Annabel Cullen

Annabel Cullen

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


Richard Thorn

Richard Thorn

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


Crispin Heesom

Crispin Heesom

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

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.


Alex Pemberton

Alex Pemberton

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


The Arborealists at The Collegiale Sainte-Croix de Loudun, France March 2019

The Arborealists at The Collegiale Sainte-Croix de Loudun, France
9 March 2019

Les arboréalistes ont le plaisir d'annoncer qu'ils ont été invités à organiser une grande exposition en France au Musée Collégial Sainte-Croix à Loudun. C'est un très grand musée qui permettra à chaque artistes d'exposer plusieurs œuvres. Tim Craven, conservateur principal du mouvement Arboréaliste, s'est rendu au Musée pour rencontrer le conservateur en juillet 2017 avec les artistes Guillaume Brandy et Francis Dalschaert. Il a estimé qu'environ 90 œuvres occuperont l'espace d'exposition. L'exposition sera présentée du 9 Mars au 28 Avril 2019. 

. . . . . . . . 

The Arborealists are delighted to announce they have been invited to stage a major exhibition in France at  Musee  Collegiale Sainte-Croix in Loudun. This is a very large museum and will allow for each Arborealists to exhibit several works. Tim Craven, Senior Curator of the Arborealist movement visited the  Museum to meet the Curator in July 2017 with  the artists Guillaume Brandy and Francis Dalschaert and estimated that approximately 90 works will fill the exhibition space.The exhibition will run from 9 March - 28 April 2019.

Loudun is a substantial medieval hill-top city an hour’s drive to the north of Poitiers. The venue is a former church and is a large, beautiful and prestigious space. 

This project started in 2016 when a group of Arborealists visited the village of Vaux en Couhe to meet with French colleagues and to capture  the forests, woods and trees in the area. An exhibition in 2017  at the Musee Dortoirs des Moines at Saint Benoit near Poitiers was described in the local press as sublime. The culmination of the collaboration will be seen at the prestigious Musee Collegial de Saint Croix, Loudun in spring of 2019 where over 100 works of art from the Arborealists and their French guests can be seen featuring sites of special interest in France as well as individual trees.

Alex Egan

Philippa Beale

Fiona McIntyre

Fiona McIntyre


Private View The Arborealists and St Ives Society of Artists

Opening Night held at The Mariner's Gallery St Ives

Ten Arborealists attended the private view held at the glorious location of The Mariner's Gallery, home of The St. Ives Society of Artists. The society exhibited alongside Arborealists with their responses to the theme of the tree.

A good time was had by all in this iconic town in Cornwall and the exhibition was favourably reviewed in the St Ives Times & Echo by art critic Peter Davies.



St.Ives Society of Artists Mariners Gallery, 29 September - 20 November 2018

Arborealists Exhibition in St. Ives Society of Artists Mariners Gallery

We are delighted to have been invited by The St. Ives Society of Artists to exhibit in The Mariners Gallery from 29th September 2018 for seven weeks until 20th November. Some of their esteemed members will be joining the exhibition as guest artists when Arborealists will be exhibiting their work.
Situated in Norway Square, amongst the narrow streets of former fishermen's cottages in Virgin Street, Teetotal Street, or Salubrious Place, this big, light, airy gallery was once the main body of the former Mariners Church. 
St. Ives has always attracted artists to its rugged charismatic coastline and harbour and is of course home to Tate St. Ives which will be opening its Autumn exhibition during the show.

The private view will be held on September 29 4-6pm all welcome.


East Anglian Arborealists Opening Reception

Opening Reception Evening at Flatford Mill, Suffolk

At the beautiful and historic venue of Flatford Mill, famous for it's link to John Constable, the East Anglian Arborealists opened their show on the 1st September. 

Many thanks to Sarah Milne for all her hard work putting the show together- it is beautifully hung in The Boat House Gallery at this National Trust jewel in Suffolk.