imaginary index card, of those elements that have made the initial impact on me. Putting the scene into words forces me to think and analyse what it is I am looking at. Working at speed I then try to capture all those essential components I decided made the scene worth recording. I leaving out detail I might discover on closer observation unless they help consolidate the picture I set out to make. I am careful about getting the essentials only and take great care to get everything in the right place.

Nick Schlee
Copse in Basildon Park

Later, when painting up the oil pastel in oils, I approximate the same calligraphic marks of the sketch with my brushstrokes. They are the key to the liveliness of my pictures. The long shadows and golden light of the evening help make the pictures atmospheric and moving.

I only choose subjects that in some way excite my eye and so I use slightly heightened colour and accented linear rhythms to create that same excitement in the viewer.

Back in the studio I paint from the sketch following it closely, painting it up to a large size in oil paint, the bigger the picture the more you get a feeling of being right there, actually in the landscape.

Nick Schlee
Trees at Basildon Park, 92 x 107 cm

I paint mainly landscapes of the country along the Ridgeway in West Berkshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire. These days the countryside is eerily bereft of people. But I find that the trees, whether close or far away on the tops of hills, become the animating element. They congregate in congenial clumps, sometimes menacing like ancient armies awaiting battle. Some trees deserve a picture to themselves suggesting restlessness or repose and always implying strength and longevity.

Nick Schlee
Stones and beech trees, 82 x 97 cm

Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding
Winter Oak, Egg tempera on gesso panel, 13 cm x 20.5 cm

I live in a remote, rural area of the Shropshire hills. Our cottage is on the edge of woodland and surrounded by many trees. While oak and ash predominate, there are also mature sweet chestnut and silver birches amongst others. My work is inspired by the natural beauty of my local environment that I encounter on a daily basis, so inevitably trees are often a feature.

I work on a small scale in the traditional, Renaissance technique of egg tempera. I enjoy the slow, meditative approach. The work is produced building many layers of egg yolk and pigments often taken from the earth itself. A unique luminosity can be created in this way, relying on understanding how opaque, transparent and semi-transparent pigments work together and their individual characteristics. It takes time, concentration and application to have mastery over this technique.

A moment of intense feeling is what I try to capture but also, paradoxically, a timeless quality, a human connection and response to the natural world that could have occurred in any century. This feels like an experience outside time and relates to an interest in artists who, through the centuries, have been intrigued and inspired by the notion of the sublime. Trees can also live for several human lifetimes and so bare witness to human activity.

Sarah Harding
Two Ash Trees, Egg tempera on gesso panel, 20 cm x 26 cm

Over the last few years I have become interested in eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism. For example, the notion that everything in the universe is connected, is something we need to pay urgent attention to if we are not going to destroy it. Trees are a connection between us and the elements. They are the elements as are we.

I'm influenced by the work of The Neo-Romantics, Samuel Palmer and The Ancients along with The Pre-Raphaelites all of whom were also inspired by the English rural environment, along with Persian miniature painting, illuminated manuscripts and the Flemish Norther School.

By trying to reproduce and record a particular emotional, difficult to rationalise, response to nature, I hope to elicit a similar response in the viewer.

Sarah Harding
Oak Trees and Moon, Egg tempera on gesso panel, 20 cm x 25 cm

Tim Craven

Tim Craven

Tim Craven
Tim Craven, Millenium Hill, 2015, watercolour, 41 x 58 cm

Tim Craven paints dense and intricate close landscapes of trees and woodland. He is drawn to complex and rhythmic, natural imagery when flattened and abstracted by photography. His work explores the tension between hand-made mark-making and the photo-mechanical form of abstract shapes that combine to create illusion and depth. For him too, these shapes can reference much of art history.

Tim Craven
Château Larcher, 2017, casein on canvas, 61 x 91.5 cm

After training in fine art and the conservation of paintings, Craven joined the staff of Southampton City Art Gallery in 1980. Working up close with one of the finest regional public collections of art, spanning eight centuries for over 30 years has proved a privileged stimulus for his own art practice which he has always rigorously pursued. His work is therefore inevitably informed by a diverse range of style and ideas. He admires the English pastoral landscape tradition, notably the Pre-Raphaelite landscape painters such as J W Inchbold, and its links with Surrealism through Paul Nash and others as well as various abstract and contemporary movements including Op Art and The Systems Group.

Tim Craven
Swinyard Hill, 2015, casein on canvas, 20 x 30 ins

His distinctive influences however are the densely patterned paintings of Charles Ginner of the Post-Impressionist Camden Town Group, and the work of his Birmingham born friend, John Salt, a celebrated first generation New York School Photorealist, who employs fine stencils with an airbrush.

Craven's paintings are often monochrome or in muted colour evoking memory and nostalgia. He is interested in the relationship and dichotomy between painting and photography and he contrasts a deadpan, American Photorealist style with English Romantic subjects. Drawn to the strong, dynamic verticals and abstract qualities of tree forms animated by direct sunlight, he sees striated organic pattern akin to a natural Op-Art. His myriad of tiny abstract shapes coalesce like alchemy, to effect a figurative image.

Tim Craven founded The Arborealists in 2013.

Tim Craven
Little Norton, 2014, 24 x 36 ins, casein on canvas

Mon travail explore la dichotomie et la relation entre la peinture et la photographie. Je fais contraster un style photoréaliste impassible avec des sujets romantiques anglais comme les arbres. J'ai toujours été attiré par les verticales fortes et dynamiques, par le drame spatial, par les qualités abstraites des formes des arbres, animées par la lumière du soleil. Je vois un motif organique, zébré, comparable à une sorte d'Op Art naturel. Une myriade de minuscules formes abstraites photomécaniques indépendantes se fondent pour produire une image figurative. Pour moi ces formes peuvent aussi faire référence à l'histoire de l'art.

Tim Craven
un Castle, 2015, casein on canvas, 20 x 30 ins

Après une formation en beaux-arts et en conservation des peintures, j’ai rejoint l’équipe de la Southampton City Art Gallery en 1980. Le privilège de travailler pendant plus de 35 ans auprès de l'une des plus belles collections publiques régionales d'art, couvrant huit siècles, a stimulé ma propre pratique artistique. Une gamme variée de styles et d'idées ont influencé mes peintures : depuis le post-impressionnisme, le surréalisme et le néo-romantisme jusqu’à l’Op Art, l’art systématique et le photoréalisme.

Tim Craven
Midsummer Hill Fort, 2016, casein on canvas, 24 x 36 cm


Jo Barry

Jo Barry

For the first few years of my working life I lived and taught in Central London while at the same time trying to develop my own work.  It was a very exciting time and I loved the buzz of living in a big city but I also loved the countryside which was my main inspiration.  So I spent a lot of time travelling out into the Southern Counties.
In 1994 we left London for Hampshire and I came to live in the New Forest.  I don't think I will ever move again.

Jo Barry
Morning flight, Watercolour

In London I dreamed of having a garden large enough to have an oak tree.  Here I have in my care a number of ancient oaks, a beech tree and a willow tree. These shelter a wide range of wild life, including roe deer and their fawns and to which we have added geese, chickens, a couple of hundred free flying doves and six dogs.  And just outside my garden is the New Forest, a truly magical part of the world.

Jo Barry
Portrait of a dog, Etching

I started working using just the simple pencil.  It is wonderful to have so little technique to come between me and the growing drawing.  But I also do etchings and occasionally water colours.
My method of working is to do little sketches and to write myself little notes.  When an idea is beginning to grow as a drawing it can just be allowed to grow across the page.  But an etching has the limitation of the size of the plate so a more accurate sketch of the composition has to be made before work starts.

Jo Barry
Standing water, Etching

And this work can take weeks or even months.  As soon as a mark is made it starts a three way conversation between the idea, the work in progress and me.  It is a slow process and I will have many pieces of work on the go at any time, all of them at different stages.  I don't think I have ever finished anything, I just reach a point where I have to let go.
I am often asked if I have to wait long to be inspired.  I never have to wait, there is always something to do and living here I am surrounded by more inspiration than I have time to use.

John Blandy

John Blandy

I follow particular trees over time and use their situations as a source for developing ideas through observation and repetition. Over the course of a year, revisiting the same site, the record of change becomes the essence of the tree as a living presence.

A lime tree in a north London park, painted repeatedly from one spot since 1997. Some days in early May when the leaves break, or in late October as they fall, I am back, again and again; working in a manner that is open to idiosyncrasies of each moment as the shadows turn, the wind gusts, and a rain cloud spits. Painting in pastel, reacting to each event, requires a consistency. The size of the paper, the medium, the range of colours, forms a framework for the marks, in much the same way as making up stills of an animation film.

A copse of trees I paint dips into a stream, under Wytham Wood, near Oxford; a mixed deciduous group that is now dominated by a range of willows. The challenge is reflecting the way trees clamour for the light. When I started painting here 35 years ago, the river edges were bare and fenced for cattle. Poplars, elms and willows stood in the distance. Now I am fighting tree and climbing rose even to have a look in. I use a range of marks, building up a series of layers that combine flat dark or light planes broken by strike and stutter marks. The marks reflect a quickening of pace and is a shorthand to record the changes. The layered dropping canopy as it stretches to capture the light over water has become the structure.

John Blandy
Weeping Willow 4, 1045 * 835 mm, pastel on paper, 2014/15

John Blandy studied at St Martins and the Royal College of Art and has been represented by Francis Kyle Gallery (1983-95) and Cassian de Vere de Cole.

Work is part of many collections including Hammersmith Hospital and St George's Hospital, Tooting.

Blandy suit les lieux au fil du temps. Par l'observation et la répétition, il crée une succession d'images qui explorent l’idée de l’éphémère. On en trouve l’écho dans son usage du pastel : il utilise une gamme de signes, construisant des couches qui combinent des aplats sombres ou des plans clairs interrompus par des marques de rayures et de hachures. Ces marques traduisent l’accélération du rythme. Elles sont un raccourci pour enregistrer les changements.

Dans une ferme à l'ouest d'Angoulême, près de Villebois-Lavalette, Blandy a peint la croissance d’un cytise. Un petit arbre qui lutte pour grandir sur la roche calcaire. L'arbre brille sous l’intense chaleur de l'été 2016.

Fontpeauloup Laburnum 18.8.17

Il fait partie d'une série grandissante de projets qui explorent les aspects éphémères d’un lieu. Cela inclut un tilleul dans un parc du nord de Londres, peint du même point de vue presque tous les jours depuis mars 1997. Un autre projet concerne une rivière aux proches abords d'Oxford qu'il a peint pendant quarante ans. Autrefois on pouvait voir les ormes au loin. Désormais, une rangée d'arbres borde l'eau, un groupe de feuillus mélangés dominé par des saules, qui clament après la lumière. Les saules, un rosier grimpant, rivalisent avec la broussaille.


Simon Dorrell

Simon Dorrell

Simon Dorrell
Broken. An apple tree in Pan's Orchard. Ink and gouache. 16.5 cm x 23 cm

The eyes of my house stare out, towards every point of the compass, at trees.
Trees in their hundreds.
And who knows how many million, billion, trillion leaves?

Seven steps from the door, I enter the ragged remnants of a wood. It was planted as a brake to stall the sometimes fierce breath of Wales and a hundred winters later its dark places and unexpected pools of light are enough, still, to test the dogs as they career clumsily through the undergrowth. The birds are startled into sudden conversation in the very tree-tops.

One backwards leap for a squirrel to the walnut tree - fifteen years ago one of four trees - now one of four hundred planted here. In so few years of growth they have grown (despite the nagging of rabbits, stripping of squirrels and the nonchalant vandalism of deer) from whips to giants that now shadow the path down to the river. It's banks are crowded with crack willow and goat willow and alder, white poplar and ash; a meandering avenue that I could walk for a week of days until I reached the sea. A diversion in the lee of hedgerow hawthorn and blackthorn and native dogwood leads past a child's drawing of a perfect oak, hard by a field gate, to a derelict orchard: the forlorn trees brought to their knees by indifference and neglect.

Above, aloof, the beech in their woods raise their ramparts on the steep, uncultivated, hillsides. Turning, I cast my mind's eye back to my extended family of trees;  particularly to the ailing alders, fighting disease and losing, as are the ash now, as did the old horse chestnut that stood beside the bridge. It was the most beautiful tree I ever met and grew to love. It is long gone now. But its boughs, outstretched, and its hand-like leaves reach out to me across the years. Still. Still now, too, that corner of the field.

Somewhere in the valley, the sickening song of a chainsaw chills the air.

I look back at the beech.
Their resilience disarms me.
And yet, they are so fragile. So vulnerable.
And all I can do is stand with a pencil in my hand, and draw.

Simon Dorrell
An alder in winter, Stapleton parish. Ink and gouache. 25.5 cm x 18.5 cm


Meet the Arborealists at Mottisfont

On Saturday 17 october 2015, visitors met some of the Arborealists artists who created new works for the exhibition 'Art of trees' at Mottisfont Abbey. Each artists talked about how they work and what inspires them, on their influences and art practice with trees.


Wladyslaw Mirecki

Wladyslaw Mirecki
Chappel Galleries

Even before I became a painter, trees have been as essential to my world as the beasts of nature. In my earliest work my trees were amorphous blobs wrapped in greenery. I had to really analyse them as objects in the round to get them right.  This has given me a preference for naked trees. They in winter reveal themselves and their surrounding so much more.

Wladyslaw Mirecki
Bluebells in Chalkney Wood, watercolor, 2011, 80 x 120 cm

I don't know the names of the trees I am painting.  I tried learning their Latin names and making botanic studies of them.  But I found this to be distracting.  Their colour, shape and texture together with their mass is what awes me and I try to capture this. The context in which they lie is also of importance to me; the space around them, the leaf mould at their base. They do not exist in isolation, other trees live with them and creatures live upon them and, while I'm making the picture , I too become almost tree like myself; still and silent.

Wladyslaw Mirecki
Fallen leaves, watercolor, 2011, 90 x 78 cm

Wladyslaw Mirecki
Lane Road Wakes Colne, watercolor, 2008, 100 x 130 cm

Avant même que je devienne peintre, les arbres étaient aussi essentiels à mon univers que les bêtes de la nature. Dans mes premiers travaux, mes arbres étaient des formes indistinctes enveloppées dans la verdure. J'ai dû vraiment les analyser comme objets dans leur environnement pour les rendre bien. Cela m'a donné une préférence pour les arbres nus. Alors, en hiver, ils se révèlent tellement plus, eux-mêmes et leurs environnement.

Je ne connais pas les noms des arbres que je peins. J'ai essayé d'apprendre leurs noms latins et d'en faire l’étude botanique. Mais je trouvais que cela me déconcentrait. Leur couleur, leur forme et leur texture, mises ensemble avec leur masse, c’est ce qui me fascine et que j'essaie de capturer. Le contexte dans lequel ils se trouvent m’est également important :  l'espace autour d'eux, la moisissure des feuilles à leur base. Ils n'existent pas isolés, d'autres arbres vivent avec eux et des créatures vivent sur eux. Et, pendant que je fais l'image, je deviens moi aussi presque comme un arbre : calme et silencieux.


Gary Colclough

Gary Colclough

Gary Colclough
Among Trees, coloured pencil, paper, and wood, 24 x 26 x 1.1cm, 2012

A regular train journey I make, takes me out of London and through the common and woodland of Surrey. There's a curious bit of the journey where the train lines intersect and create a small island, a discreet wooded outcrop bordered on all sides by train tracks. I wonder if anyone ever sets foot on this small piece of land. This unremarkable tract of landscape is in some ways wilder than the dense woods and windswept commons that sweep past the window.

I realize l will never walk through this piece of land and in all likelihood I will never walk through any of the trees I view on this journey. I've made this journey hundreds of times now and I've yet to get off before my destination.
Like so many city dwellers I all too often experience the landscape at a remove - through the window, the screen, or the page. 

My journey takes me through Woking, where H.G. Wells lived and wrote War of the Worlds. The town and surrounding area feature heavily in the first part of the book and as the train carries me further into the Surrey countryside I try to imagine it as a backdrop for an invasion and other doomsday scenarios. 

I think I do the same thing every time I look at an image of the landscape; I imagine that fateful discovery that will turn the world upside down. 
Before I make drawings my process begins by searching through existing photographs of the natural world; images of woods I have never walked in and trees I have never seen or touched. I'm looking for a certain ordinariness, a degree of blankness onto which I can project. I willfully misinterpret these images, imagining their stillness as loaded with the potential of imminent action or discovery.
Although, so often the trees obscure nothing but more trees, the seemingly dense bracken only extends as far as the railway siding, or the A-road, sometimes the thing you are looking for just really isn't there. 

Gary Colclough
Edge of the Real (detail), coloured pencil, paper, and wood, 84 x 25 x 1.8cm, 2014

Avant de dessiner, j’engage ma démarche en cherchant parmi les photographies existantes du monde naturel : des images de forêts où je n'ai jamais marché, des images d’arbres que je n'ai jamais vus ou jamais touchés. Je recherche un certain caractère ordinaire, un degré de vacuité sur lequel je peux projeter. Je mésinterprète délibérément ces images, en imaginant leur silence chargé d’un potentiel d'action ou de découverte imminentes.

Je reconstruis ces images comme des dessins, en utilisant le dessin comme un outil de fiction ou tout au moins de doute. Chaque dessin est construit à travers un réseau complexe de signes individuels, qui ne crée pas une ressemblance photographique, mais quelque chose de plus manifestement fait à la main. Travaillant avec plusieurs monochromes, j'essaie d’évoquer des références à la séparation lithographique, mais aussi à des traditions plus romantiques de représentation du paysage, comme les premières illustrations d'histoire naturelle et les tissus imprimés de fabrique.

Angela Summerfield

Angela Summerfield

The creation of my oil paintings involves initial purposeful wanderings. In practical terms, familiarisation and authentic experiences are reinforced by an assemblage of visual, auditory, haptic and somatic material: sketches, notations, maps, guide-books, old postcards, poetry, music, photographs, and "found" objects, such as leaves and pine cones. The resultant studio paintings are carefully conceived re-presentations and re-compositions, which retain a figurative presence.  The history of landscape symbolism, in art, literature and music, lies at the heart of such works, where an emphasis is given to colour and light and how this impacts upon our senses and memory.  In 'As the Wind Traverses the Land, So the Breath of Life Passes On' the rich and carefully modulated colourings, using a variety of brush strokes and layering, deliberately evoke the jewel-like presence of Renaissance altarpieces, such as the Sacra Conversazione, and their associated meanings. The "heavenly" blue of the sky finds its counterpoint in the visual complexity of the earth and the secular world (the fallen leaves, brambles and bracken on the moss-covered moist earth) while the blood-red leaves read as both the loss and beginning of life.  The title refers to change, loss and the continuity which we all experience in our lives. Just as the seasons, weather and time of day change and follow natural patterns, so too does human life and our lived experiences.  In 'The Life of the Forest (The Forest's Music)' a metaphorical and aesthetically harmonious whole is suggested through the arching flowing structure of naturally growing silver birches and the stained-glass vision of the land beyond the branches's twigs. 

Angela Summerfield
The Life of the Forest, oil on linen  canvas, (framed) 76x76cm

Angela Summerfield
As the Wind Traverses the Land, So the  Breath of Life Passes On

Angela Summerfield est une artiste britannique qui a passé ses années de formation dans le nord du Yorkshire et à Londres. Elle vit maintenant dans le nord du Gloucestershire, avec ses collines sources d’inspiration, ses forêts, ses arboretums, ses chemins de campagne et son réseau de sentiers publics. Les marches dans la nature sont essentielles à sa pratique artistique. Elle les décrit comme des « errances délibérées ».

Cette peinture à l'huile fait partie d'une série d'œuvres, commencée en 2017, qui marque un nouveau départ dans sa pratique. La série explore le concept de « non-naturalité » en termes de (1) son contexte dans la nature et (2) son contexte au sein de la société. Elle accueille des concepts tels que les normes sociales et l'identité personnelle. Le terme « nature » (parfois mis en majuscule) a une longue association littéraire avec les idées de naturalité, de préservation et de refuge pour l'esprit et le corps humain. À l'inverse, il n'y a rien de moins naturel que les aspects de la campagne britannique, avec son histoire de champs enclos, de tourbières et de forêts administrées et de tentatives pour restreindre l'accès au public. La silhouette d'un arbre est un motif constant de cette série de peintures, car son apparition au crépuscule suggère l’ambiguïté : est-ce encore un arbre? Dans le contexte de la société, l'utilisation et le placement de couleurs esthétiques « non naturelles » questionnent les postulats perceptifs et cognitifs.

Jane Eaton

Jane Eaton 
Website: janeeaton1947.wordpress.com/
Blog: jane-eaton.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter: twitter.com/janeeaton10
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Jane Eaton

Boundary Oaks I,  Monoprint-Etching on Cartridge Paper

For several years Zen Buddhism/Taoism and its subsequent influence on Eastern art has been a recurring theme providing a stimulus in my approach to making work. An additional engagement and link to my work has been an introduction to Geopoetics. This is a concept first developed by Kenneth White, Scottish poet, academic and writer. Centred around a way of looking at art, philosophy and culture based on contact with the earth, it encourages cross-disciplinary and collaborative work in any medium. The ideology addresses and is deeply critical of Western thinking and practice over the last 2500 years and questions the separation of human beings from the rest of the natural world. These two points of interest are signified in my work where I have sought to engage and reconnect to nature.

The English Oak tree provided a perfect point of departure. The mighty oak (tree of life) can be viewed as synonymous to this aim providing many connections and associations historically, symbolically and metaphorically, referencing and sharing similar values across many different cultures.

Jane Eaton
Ying Yang  (Exercises in Style - Oak Tree),  Ink on Watercolour Paper

Employing a cross cultural approach and using traditional materials I have created monochrome imagery which reflects the yin yang philosophy of duality. The 'chance' mark has been a key aspect within my exploration and I have sought to extend awareness and present different levels of interpretation. My aim has been to engage with the subject using the horizontal approach thus emphasising our connection to the ground and to reality; to make work that brings attention to the transience and repetition of cyclical life with its unequivocal energy.

Jane Eaton
Tree of Life, Monoprint-Etching on Cartridge Paper

I have also aimed to create a focus on the potency and contribution of reconnecting to nature in our virtual world by creating links between areas of knowledge and experience; bridging cultures and presenting new encounters. Research has confirmed that nature is a valuable resource which contributes significantly to our physical and spiritual growth.

"To be spiritual is to be constantly amazed"
Rabbi Martin Levin (2005)
Jane Eaton
Transient Oak, Unique Monotype on Japanese Paper

Pendant plusieurs années, le bouddhisme/taoïsme zen et son influence sur l'art oriental ont constitué un thème récurrent, qui a stimulé mon approche du travail. En complément, la découverte de la géopoétique a renforcé l’engagement et le lien à mon travail. Il s'agit d'un concept développé pour la première fois par Kenneth White, poète écossais, universitaire et écrivain, qui interpelle et critique profondément la pensée et la pratique occidentales au cours des 2500 dernières années. Il questionne la séparation des êtres humains du reste du monde naturel. J’exprime ces deux centres d'intérêt dans mon travail où je cherche à m'engager pour la nature, à renouer avec elle.*

Le chêne anglais a fourni la motivation principale à mon travail de création. Le chêne majestueux - arbre de la vie - peut être pris pour métaphore de mes intentions, car il offre de nombreuses connexions et associations historiques, symboliques et métaphoriques, et porte et transmet des valeurs semblables parmi de nombreuses cultures différentes.

En recourant à une approche interculturelle et en utilisant des matériaux traditionnels, je crée des images monochromes qui expriment la philosophie de la dualité du yin et du yang. Le signe «chance» est un aspect clé de mon exploration où je cherche à étendre la conscience et à présenter différents niveaux d'interprétation. Mon intention est d'engager un dialogue avec le sujet en utilisant une approche horizontale, pour mettre ainsi l'accent sur notre lien à la terre et à la réalité, pour produire une œuvre qui attire l'attention sur l’impermanence et la répétition de la vie,  cyclique, à l’énergie incomparable.

J'ai également visé à mettre l'accent sur le potentiel et l’apport d’une reconnexion à la nature dans notre monde virtuel, en créant des liens entre les domaines de la connaissance et de l'expérience, en rapprochant les cultures et en proposant de nouvelles rencontres. La recherche a confirmé que la nature est une ressource précieuse qui contribue de manière significative à notre croissance physique et spirituelle.

« Être spirituel c’est être constamment émerveillé »
Rabbin Martin Levin (2005)

Karen Bowers

Karen Bowers

Karen Bowers
Flood and Willow, Oil on board, 2013

The environment around my home informs my work and is a constant and important inspiration to me. I walk daily with my dogs and always have a camera or sketchbook with me. I record the trees, hedgerows and nature noting its changing patterns and details that are so easily overlooked and passed by. Trees and landscape create a narrative that can tap into our memories and feelings. 
In my painting I am attempting to capture the spirit and power of nature.

Karen Bowers
Hidcote, watercolour,  2014

There are many artists that have a continual importance to me when making my work, but the two that are a constant presence are Georgia O' Keeffe and Paul Nash. Georgia O'Keefe said that what she was always trying to capture in her paintings, was

"The unexplainable thing in nature"

Karen Bowers
Fragmented Green Wood No1 and 2, watercolour, 2011

Mon travail exprime mon affection pour la nature et le paysage. Mes tableaux dérivent de lieux réels et sont des portraits intimes et étudiés. Une grande part de mon travail concerne le paysage à ma porte, et je sors marcher presque tous les jours avec mes chiens et mon appareil photo. Les arbres et les paysages peuvent créer un récit susceptible d’atteindre nos souvenirs et nos sentiments. Dans mes peintures, je tente de saisir l'esprit du lieu : ce qui est mouvant et puissant dans la nature, ses structures changeantes et les détails à côté desquels souvent on peut passer. L'acte de peindre et l'exploration des possibilités de la peinture sont aussi importants que le sujet.


Emma Buckmaster and Janet French

Emma Buckmaster and Janet French


Tree Portraits - A Collaborative Project

Emma Buckmaster and Janet French are both printmakers with a shared passion for trees. Together they have created a unique series of etchings printed onto paper made from the trees own leaves.

Each Tree Portrait is a separate project starting with a search for the 'ideal' specimen. Once the tree has been chosen, the leaves must be collected and after a prolonged process of soaking and boiling, delicate sheets of paper are created using only the natural constituents of the leaves to bind them together. The leaves of each tree behave differently and the process is one of continuous experimentation. The etching is made on a steel plate because of the pressure necessary to print onto leaf paper. Whilst the paper is still damp the etched image is printed onto the leaves from the steel plate using a traditional etching press. Finally, the prints are mounted between glass so that the texture or translucency of the paper forms part of the image.

The project started with a small image of an oak tree and has progressed to include beech, lime, silver birch, white poplar, hawthorn, ash, alder and holly.

Emma Buckmaster and Janet French
Fagus II, 2013, 25 x 27 cm, Etching on Beech Leaves

Emma Buckmaster and Janet French
Tilia, 2011, 51x43 cm, Etching on Lime Leaves

Les graveuses Emma Buckmaster et Janet French sont passionnées par les arbres. Travaillant en collaboration, elles ont créé une série unique de portraits d’arbres « Tree Portraits ». Ces gravures sont imprimées sur un papier fabriqué à partir des propres feuilles de chaque arbre.

Chaque « Tree Portrait » est un projet à part, qui commence par la recherche du spécimen « idéal ». Une fois l'arbre choisi, on recueille ses feuilles. Un long processus de trempage et d'ébullition produit des pages d'apparence délicate, liées uniquement par les constituants naturels des feuilles. Les feuilles de chaque arbre se comportent différemment et le processus est une expérimentation continuelle. La gravure est réalisée sur une plaque d’acier en utilisant une presse de gravure traditionnelle. Enfin, les tirages sont montés entre deux verres. Ainsi la texture translucide du papier fait partie intégrante du travail.

Notre projet a débuté par une petite image de chêne. Il a progressé pour inclure le hêtre, le tilleul, le bouleau argenté, le peuplier blanc, l'aubépine, l'aulne cendré et le houx.