2019/02/07

Annabel Cullen

Annabel Cullen
beljoss@me.com


Annabel Cullen
Branch, 42 x 59 cm

I am a painter of the human figure and a portraitist, and my sense of connection with trees arises from their anthropomorphic and emotive qualities.  I want to convey the sense of movement within the static form, as it can seem as though the very life-force energy, is discernible in, or at least suggested by, the formation of the trunk and bark of certain trees.  The sinuous and jointed qualities of many trees correlate with my studies of anatomy.  Then at other times the texture of some corrugated bark transforms itself into a landscape, and leads me into another world.  

Annabel Cullen
Muscle knot, 84 x 59 cm

Annabel Cullen
Carcass, 77 x 56 cm

Mostly I work on site in charcoal, graphite, ink and wash, lithographic crayon and conté, concerned with one particular tree’s physical presence, which can be overwhelming.  It is important for me to feel that.  Other drawings, more ambiguous, develop in the studio, loosely based on work made on site, or from imagination.  There are always pieces of bark, knotted and twisted branches in the studio which I have collected for study and inspiration.

Annabel Cullen
Crag, 84 x 59 cm

2019/02/05

Richard Thorn

Richard Thorn
thornart2@gmail.com
www.facebook.com/richard.thorn.391
www.richardthornart.co.uk
www.instagram.com/thornart2/?hl=en


Richard Thorn
Across the Lake, Charcoal, graphite & watercolour inks, 2018, 40 x 38 cm

Trees have always figured in my work. My preferred medium is watercolour but Gouache, watercolour inks, graphite and charcoal are now mediums I use frequently. This allows me to render trees with varying textural qualities, light and colour. 

Richard Thorn
May in the woods, watercolour inks, 2018, 64 x 50 cm

Living near to Dartmoor with its wide variety of trees was (and is) a major source of my subject matter - from the tangle of a woodland to a loan oak on the edge of a field. 

Richard Thorn
The Shining Teign, watercolour, 2019, 46 x 36 cm

Richard Thorn
Lena's land, watercolour inks, charcoal & graphite stick, 2019, 54 x 32 cm

A tree presents challenges in both its form and texture. No tree is the same and its that individual character that lures me to represent it.

Richard Thorn
Snow sketch, graphite, 2016, 29 x 20 cm

2019/01/31

Crispin Heesom

Crispin Heesom
c.heesom@btinternet.com
crispinheesom.com


I have always been fascinated by trees, even before I took up painting.  My earliest memory was of climbing a giant Cedar tree growing in my parent’s garden, of taking in its presence, smell and touch, looking down through the branches to the neatly mown lawn far below.  I remember finding the trees behind a walled garden, filled with birches, ash and copper beech and spending a whole summer painting there.  It was very much my secret garden

Crispin Heesom
Apethorpe bridge

A few years later I stumbled across a wood filled with ancient oak trees.  I had seen the same trees in an early 19th century painting when they were fully grown but now they appeared to be strangely shaped stumps a world away from the picture – but still magical in their own way.
I like to record landscape over a period of years in the in the village where I live, which is part of Rockingham Forest.  There is an area of disused quarries where Horse Chestnuts and Willows grow and I find it intriguing to see how nature has taken back control from a manmade landscape.

Crispin Heesom
Hills & Holes July

Monkey Puzzles are amongst my favourite trees and I remember going to “The Triangular Lodge” in Rushton and as I looked out saw a strange juxtaposition of Monkey Puzzles and Rapeseed fields.  Whereas, seen in a city context they always seem incongruous to everything around them, like some strange vestige from a previous time.

Crispin Heesom
Bluetree & Sandpit

Another inspiration has been a huge local Beech tree that was planted in the fifteen hundreds.  Despite its size, it is hidden by foliage on three sides, looming out like some” giant arboreal cathedral”.  I paint and draw it at different times of the day over different seasons and am always intrigued by the tangled root structure at its base, which itself has led to several paintings.
Often doing free interpretation studies, I aim to do the kind of work that is “infused” by nature, playing around with marks.  I like to work on the border between abstraction and figuration rather than rigorously copying from nature so that I can create a fresh image. 

Crispin Heesom
Walsingham blue tree

Many artists have inspired me, Frank Auerbach, Van Gogh, Chaim Soutine and more recently Max Ernst.  “The Frottages” of Max Ernst are particularly poignant in the way that such a small mark can become gigantic.  The directness of his marks seems to dwarf human scale and be a way of triggering the subconscious into a kind of alternative reality.  For me painting is often a kind of inspired muddle, a wrestling of experience rather than a standing back from it.  I have a somewhat primitive attitude towards nature – the sensation being what I paint about and what I paint with – an odd fusion between paint and subject in a search for a more primal visual language!

Crispin Heesom
West-Street

During the last year I have had main exhibitions in Peterborough Museum and the Yarrow Gallery, Oundle.  I have shown in the Leicester City gallery, Cambridge, Kettering, Stamford and twice in the Mall Gallery in London.  Previously, I have shown drawings in Viersen in Germany and etchings in Milan.  My work is featured in the Faland Warwick bequest in Peterborough and in the Graham Cooley collection.

2019/01/30

Alex Pemberton

Alex Pemberton
ajpemberton@btinternet.com
alexanderpemberton.blogspot.co.uk
www.abbottandholder-thelist.co.uk/alexander-pemberton
www.chappelgalleries.co.uk


The tree presents a special kind of enigma. It has specific character, shape, life cycle, habitat. But as a living organism it is in flux, ephemeral and elusive. It has solidity and weight yet is also transparent and appears to defy gravity. In this way it compels me as a subject, an aim of my work being to fix in a measured, organised way what is fluid and chaotic.

Alex Pemberton
Poplars in Winter, 2014, oil on canvas, 78 x 61 cm

I paint from life out of doors and trees often form a key part of the subject. As I live and work in London, the paintings tend to explore the relationship of nature to the city - as a tension between the geometry of the buildings and the restless shapes within trees and plants. 
Alex Pemberton
Rhododendrons, 1997, oil on canvas, 137 x 158 cm

L'arbre incarne un type particulier d’énigme. Il a son caractère singulier, sa forme, son cycle de vie, son habitat. Mais en tant qu'organisme vivant il est en évolution, éphémère et insaisissable. Solide et massif, il est aussi transparent et semble défier la gravité. Ainsi il s’impose à moi comme sujet, car un objectif de mon travail consiste à fixer de manière mesurée et organisée ce qui est fluide et chaotique.

Alex Pemberton
CherryTree, 2004, oil, 61 x 71 cm

Je peins la vie en plein air et les arbres forment souvent une part essentielle du sujet. Comme je vis et travaille à Londres, mes peintures tendent à explorer la relation de la nature à la ville - comme une tension entre la géométrie des bâtiments et les formes tourmentées des arbres et des plantes.

Alex Pemberton
Maryon Wilson Park, 1996, drawing, 64 x 87 cm

2018/01/07

Julie Held

Julie Held
j.held@btinternet.com
www.julieheld.com
Instagram: julie.held


Trees, like people and places have been subjects of mine since I began painting. They embody and reflect elements that mirror ourselves as human beings : roots, mythologies, diversity, mutability and connections. Thus presenting endless possibilities to examine and capture in their representation.

Julie Held
Dull Day at St James Park. oil on canvas, 20 x 15 cm

Julie Held
Autumn bright day, mixed media on canvas, 76 x 61 cm

Julie Held
Valentine's Day Florist and Trees, watercolour on paper, 71 x 61 cm

Julie Held
Autumn Garden, oil on canvas, 183 x 183 cm

Julie Held
Moonlit Garden. oil on canvas, 183 x 183 cm

2017/12/21

Mike Holcroft

Mike Holcroft 
mikeholcroft@googlemail.com


My immersion ‘into the landscape’ began when unknown to my parents I bunked-off school and spent my eighth birthday in late January shivering with a fishing rod on the banks the River Ribble in Lancashire. This experience - two minnows and a gudgeon - led to an obsession with fishing and shooting and by the age of fifteen I owned three shotguns. In the game season, I supplemented my lowly-paid day job by selling trout, partridge, pigeon, duck, pheasant but mainly rabbit.

Mike Holcroft
Road to Rake Farm N° 5, charcoal and pastel on paper, 55 x 62 cm, 2017

My shooting days came to an abrupt end aged 17 when in fading light I shot an owl by mistake. My hunting friends and I had a deeply held but perhaps superstitious belief that such an act had ominous consequences. I threw my treasured Bernadelli shotgun into a deep basin in the river never to shoot again. This experience led me to turn inwards and from that moment on I developed a more contemplative approach to life. Instead of stalking game, I became a hunter of images and in the blink of an eye I was in the life room of Blackburn School of Art (65-67) gaining admission with a 20ft long work on the reverse side of a roll of wallpaper using charcoal, pen and ink - expressionistic depictions of the Blackburn poliomyelitis epidemic of 1965. Then on to Walthamstow School of Art (69-72) and Royal College of Art (72-76).

Mike Holcroft
Mist on The Road to Rake Farm N° 3, charcoal and pastel on paper, 59 x 45 cm, 2017

Returning to my roots in The North of England after a long absence has triggered a passionate interest in landscape. Here in Todmorden, it’s easy to access within a ten to fifteen minutes  brisk walk, the rambling, natural rich diversity of oak-clough woodlands that rise up steeply from the valley bottom and cluster along the skyline of pasture, eventually petering-out into wild moorland.

I find the ever changing complexity of wood-land-scape simultaneously uplifting and unsettling and I try to reflect this ambiguity in my work. Gradually, over the past few years trees have become essential subject matter through which I’m able to ‘speak from the heart’ with my language as a visual artist. Returning to ones place of origin after a forty years absence can be a gamble but in my case I feel increasingly able to connect with that magical element- inspiration. It doesn’t happen everyday and it certainly doesn’t come easy. The very best moments on a walk can leave me lost for words as I reach for the camera or sketchbook in order to capture what can often be a fleeting moment. The photo/sketch may lie dormant for weeks or months but once triggered passes through a series of graphic transformations all leading towards the closest proximity to the original scene that grabbed me.

Mike Holcroft
Road to Rake Farm N° 4, charcoal and pastel on paper, 62 x 52 cm 2017

When a drawing takes-off it slowly develops to a point where it has its own inner dynamic and momentum. A struggle then ensues as the surface undergoes constant orchestration, a process of erasure and editing, akin to both forging with hammer and anvil alongside the delicate application of pastel or charcoal.

It is an ironic use of trees burnt offerings charcoal, used in order to record its beauty!

Mike Holcroft
The Unitarian Church, charcoal and pastel, Todmorden,80 x 78 cm, 2017

2017/12/03

Natasha Lien

Natasha Lien

natasha.lien7@gmail.com
www.natashalien.com


Brought up walking my dogs everyday in my nearby National Trust woodland,  experiencing the change of seasons and different colours and the contrasting structure of trees with and without leaves I want to share their life-enriching experience in my work.

Natasha Lien
Frithsden Beech Pencil 90 cm x 120 cm

I am passionate about drawing, painting and doing etchings of trees all over the world
(including Ethiopia, Jordan and Morocco) : my mission is to depict them in various forms from rhythmical group compositions to the individual textures of each particular tree and structure within.

Natasha Lien
Hampstead Sweet Chesnut 150 cm x 95 cm

I am inspired by drawings and paintings of trees in art from Titian, Constable, Corot, Delacroix, Courbet, Shishkin, Cezanne to Van Gogh and Mondrian. I am also intrigued how trees have a quality that encourages pareidoliacs to see random objects in them and cultures to create stories about them.

Natasha Lien
Hamstead Heath Etching-Aquatint 76 cm x 54 cm

My work varies in scale and medium; I naturally work on a large scale which suits the complexity of trees. The size of a work affects the way one enters it: I want to give the viewer the sensation of being present. I often work on location for several months frequently using joined up sheets of A1 paper for practical transportation. I transcribe some of my drawings into etchings or paintings.

Natasha Lien
Kensington Gardens Pencil 138 cm x 149 cm

In today's world where many people are often in a rush, I feel that it is a real privilege to pause and reflect on life, so my work on location is like a meditation of being present.

Natasha Lien
Kensington Gardens Etching 83 cm x 60 cm

2017/11/24

Lara Cobden

Lara Cobden
laracobden@hotmail.com
www.laracobden.com


I feel most at home amongst trees. Wherever I am, the woods offer a place to retreat to, to reflect, inspire and individual trees an eternally generous and benevolent source of healing and wisdom.

Lara Cobden
She fell, landed somewhere between awareness and surrender, Oil on canvas, 70 cm diameter

Rooted in a central theme of recollection and sense of place, my paintings are informed by observation, memory and dream. They are a subjective and individual response to my surroundings, calling on an imagined, coveted past that is unreal; a magical realism. Pulling between the chimerical and the familiar - I hope there is both a stillness and fluidity in my work; in the ordinary, a sense of reverence. Paintings evolved from remembered fragments and casual snapshots shift between misty and precise, perceived reality and imagined narratives. 

Lara Cobden
Afterglow, Oil on wood panel,  50 cm x 50 cm

A desire to capture the essence of experience - a fleeting moment, ephemeral and yet resilient in its presence, are what inspire me to paint.

Lara Cobden
Her Heart was shaded by the sadness of gravity and the bliss of dappled sunlight, oil on linen 100 cm x 130 cm

I like to inhabit and explore this in-between place and try to collect and recreate that residue of experience; like recording details, grasping at the gossamer fabric of waking from a dream. 
Trees and forests offer a unique space for this journey to begin, at once interior and exterior, offering both refuge and unease, a starting point for as yet untold stories, portals into another world.
The thread pulling my work together is about 'coming home', belonging; or conversely a sense of ‘unbelonging’.

Lara Cobden
 A willow and an oak, Oil on wood panel, 50 cm x 60 cm

Lara Cobden is a figurative painter living and working in Norfolk. Following her Fine Art, Painting degree at Brighton University, Lara spent 11 years in Ireland before relocating to East Anglia. Focusing on memory and sense of place, her paintings are a response to the natural world around her.

Lara Cobden
Following the call of inaudible voices, Oil on canvas, 100 cm x 100 cm

‘Cobden’s ethereal forest scenes delicately balance impressions of a rather contradictory nature, where feelings of slight caution created by the lurking depths of the forest are met with a distinct sense of life and hope, emanating from light found at the end of the foliage’s misty tunnel.
The hazy nature of the artist’s graceful technique however helps bind these apposing elements together, somewhat diffusing and blending the darkest darks of the works into the softened earthy colours of the surround trees. By handling the paint so tactfully in all areas of the painting, the space and depth of the environments become evermore prominent, helping emphasise such feelings of being swallowed and suffocated by the growing forest, or relief from finding the fresh, open air.’  Adam Reid - Metaphysical Objectivity in Comparison with Realism 2013

Lara Cobden
In to the Enchanted Garden, Oil on wood panel, 80 cm x 100 cm

Paul Newman

Paul Newman
paulnewmanartist@gmail.com
paulnewmanartist.com
twitter.com/paulnewmanart
www.instagram.com/paulnewmanartist


Now living in Somerset, Paul Newman graduated from Falmouth College of Arts in 1995 after A-Levels and Foundation in Poole and Bournemouth, Dorset. As a graphic fine artist intrigued by nature, he works exclusively in graphite and is interested in detail, texture and tone inspired by elements of the ancient landscape and stories of Wessex.

Paul Newman
In the margins, 2014, graphite on bristol board, 21.5 x 30 cm

His work is created by research into the nature and history of places that interest him; geology, ecology, historical remains or natural history. Walking is an important part of the working process, getting to know a particular area well, understanding how it was shaped. Much of his work comes from places that have an ingrained historical meaning or personal significance and the work is mostly a response to being affected by memories or experience over time in that place. He is keen to make links between the places that he finds and the stories that fashioned them. His influences are maps and writers, geologists and legends, songs and poems. Drawings and photographs taken in the field are then worked up into finished pieces in the studio.

Paul Newman
Langdon Hill, 2010, graphite on bristol board, 22 x 16 cm
Paul is also interested in how nature manifests itself on human objects, reclaiming and abstracting these forms, such as overgrown remains, weathering, seasonal change and decay. He looks for evidence of human activity changing landscapes into places, creating unique locations which can affect, uplift or threaten.

Paul Newman
Path to Golden Cap, 2007, graphite on bristol board, 15 x 15 cm

He has shown work at various galleries across the South West, including the Bath Society of Artists and the Royal West of England Academy as well as in London with the Society of Graphic Fine Art.

     “All in all, it's true to say that Newman is a collectible artist who produces graphite works of reflective beauty.  His research is profoundly felt through his pictures. And it is true to say that to experience his work is to respect the challenges of time, balance, conflict, detail, uniqueness and scale with which he so elegantly battles in the pursuit of what we so often simply refer to as ‘nature’." J.A. Harris

Paul Newman
Ash, skywards, 2010, graphite on bristol board, 15 x 15 cm

Paul has worked as a trustee for Black Swan Arts in Frome, as the event co-ordinator for Somerset Art Weeks and curated the 2016 Quartz Arts Festival in Taunton. He is also the curator of a recent touring exhibition, ‘The Transformed Land’ and has worked on many exhibitions for Black Swan Arts.

Paul Newman
Queen of the Woods, 2017, graphite on bristol board, 26 x 26 cm

2017/09/15

Ida Harm

Ida Harm
idaharm@gmail.com
www.idaharm.com
www.facebook.com/ida.harm.5
www.instagram.com/ida_harm
twitter.com/idaharm


I remember very well my first creative impulse which pushed me to express an emotion through drawing: it was in 1999 a year in which I travelled a lot between green lush countries of Northern Europe and barren deserts of North Africa where life clutches at every last drop of humidity.

Ida Harm
Olive tree on Tuscan hill, diptic 100 x 200 cm

In this pilgrimage the tree is an element of the landscape which captures and strikes me, a fascinating conducting thread that, like a small seed, embeds itself and begins to root itself across many questions, visions and intuitions. In that very moment I started working on trees.

Ida Harm
Birches, diptic 150 x 200 cm

Alongside this subject, is the written word, often taken from English poetry or prose. Those words, as the rustling of the leaves, spurts murmured words, emphasizing the concept, suggesting images that work on the subconscious of the observer like a brain-storming.

Ida Harm
Wood in the snow, 100 x 150 cm

Analyzing backward the evolution of my trees, I then realized how much I have personally changed and how trees, gardens, forests, seeds where writing my biography throu images and symbols.

Ida Harm
Old Chestnut trees, 200 x 100 cm

At some point the lonely holy tree transforms into a forest with reduced dimensions, a
pastoral wood, where a path is merely suggested, often shown up by the light. In this wood the plants are those that suggest to the vagabond, the pilgrim, the nomad the way but without ever wholly revealing it.

I am getting lost in this concept at the moment..

Ida Harm
Oak and vineyard, diptic 150 x 200 cm

Ida Harm
Tree stories, 150 x 100 cm

Kevin Tole

Kevin Tole
kevin.tole@virginmedia.com
www.kevintole.com


My painting and drawing practise appear to have diverged significantly. In the past both were a reflection of each other and I laid great importance upon sketchbook work to the extent that I would work every day into a sketchbook. Over the last two years my drawing has become fixated on a particular subjects and has developed its own stature. 

Kevin Tole
Antony Plane in Winter, Charcoal, pastel, acrylic, gouache, water on paper. Free hanging on battens, 150 x 250 cm, 2017

This started with a year-long project working on one group of three trees on the edge of Dartmoor, producing an A1 charcoal drawing per week. That has moved on to further projects in Cornwall with trees and Glasgow on the Titan cranes along the Clyde. 

Kevin Tole
No. 29 Danescombe Oak, Beech Charcoal, Compressed Charcoal, White Conte, White Charcoal on paper, 59 x 84 cm, 2016

In all the projects I like to use materials found in the immediate areas to the subjects commonly making my own charcoal in which the source wood is intimately connected to the subject of the drawing. 

Kevin Tole
Antony Walnut No. 1, Charcoal (various) on paper, 59 x 84 cm, 2016

The drawings have all increased in size because this allows me to make and examine gestural marks, to move from the finger to the shoulder and to seek the chance mark arising from the conscious build-up of layer upon layer. This has led me into etching and printmaking to move ideas sideways and forwards.

Kevin Tole
Summer Beech Tree, Etching, Limited Edition of 20, 35 x 45 cm, 2017

Kevin Tole
Fagus silvatica Field, Beech Charcoal, various compressed charcoals, white, charcoal, white conte, 150 x 575 cm, 2017