Thursday, 22 November 2012

'Colours of Autumn' - an exhibition and an interview with artist Sarah Goffin...

This post should've gone up far earlier...! But there is still time to come and see this vibrant collection of new work by local artist Sarah Goffin. Her watercolours are full of light and movement and very evocative. We posed Sarah some questions to describe her work and the inspiration behind it:

Q: Your paintings evoke a sense of a great love of the natural landscape -  what is it about the Somerset countryside in particular that inspires you in your work?

A: I've lived in the area for 13yrs, love the soft rolling landscape, plenty of ancient hedgerows and woodland, the secret places and cosiness of Somerset.

Q: The wild and the woodland speak through many of your paintings, the tangled thicket, the fruited hedgerow, what are the qualities you seek most to capture in your paintings of woodland landscapes?

A: The peace when you stand still and really look at beautiful details such as crimson bramble branches, the rhythm of trees and how twigs fragment the sky, feeling enclosed and sheltered.

'Glorious Jewelled Thicket' - watercolour by Sarah Goffin

Q: There is a vibrancy and energy to your work that really brings the paintings alive - what techniques and materials do you like to use to achieve this?

A: Lots of water, lots of watercolour, some resists like gum arabic/masking fluid and paper masks when splattering colour with a toothbrush, have favourite colours for shadows and varieties of tree barks.

Q: How do you know or how do you decide when a painting is finished?

A: When I think a painting is finished I will leave it on board and prop it up so I can walk past it several times a day, then if anything seems neglected or needs adjusting I turn the board round so I can't see it for a week, to check I'm right and come to it with a refreshed eye.

Q: If you could sit and paint anywhere at all of your choosing, what landscape would you find yourself in?

A: I would love to go to Highlands and paint stormy skies.

Q: The changing seasons can be very evocative in the landscape as can the changing light and colours of dawn or twilight, do you have a favourite season or turning of the day you like to explore in paintings?

A: September and October are favourite months, also hazy summer mornings. I enjoy familiar landscape changing constantly, even when its raining.

'Ammerdown in September' - watercolour by Sarah Goffin.
 Thankyou to Sarah for agreeing to be put on the spot and giving such interesting answers! If you like what you see then hurry down to our gallery for a closer look!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

An Exhibition of Three generations...

We will be holding a special exhibition from the 15th to 29th of September spanning three generations!
The artists will be myself, showing some work from my children's book illustration portfolio, my mother Heather O' Brien who paints wonderful oils on canvas of light filled gardens and landscapes with some still life and etchings as well, and my two daughters Elora and Elswyth aged 5 and 8 yrs old!
It will be a celebration of the thread that runs through us all both as close family and as artists, showing each of us at different stages of our own creative paths...  "passing the paintbrush on down the line!"

There will be an Opening Day Celebration on Saturday the 15th from 2-4pm with refreshments, cakes and live music, so come down and join the fun!

'Oranges and Chestnuts' oil on canvas by Heather O' Brien

Here's a bit more info from our press release in the Midsomer Norton and radstock Journal:

"...Heather O’Brien, based in Mells, Somerset, has painted for many years, studying at Rochdale College of Art and Corsham College of Art. She has exhibited widely selling her work in London and the South West of England. She works in oil on canvas, painting verdant English gardens and luminescent French landscapes, as well as still life paintings and etchings.
Heather works from her studio set in the midst of the beautiful acre of garden that is itself an extension of her paintings...

“For me, making a garden is about creating a harmony of colour, shape and texture and watching the changing light add another dimension bringing it all to life. My love of gardens and gardening are primarily the focus of my work on canvas. It is the uplifting qualities of the interplay between light and colour that inspire me. I aim to allow those qualities to create the dynamics within my paintings.”
Heather’s daughter Carrie Osborne who runs the gallery with her husband Tony, is an aspiring children’s author and illustrator, showing for the first time a selection of illustration work from her portfolio including some roughs and examples of sample picture books. She will also be showing life drawings, unusual customised portraits and some paintings outside the children’s illustration field.

“Growing up with an Artist for a mother meant that drawing was almost like breathing for me, I could not imagine life without a sketchbook! It will be lovely to share an exhibition with my mother and also with my children, almost like passing the paintbrush on down the line...”

Carrie’s two young daughters will also be taking part, Elora aged eight and Elswyth aged five, who both enjoy the chance to paint in Grandma’s studio or to make picture books of their own invention.

“I believe there is a naturally creative soul in every child, and to nurture that creativity whether it is in the form of art, music or language, should be held dear. Children create for the sheer joy of it without fear of judgement or self consciousness, something we adults could learn from! My children are growing up surrounded by art and music and I am so pleased to be able to include them in every aspect of it and see their undampened enthusiasm.”

Illustration from 'Windsongs' by Carrie Osborne