2019/06/03

Philippa Plato

Philippa Plato
philippabealeart@gmail.com
www.philippabeale.com

  
I was born and raised in the countryside near Winchester. After the second world war my parents bought land full of trees. I grew up climbing them, collecting conkers, and beech nuts, being paid to pull up Sycamore seedlings and sitting by log fires in the winter. Each day as a very small child, I stepped out under a canopy of trees and walked to school through lanes with hedgerows dotted with trees. In summer I played in places with names such as ‘ghosty wood’ and ‘bluebell copse’ and gazed up to see the sun filtered through the branches. I used it as a clock, watching as it slipped sideways through the woods to check the hour until ‘tea time’. To see bright green and azure together still sends a thrill of anticipation through me. In winter, when the snow lay neatly upon even the tiniest branches, I remember the stillness that fell over the landscape broken periodically by children let out to play, crying out loud and laughing as they tracked each other and the foot prints of animals through the woods.

Philippa Plato
Arrival, oil on canvas, 175 x 90 cm

I am well known as a conceptual artist and for years, my work was concerned with gender politics and the effects of advertising upon our everyday lives In 2005, I rediscovered trees and relish the continual visual interest they provide and in the twenty-first Century, trees are not without their political side as we become more aware of the need for sustainability and realise more keenly their scientific importance to us. We must also remember that the forests we love are managed for profit. 
During WWII, woods and forests symbolised mankind's propensities for good and evil, places in which people could hide but also places of execution and torture. My painting “In the Hunting Wood“, is a reminder of resistance fighters, the French ‘Malgré Tous’, the Poles and the Jews, who were forcibly marched through forests to their deaths. 

Philippa Plato
A Walk in the Snow
As a child I spun round and round looking up into the trees. As an artist, I sit very still and record them in small pen and ink drawings about 15 x 9 cm. To discover new ways of painting trees is the agenda for many of the painters in the Arborealist Group and I am always striving to create a new painting language, a new form of mark making. For me it is utterly pointless to copy what has gone before. Small dawings completed in situ are scanned, enlarged and then printed onto canvas, sometimes monochrome,other times as a brightly coloured grisaille. This is then squared, enabling me to paint layers of marks copied from the original ink drawing. Sometimes I allow parts of the grisaille to show through.giving the painting its luminosity. This is a contemporary but similar version of methods which have been in use for centuries; preparing a fresco by painting red oxide onto wet plaster is one example. From ancient times, grisaille has been used by artists to prepare a ground - it could be a clay wash, charcoal or ink depending on the period and the surface which is to be painted. We have come to love the muted tones of Constable and Turner, but see a Constable that has been kept out of the light in mint condition and you will see colours as bright as mine. 




Je suis née et j’ai été élevée à la campagne près de winchester. Après la seconde guerre mondiale mes parents ont acheté une propriété avec de nombreux arbres.  Dans mon enfance, je grimpais aux arbres, je ramassais les marrons, les faines du hêtre, on me payait pour ramasser les graines de sycomore et l’hiver je m’asseyais sur les bûches de pins. J’ai fait mes premiers pas sous la voûte des arbres, pour aller à l’école je suivais des sentiers bordés de haies et d’arbres. En été, je jouais dans des lieux appelés « le bois hanté » ou « le squelette des jacinthes »et je levais la tête pour voir les rayons du soleil filtrer entre les branches. Il me servait de montre alors que j’observais sa lumière baisser entre les troncs jusqu'à la fin de l’après-midi. Je ressens toujours un frisson de joie par anticipation devant le vert vif et le bleu azur mêlés .En hiver, quand la neige recouvre les plus petites branches, je me souviens du silence enveloppant le paysage de temps à autre déchiré par les cris des enfants qui riaient et jouaient à se poursuivre, je revois les empreintes des animaux dans les bois.

Philippa Beale
Lake at vaux, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 cm
Je suis particulièrement connue comme une artiste conceptuelle et pendant des années, mon œuvre traitait de la politique des genres et des effets de la publicité sur notre vie quotidienne. En 2005, j’ai redécouvert les arbres et le bonheur sans faille de les regarder. Au 21eme siècle, les arbres ne sont pas sans intérêt politique et nous prenons de plus en plus conscience de la nécessité de les préserver et leur importance scientifique nous apparaît plus clairement. Nous ne devons pas oublier que les forêts que nous aimons sont gérées en fonction d’intérêts économiques.
Pendant la 2ème Guerre mondiale, les bois et les forêts ont été les témoins de l’attirance humaine pour le bien et le mal, ainsi c’est là  où les hommes pouvaient se cacher mais aussi c’est là où avaient lieu les tortures et les exécutions. Mon tableau « In the Hunting Wood » est en souvenir des combattants Français, Polonais, et Juifs qui, de force ont traversé les forêts jusqu’à la mort.

Philippa Beale
Lovely trees
Enfant, je tournais sur moi-même la tête en l’air en fixant la cime des arbres. Artiste, je reste assise et les immortalise par des petits dessins de 15x9cm à l’encre et à la plume. Découvrir de nouvelles façons de peindre les arbres est d’actualité pour de nombreux peintres du groupe des Arboréalistes et je m’efforce toujours de créer un nouveau langage pictural, une nouvelle façon de laisser une marque. Pour moi il est complètement inutile de copier ce qui a déjà été fait. Des petits dessins réalisés dans la nature sont scannés, agrandis, puis imprimés sur la toile, quelquefois monochrome, quelquefois en grisaille. Ils sont ensuite cadrés, me permettant de peindre par couches selon le dessin original à l’encre. Parfois, je laisse transparaître la grisaille pour donner au tableau sa luminosité. Ceci est une forme contemporaine de techniques utilisées depuis des siècles ; pour préparer une fresque on peignait le plâtre humide à l’oxyde rouge par exemple. Depuis les temps les plus reculés, les artistes ont utilisé la grisaille pour préparer les fonds, ce pouvait être l’argile diluée, le charbon ou l’encre selon la période ou la surface à peindre. Nous sommes arrivés à aimer les teintes sourdes de Constable et Turner, mais observez un Constable qui aurait été conservé à l’abri de la lumière et serait dans son état d’origine, et vous verrez des couleurs aussi vives que les miennes
Je suis venu vivre en France quand j'ai fait le Chemin de Croix pour l'église de la Vierge, qui est dans le village de Vaux dans la Vienne. Je suis resté à cause de la campagne et mon désir de peindre les arbres que j'ai vu partout. Il y a différents groupes et types de plantations, chacun pour moi, avec leur impératif visuel spécial. Les plats à travers la route, les saules pleureurs au fond de mon jardin , Les chênes sessiles du bois de chasse, l'arbre de Lyme par le Maire, le tilleul dans mon jardin d'amis.

Philippa Beale
Contrasts, 2015, ink and arylic on canvas, 120 x 280 cm 

J'aime les arbres indigènes, à feuilles caduques, ces importations attrayantes du Japon et de la Chine doivent rester dans le jardin. J'aime les forêts et les bosquets où l'imagination peut courir l'émeute; Où des drames ont eu lieu, des héros ont été abattus, le rendez-vous des amants et des forestiers plus mondains ont travaillé dur pour garder les arbres vivants.

Je commence par faire de petits dessins à la plume et à l'encre puis les agrandir dans des peintures souvent en noir et blanc. Quand j'utilise la couleur, je recherche vraiment la vérité, car le ciel est rarement bleu et les feuilles sont rarement vertes; Je n'utilise pas de palette attendue d'un artistes des paysage.

2019/06/02

Sarah Gillespie

Sarah Gillespie
studio@sarahgillespie.co.uk
www.sarahgillespie.co.uk


Everything begins with stepping outside.  

Sarah Gillespie
Absence, mezzotint engraving, 16” x 16”

The whole work is how to step over one’s threshold, outside of one’s self, and make enough space to allow existence – specifically the existence of the more than human world - to presence itself.   All my work is of very familiar places here in Devon, so walking, drawing, memory and long, careful observation play a crucial role.  

Sarah Gillespie
Sun speaks to Sap, silverpointl, 27” x 40”

The natural world once you start to really see it can be overwhelming and one has to be calm and make selections, be still and see what is in front of you.   One is looking, always looking for how much one can see and then leave out in order for the drawing to find its poetic resonance. The whole becomes – much as trees already are - a mystic dance between the interior life and exterior weather, the turning of the spheres and the turning of memory.

Sarah Gillespie
Grace and Ash, charcoal 40” x 40”

I relish difficult, or even obsolete methods and materials.  The difficulty is important - there is something to be said for a lack of choices, or the deliberate limiting of choices. Something interesting is always revealed in renunciation. For me when I gave up colour, elements usually hidden, or more accurately passed-over in the landscape became present to me in the secrets and details of the woods and water, moths, hares and birds.  I simply saw more if I wasn’t busy mixing colours.  

Sarah Gillespie
Deep Lane, charcoal, 27” x 40”

Without wishing to self-agrandise, I would like to be, in some small way, an advocate for the more-than-human world, for the complex beauty of trees, for what little is left of what is natural and wild on these islands. I believe, to misquote Yeats, that we ache to press our hearts against what remains of loveliness and I am absolutely not interested in self expression.


Sarah Gillespie
What Remains, silverpoint, 36” x 36”

2019/06/01

Nahem Shoa

Nahem Shoa
nahem.shoa@aol.co.uk
www.nahemshoa.co.uk


Nahem Shoa
 New From Nowhere, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 122 x 304 cm

For over 30 years I have loved drawing and painting all types of trees, their gnarled twisted form, strange branches, growths and usual bark has captivated me. Whether I draw or paint in front of them, or there forms linger in my imagination, trees for me are the inspiration that unlocks my emotions and feelings in my art. They are incredibly hard to draw and demand your total concentration and powers of perception to paint and draw well and its only now at nearly 50 that I feel about to draw and paint their portraits. I have always been a good listener and have an ability to convey in paint true feelings because the more I observe things, the more open and un judgmental my vision becomes, which lets me see freshly and allows my subjects speak their own truths. 

Nahem Shoa
Large oak tree in Holland Park, London, 2018, pencil on paper, 29.7 x 42 cm

In the beginning to 2018 after two years painting 3 metres paintings on the theme of Paradise and Paradise Lost for a group show( IntoThe Wild Abyss) at The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery in June 2017. I spent the first two months painting a new 3.6 metre long forest painting (Other Worlds) it was partly based on a few tree drawings, memory of forests and my imagination and the final painting turned out to be in terms of my own work a breakthrough, a new kind of painting for me.

Nahem Shoa
Scots Head Domenica, Antoine seated, 1999

This has inspired me to do a series of forest paintings so For the last 4 months I have spent hours making drawings of trees in city parks and heaths, and for me I see them as forests of the city. Over this time I found a way of drawing solely by mark making that seems for my own art to be a bridge between observation and the imagination. The Forest is a fragile thing, whilst I was drawing trees, millions of acres of forests around the world were being destroyed by huge forest fires.

Nahem Shoa
Giant London Plane Tree, 2008, oil on canvas, 122 x 154 cm

In the daytime the forest feels sweet and welcoming, but at night they are scary places to enter, every fable,poem, story, film and novels you have seen and read makes us all terrified to enter the dark forest because we know all the dark creatures of the night, ghosts and spirits start to wake up.( A perfect metaphor the the artists studio) There is a time in-between day and night, sometimes called the blue hour, which is mysterious, hauntingly beautiful and I want to turn my artist fingers into magic wands to convey this. Just like the 14th century poet Dante, I want the viewer to be able to enter the underworld, see all of the terrible things of our modern world and then make their way back to the light with their heart filled with love.



Nahem Shoa
Plane tree in Kensington Gardens, London, 2018, pencil on paper, 29.7 x 42 cm

Our relationship to nature is reaching a critical point and our hyper capitalist model is destroying the planet for profit. We have to find a different path in the forest to take us to the light.

Nahem Shoa
Other Worlds, 2018, acrylic on linen, 70 x 366 cm

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
Stoodley Pike and Heptonstall church, charcoal/pastel on paper, 102 x 85 cm
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).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.

Mike Holcroft
Church of Saint Branch [Three-Limes], charcoal on paper, 2018, 110 x 80 cm

Mike Holcroft
Stoodley Pike from Lobb Mill Todmorden, 2018, charcoal with pastel on paper, 100 x 93 cm

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
The River at Eashing, oil paint on canvas, 91 x 62,cm

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

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



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

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