Chalk Gallery is delighted to be featuring the mixed media and collage artist Kate Newington for the next hang in the gallery. Come and see her haptic explorations of still life imagery and colourful compositions. We asked Kate a few questions to gain an insight into her artistic process.
What is the key concept behind your studio practice?
The idea behind my still lifes is to convey the excitement I feel when I look at something natural in a manmade environment. This is the trigger that sets me wanting to express particular aspects of what I see, one of which might be the force of the visual ‘3Dness’ that appears when sunlight falls on an object, perhaps on flowers in a handmade pot or a cup with a strong design or shape.
What is the process behind your artwork? (Drawing / Painting/ Collecting research)
I draw and paint what I see, but also ‘paint with paper’ – a process whereby I cut, tear and stick down pieces of printed, coloured paper from magazines or wrapping paper to express the colours in front of me. The quality of light in St Ives and the north coast of Cornwall where I often spend time brings out the rich colours and drama of natural objects and vistas.
By juxtaposing paint with collage, compositions starts to gel. The backgrounds to my still lifes are often imagined or remembered and designed to bring the eye to the foreground. I keep small sketchbooks which I use when I’m out and about and I have a list of contemporary artists (particularly from the South West) whose work I see regularly and find inspiring.
Where is your favourite place in Lewes or the surrounding countryside?
Although I live in Brixton in London I have many connections with Kent and Sussex. My grandparents lived in Pembury, and I often visited them there as a child and my father (who was brought up there) went to Tunbridge Wells art school and is buried in Wadhurst graveyard, which is a beautiful place. I also have good friends in Tunbridge Wells who take me on visits to Sissinghurst, a place that is different in every season and always striking. And I visit Brighton and Hove where I also have family connections and friends. So I kind of consider myself as either ‘half Sussex’ or ‘half Kentish’!
See more of Kate’s artwork here.
Lindsey’s paintings exude spontaneity, vibrancy and light.
Her passion for travelling and painting in her beloved Venice provides endless inspiration and significant challenges for her work especially when working en plein air. Watercolour and Earth inks enable her to explore her chosen subjects in the way she finds most satisfying and she enjoys the sumptuous colour ranges and exciting effects they can offer. The colourist in her is clearly evident as she loves to apply luscious bold colour in her work.
Sometimes she uses vintage dress making paper patterns in her collage, representing construction of Venice and of the painting.
She says ” I am really looking forward to my very first Featured Artist event at Chalk and hope you enjoy my Venetian inspired collection as much as I do when painting them”. You can see more here.
Interview with featured Artist: Lindsey Pearson
Discover what inspires Lindsey’s unique artistic practice from her travels abroad, her use of watercolours and the influence other artists.
What is the theme behind your featured artist exhibition?
Venetian inspired collection of paintings mainly in Watercolour and pen and watercolour. Some pieces include mixed media to highlight and enhance the textures on buildings. Earth inks have also been used on some of my most recent paintings to emphasise and attempt to capture the energy and the extraordinary “feel” of Venice.
Where do you go to collect the inspiration behind your work?
I travel to Venice every year if I can to fully immerse myself in this wonderful and beautiful setting. I work en plein air and love
the way in which the water and light truly affect the entire atmosphere and almost magical quality of the place. My passion for Venice was formed immediately when I first arrived with an extremely powerful and emotional connection. It was quite remarkable and I always feel sad when I have to leave! I love the intricacies of the architecture and the rich mix of colours found on the buildings.
It is almost sensory overload and quite a challenge to paint there with so many people around and such grand complex vistas. So it’s essential to find the very quiet Piazzas and places off the tourist trail. I know the alleyways and lovely places to frequent now and it is a joy to indulge in painting and sketching in the warm sunshine.
I paint abroad a great deal – usually with small organised groups – as I enjoy this process of both being on holiday and having the time to fully indulge myself in painting. No cooking, cleaning or other domestic distractions really
I have travelled to Spain and France quite frequently too. These settings are inspirational and the joy of being outside in a lovely location with good friends for company is a wonderful experience.
Describe the process behind your artwork in the featured artist exhibition
I wanted to show how deeply I connect with and feel about Venice through my work. I love to use bold colour in all my work and find Watercolour to be the most vibrant, fluid and responsive medium for this. I work wet on wet a great deal, as the paint flows and melds into pools of textured colour. It is both a challenge and a delight when it works!
Although I work en plein air when I’m in Venice I also take photographs and use these for reference when back in my studio or for producing work where it is literally impossible to access some venues especially on the Grand Canal.
Recently I have been using Vintage dress making paper patterns to enhance some paintings – this new approach began after a three-week stay in Venice last year. I wanted to represent the idea of “construction” – both of Venice itself and the fact that paper patterns also enable a garment to be constructed too. I am a very keen dressmaker and seamstress so it seemed a very natural response for me to join these two aspects together.
What is your studio space like?
I have a lovely Studio in my garden at home. It was the very first thing I installed after I moved house and I love it!
It contains all my painting and creative things in a lovely space and resembles a traditional cricket pavilion with its green and white livery. It enables me to be messy when I need to experiment and keep the house clean! I have my music to accompany me and sometimes Merlin my cat joins me and I can be out there all hours if necessary – happily being creative.
What achievements are you most proud of?
Following a very long and successful career in Education as a Teacher, Headteacher and Primary Adviser I feel I have left a good legacy behind me for the children and families I worked with. I always tried to champion the Arts in education as much as possible as I feel it is a vitally importation component for everyone on their journey of learning and development to enable them to become well rounded individuals.
Sadly I had very little opportunity or time to develop my own creative aspirations due to work commitments. However, since retiring I am making up for lost time and thoroughly indulging myself as much as I possibly can. I now have a “renewed” life!
Which other artists/ art movements / writers/ musicians have most influenced your artistic practice?
I greatly admire and love the work of Georgia O’Keeffe – she was truly a pioneer of her time and has left an amazing legacy for us all to enjoy. Her work provided me with the initial inspiration to try and emulate her style, use of colour and form.
I have been extremely privileged to work alongside many talented and respected artists who have been professional tutors on the numerous painting trips abroad. I have enormous admiration for their skill and expertise in supporting us in some difficult locations and climatic conditions! I have attended many courses to both extend my repertoire and learn or practise techniques – West Dean College in Chichester has some of the best facilities and professional tutors I have encountered and the setting is just wonderful too. Soraya French, Bridget Woods, Mike Chaplin, Brian Ryder, Tony Paul, Derek Daniells and Jackie Devereux are a few names to mention and thank for their patience and encouragement!
Hazel Soan is the most amazing water-colourist I have ever seen – she produces astoundingly beautiful works. Two years ago I had the privilege to work alongside Ken Howard RA OBE in Venice and that experience will stay with me for life. He is a true gentleman and a magician with paint – he captures the light and qualities of Venice in a way that no one else can.
What is your favourite thing about Chalk Gallery?
The inclusive nature of Chalk is truly remarkable. The artists invest their time and energy into running a highly successful gallery with a truly democratic ethos. It is a JOY to work within a business that is “Not for Profit” and with talented, creative people who are passionate about their gallery and those within it. I have found the Chalkies to be supportive, encouraging and a wonderful group of artists that I feel hugely proud to be associated with. I am absolutely delighted and thrilled to be able to exhibit my work with them and to learn as much as I have. A very big heartfelt thank you to the entire Chalk Team!
See more of Lindsey’s work here.
From 13 March – 23 April we are delighted to host an exhibition of paintings from the inaugural Sussex Life Landscape Painter of the Year 2016.
Late last year Sussex Life challenged their readers to send them their previously unshown landscape paintings of the county for a cash prize and the chance to be exhibited at the Chalk Gallery. The impressive response ranged from coastal views to bucolic countryside scenes in mediums ranging from oils to watercolours. On display are six of the shortlisted works for the inaugural Sussex Life Landscape Painter of the Year competition.
The winner is David Scott Moore. Judge Carol Burns, Archant Arts Editor says “The winning entry was chosen for its drama and powerful capturing of not only the landscape but also of how the light can shape that landscape. The work revels in the scale of the subject and plays with the concept of landscape through its square format. It is immersive: the viewer is seduced to come ever closer to the work, much as we are when the landscape is before us”. See Sussex Life Magazine (April 2017) for more.
See more here.
Leila has been at Chalk since 2012, and was Chairman for the last three years, recently handing over to Simone Riley. Specialising in seascapes and abstract paintings, she says “My paintings aim to evoke feelings and experiences unique to each individual, expressed through my connection with the sea”.
She regularly exhibits in London, and has just been invited to join the Free Painters and Sculptors, which was originally associated with the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts). Leila’s book “Coastal Interventions” is available from the gallery while she is featured artist.
Click here to preview the book.
You can see more here.
Simone has developed her own unique style and technique, creating images that sit between photography and fine art. Her compositions have a `painterly’ feel, slightly reminiscent of some of the `old masters’, but with a modern contemporary twist.
She says “I like to think outside the box and have always had an aversion to conventional labels”.
Her photomontage images are created by taking an original photograph and then building up overlays, always involving photographed textures and subtle colours. The finished artwork is therefore an amalgamation of many different layers, each with different effects applied, superimposed over the original image, with varying levels of translucency. Although these are digital works, all the images and textures used are from her own photographic collection, to ensure that the artwork is a totally `one-off’ original piece.
Simone is the new Chairman of Chalk Gallery. You can see more here.