Young Cotswold artist, Emma Howell is announcing her new solo exhibition, New Terrain, which will be shown from 16th – 29th September 2022 (update: the show will close on Sunday 2nd October) at Sixteen Gallery in Cheltenham. The exhibition is intended to celebrate the progression of her work since 2018, with previously unseen pieces and a showcase of her most recent work.
Dedicated to her late father, Mark Howell, Emma describes the exhibition as an “exploration of terrain as a concept relating to the individual.” She goes on to explain that “your terrain is not only where you live, the ground that you walk on and the environment that you immerse yourself in; it is also a word to collectively describe the biological components that make you a living, breathing and ever-evolving human.”
Emma uses her art to help to nurture her mind, body, and soul, which has been crucial since the loss of her father in 2016, and her New Terrain show reflects the process of self-care that she has learnt to develop over this time. She has focussed her paintings to help you to feel grounded and unplug you from our uneasy civilisation; they are here to open your mind, soothe your soul, and spark feelings of nostalgia.
“All my work is dedicated to my Dad” Emma reveals. “Experiencing his loss was the genesis of my entire art practice – and continues to inform my work as a constant influence, and as a lens through which I experience my surroundings. My work is a progressive appreciation of the world around me, and through colour and form, the intention is to celebrate life and experience – and offer viewers a form of escapism.”
The New Terrain exhibition will feature Munson Guitars, custom and bespoke guitar luthiers who will introduce their special edition guitar, Gaia: Against The Grain, hand-painted by Emma. They will also be hosting a seminar (get tickets here) and demonstrate their range of guitars in honour of her late bass player father. The exhibition will also showcase exciting new products from leading British pottery aficionados, Sculpd.
Working on paper and canvas, and with a range of media including paint, pencil, and pastels, Emma describes her work as the instinctive way she navigates life and nurtures her own sense of self. As time passes, the terrain that she navigates constantly evolves, as does the work that she produces in response. With artwork now proudly displayed across the world including in Europe, the US, Australia, and Seychelles, Emma is a British abstract artist based in the Cotswolds who lives with her husband, Jon, and dog, Gibson.
- New Terrain runs from 16th September – 2nd October 2022 at Sixteen Gallery, Montpellier Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1SW.
- There will be a quiet private viewing of the exhibition at 4pm on Friday 16th for collectors, subscribers, friends and family. Then the official launch party will start at 7pm.
- For exhibition tickets – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/new-terrain-solo-art-exhibition-by-emma-howell-tickets-391934485597
- Tickets and information for the Munson Guitars seminar – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/munson-guitars-meet-the-makers-tickets-403500570067
- High res images of work available on request from Emma Howell: https://www.emmahowell.co/
- Instagram – @emhow1
I am excited to announce
that on Sunday 5th June, in the presence of all our nearest and dearest, Jon and I got married. We feel incredibly grateful to have been able to squeeze the day in amongst all the world chaos – and what an awesome day it turned out to be (apart from the rain – but that’s meant to be lucky, right?).
The morning after the wedding
we kissed Gibson goodbye and hastily piled into the Fiesta to go catch our plane to Kos, Greece.
The honeymoon turned us into expert tzatziki tasters and calamari connoisseurs; we cycled on city bikes to Tigaki and stopped to watch flamingos crossing the salt lake, then back through Kos Town for a Mythos beer at the marina; we hiked and scrambled up Mount Dikeos only to be enveloped by a cloud with no view (oh well); we walked with peacocks and gazed up at blue domed churches; we took a boat to the island of Nisyros where we climbed into a volcanic crater, roamed the colourful streets of Mandraki and ate fresh white fish that was cooked right in front of us (Khokhlakoi Taverna). Kos totally spoilt us and we managed to (mostly) complete the island in 10 days.
Despite now being known as Emma Munson,
Emma Howell the artist and business will remain the same. So, your collections of artwork will always be sound 👌🏻
Admittedly (and I think it’s been rather obvious), my practice has taken a back seat over the least few months. Planning the wedding, family gatherings/celebrations and various house projects have enveloped us since the beginning of 2022. And aside from the spontaneous (and quiet) launch of the TERRAIN collection in April and the list of commissions I’ve been tapping away at, my painting days have been few and far between. Although, I did manage a little bit of painting on the honeymoon.
Be that as it may, I am back and raring to go.
The way I work (in practice, in business and online) is changing up a bit. One thing that I can hold my hands up to is that since mid-2021, my practice has lacked some organisation. So, being the savvy businesswoman that I am (ha!), I have conceptualised a new way to work – a way that matches my typical creative rhythm and clearly choreographs the year. Please be aware that this new approach will start off as provisional, until I get into the swing of it. It’s never nice to commit to something and then not have it follow through or go as planned – it happens.
Let’s start with weekly art drops.
Each week, you’ll see me release a series of artworks (typically small pieces with a price range of £75-£200) and they will reflect whatever medium/style/topic/mentality that arises that week. Having small (and inexpensive) art drops like this will not only help tight budgets, but also act as a weekly meditative reflection, and encourage/challenge my practice to develop on a regular basis. At first, look out for these on my Instagram, as my website needs a rejig.
Plus quarterly launches and announcements.
This is when larger pieces and/or full artwork collectives (e.g. 81 Wild) will get their moments in the spotlight. Depending on the calendar and any potential opportunities that may arise (e.g. exhibition/collaboration), each quarter will have something exciting for you to look out for. Whether it be a solo/group show at a local gallery, a trio of extra large landscape paintings or a collaboration with a wine company (desperate to design a label – any connections out there?).. there will be some sort of announcement sent out. So, make sure you’re on my mailing list.
And here’s Q3’s announcement for you.
From September 15th – 29th 2022, you will find me at Sixteen Gallery in Cheltenham where I will not only be painting/working at the gallery, but also hosting a solo exhibition. The exhibition details (e.g. title and curation) are still being conceptualised, but all I can tell you at the moment is that you will be able to view and purchase from a very wide range of my artwork, dating back to 2018 (now that’s vintage!). Basically, me and my entire portfolio will be at the premises.. along with some new/works in progress, too. So, get those dates in your calendars and book a trip to The Cotswolds – I want to meet you all! Private view will be organised for friends/family/collectors. More later.
Last note: Commissions
Wedding preparations delayed my spring commissions a tad, but I’m back on it and ready to fill spaces for July to September. If you’re hoping to add a totally bespoke artwork to your living space – perhaps a specific landscape, still life scene, abstract emotive piece etc. – drop me an email ([email protected]) or head to my contact page and let’s work together on it.
Much love, Emma
From Friday 1st January 2021, I will be launching a Private Reserve collection, comprised of original paintings and drawings kept private from the public. (Similar to how vineyards keep aside a private reserve of their aged wine).
The artworks within the Private Reserve will be a combination of new works, old works, one-offs, new medium experiments, pieces I initially created for our home here in Gloucestershire, works that don’t belong to a cohesive body of work (e.g. four year wild fire or Raw Honey) and works that will generally warrant a higher price tag. The Private Reserve will be updated sporadically throughout the year and will only be accessible (to view and purchase) with a password exclusively shared with my collectors and subscribers.
You can sign up to my mailing list here.
I’m very much looking forward to releasing the first pieces of the Private Reserve in the new year. Stay tuned.
Your raw words, my raw translations
four year wild fire (2020) is an intense and eclectic collection of original abstract paintings. The work has evolved over the course of 4 months and is comprised of 32 original works on paper and 2 original works on hand-stretched raw canvas (launching later).
The 34-piece collection comes to light just over four years since my Dad passed away. Up until now, the majority of my work has been a candid reflection, coping mechanism and evolution of my grief – and despite the healing qualities of the process, I’ve felt the need to take a different track.
I wanted to focus on you: the watcher/collector.
So, back in July, I asked my audiences to submit anonymous words to me with hope to create abstract translations of the submissions.
The works in this collection are representative of the many voices out there that don’t necessarily get heard, and each piece is here to shine a light on the people out there who support my work every single day.
From a grocery list and a random thought to a long, heartfelt account of a traumatic break-up, I was taken aback by the number of honest submissions I received. Fears, secrets, random words, songs, love poems, terrifying confessions.. quite a wide range filled my inbox. And I must admit, reading all of these words and evolving artworks from them affected my mental state quite significantly throughout. So-much-so, I had to take a break and step away from the intense words I read over and over.
Before long, the whole collection came together and every single anonymous submission was used. However, not all words have been publicised – only snippets. So, if you don’t see your submission, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t used.. it was just difficult to whittle down all the snippets onto the artwork listing page.
To everybody out there, thank you for your words, your love and your patience. I hope I’ve done your words justice.
If you’re signed up to my mailing list, you will receive an email to gain exclusive access to the collection on Saturday 7th November at 12pm GMT (private view). 24 hours later, the artworks will be available to purchase (private launch). On Monday 9th November at 5pm, the collection will be released to the rest of the world.
Private view: Saturday 7th November 12pm GMT
Private Launch: Sunday 8th November at 12pm GMT
Worldwide Launch: Monday 9th November at 5pm GMT
“The first time I ate a vegetable I had grown from seed and accomplished such an amazing thing. Pride and joy!”
“A decision was made last year and it’s always on my mind. Was it the right one? I’ll never know because it impacts the future. I have never liked not knowing what is going to happen or if something is possible. I get frustrated and angry so the decision is always a step away in my mind.
My other half is proud of me and wants me to go to college. He’s very positive thinking and I’m the negative thinker. I end up reading too much into the numbers and percentages about conception and age and I scare myself. The what ifs terrify me. What terrifies me most is; what if I made the wrong decision and, by the time college is ended, what if it doesn’t happen for us?“
“He was always a sentimental guy. He sobbed anytime I left. It’s a funny thing to me that he liked jazz. He also liked nice cars and taking out loans that he could never pay for. Because of this, I’m torn about how to be sad while I watch my mom deal with the financials now. I find myself being angry more often and then just breaking down with sadness because it is to hard to be mad at this time.”
“Swaddled in my favorite sunny yellow sweatshirt, and bare feet, cold now, resting on the porch banister. The laminated cover of the library book crinkles as I turn another page, the sounds of water swishing and lapping gently against the shoreline washing over my ears.”
“I’m in love with two men at once, it’s tearing me apart. One is twice my age and makes me feel the passion and the need and the excitement of my life. One is just a few years older and makes me feel safe and loved and homely. I don’t know how to choose.” – Anonymous
four year wild fire (2020) is about you. It’s an eclectic body of work that reveals abstract translations of words that some of my watchers and collectors have sent to me over the last few weeks (anonymously, of course).
And your words have hit me hard.
The submissions differed greatly; I received raw feelings, shocking confessions, heart-breaking family stories, powerful poems, epic travel experiences, devastating break-ups and many more. As I read through them, I laughed, cried, empathised, felt intimidated and some – admittedly – made feel very scared and worried. A few times, I wished that they weren’t anonymous, just so that I could reach out to whoever wrote them.
But that wasn’t an option – I had no choice but to emotionally detach from the words in front of me. I guess kind of like how therapists do it? They can’t really be your friend at the end of the day. I must say though – to those of you out there who did share troubling stories and/or sad feelings, I hear you, you’re not alone, you deserve love and life is too short to not seize the day. As Jon would tell me on the days where I’ve let darkness envelope me, “you’ve got this” and “look how far you’ve come“.
Hey, maybe when this collection is released, view the pieces for a breather from your everyday or use them as a reminder to stay strong and a prompt to keep your head up.
“I start pounding on the door, leaning on it for strength. The bright colors are turning to dark spots, and I collapse as my host mother opens the door. They carry me up to the bedroom, and my host sister holds my hand while I lose consciousness. I ask her, in English, if she will miss me. Of course she says yes. I’m not sure if it’s the truth.” – Anonymous
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been developing the pieces in the collection, solely taking inspiration and guidance from the submitted words. Translating words, experiences and other people’s emotions into marks, colours and compositions has proven to be quite the challenge.. but also a breath of fresh air for me.
Because up until now, it’s been all about me.
Most of my artwork to date has been all about me.. my grief, my experiences, my travels, my thoughts, my trauma, my whatever. It’s easy to get stuck in my own head and you know what? I think this collection is the start of something new, and it’s certainly proving to be somewhat of a transition or evolution of my practice.
I’ve learnt that I don’t have to or need to create artwork that revolves around the grief after losing my Dad. Of course, I’ll still use painting and drawing as the therapy, but the context and ideologies behind my pieces needn’t embody the sadness. Perhaps for me to grow, learn to accept and deal with my woes, my career as an artist needs to stop orbiting around the fact my Dad died. Yes, it’s the reason why I’m here doing this and I’ll always talk about it, but the work I create doesn’t need to always represent it.
So, I want to focus on you.
One of the first submissions I had was detailing a relationship situation – and to give you an idea of how I’m creating these pieces, here’s the thought process I had for this specific piece:
Your imminent break-up gives me feelings of sadness, but also optimism because it sounds like the right thing for you. Shades of blue for the melancholia you’re feeling pool their way across the paper, alongside quick and rough pencil trails to represent the new adventures ahead of you. A hopeful tangerine orange blasts its way across the blank space to help you find the enthusiasm and courage to walk down this new path.
As you can probably tell, I’m very much immersed in the evolution of this collection. It excites me, it baffles me, it challenges me and it really makes me think.. as opposed to getting totally lost in my own sea of meh. I feel honoured to have read your words and thrilled to see where they take me creatively.
Things are happening.
As four year wild fire progresses, my eyes are opening, my mind is broadening, my ideas are growing and things are happening.
The release date is still yet to be decided, but it will be sometime in October. If you’re interested in being a collector of work in this collection, make sure you’re subscribed to my mailing list. All of you on my list will receive the pre-launch password to access the pieces first. In other words, you get first dibs on viewing and purchasing the pieces.
Any questions about the collection (e.g. sizing, pricing, framing etc.), contact me directly here.
81 Wild comes to light at quite a strange time for a lot of us. We’ve been stuck at home – or on the contrary – have been working on the front line of a global pandemic. And as a result, we’ve been living in a heightened state of anxiety, separated from our friends/family and also unable to travel.
As a self employed person, I’ve been at home staring out the window. In the grand scheme of things, this is a very fortunate position to be in – safe and sound behind closed doors. However, on the flip side, you could say that us indoor folk have had our fair share of oddities and shortcomings. Some of us may have developed habits (physical and emotional) and the mere prospect of going out, socialising and travelling seems utterly impossible. I had a conversation with someone in the dog park the other day and I ended up getting tongue tied – like what was I even saying, I don’t even know.
Nevertheless, the notion of travelling seems quite far off for a lot of us, doesn’t it? Jon and I are always planning where we’re going next in the world, but with these conversations at a standstill, I knew that this energy had to go somewhere.
So, I’ll make a collection about it.
Something that Jon and I have always wanted to do was to travel across the states. Sure, we’ve been to Washington D.C a handful of times, been lucky enough to attend a wedding in Hawaii, drove from D.C to Nashville last year.. but we haven’t branched any further. And, you know, the USA is rather huge. Wildly intimidating, in fact.
81 Wild is an attempt to mentally, visually, hypothetically and creatively travel to all the states. And I’ve been able to do this with help from my collectors and watchers around the world, who have been kind enough to send me beautiful descriptions of their homes/where they’ve travelled to. And get this, people – I managed to gather words for every single state.
I read every word sent to me, developed numerous prototypes to test colour schemes and compositions (surprisingly sold them all) and then went on to create 50 final pieces – one for each state.
50 panoramic, cinematic and abstract landscapes.
The 81 Wild collection is comprised of 50 original pieces that embody imagination mixed with realism. With help from the descriptions and my mere fascination towards the eerie expanse of the land, creating these pieces was an attempt to mentally travel to each place. The works are visual translations onto paper, shedding a spotlight on the state’s landscape, weather, colours, textures, flora, fauna, sounds and culture.
The compositions are almost polaroid-esque, photographical and cinematic, capturing the place in one shot, in one slide, in one frame.. Colour is important; it draws your eye in instantly, gives you an automatic impression of the landscape and a feel for the character of the location.
A different kind of experience.
I get it, this whole thing is a strange notion: to mentally travel somewhere, with our eyes, through art etc. But let’s give it a go.
Before you view the collection below, I must give a huge thank you to everybody that submitted state descriptions – your words were not only beautiful and inspiring, but also incredibly eloquent. On each artwork’s product page, I’ve taken a small snippet of your words (some meshed together), so that the rest of the world can somewhat share the experience.
To a beautiful and fascinating country, and also Beth, Jose & family – who are my lovely extended family across the pond. They are the absolute epitome of kindness, generosity and optimism; a family that welcomed me into their home all those years ago when I had lost my way in life; a family that have taught me to truly live life to the fullest; a family that have taken me on unbelievable adventures (Hawaii wedding included). This whole collection was made with them in mind.
In addition (and as always), every single piece is dedicated to my Dad, Mark Howell (1959-2016). I wouldn’t be climbing this ladder if it wasn’t for you.
Let’s travel together.
Making Art / Talking Art was the name of one of my modules back when I was studying Fine Art at art school. The module focused on the “critical reflection, discussion and knowledge exchange, through various methodologies of integrating theory and practice”. So, we’d essentially sit in groups (along with our art critics/tutors) and discuss each of our practices in detail, ensuring we were able to keep in tune with our work and maintain confidence in articulating the physical, emotional, professional and ideological aspects of our practice as serious artists.
I woke up this morning thinking about this module.
At the time, I think I was too immersed in the actual making of artwork that group discussions like this were hard to grasp. I remember some days when I didn’t have much to say because of some underlying attitude and constant yearn to just make and not talk. Thankfully, towards the end of my final year, I found a comfortable path to walk down and I graduated with a better sense of who I was as an artist.
Knowing what I know now, and working as the artist I am today, has made me realise just how in tune I am with my work now and just how out of tune I was when I was trying to pinpoint where I belonged in the art world back at university.
You’re trying to fit in.
You’re trying to be edgy and you walk around feeling like you need to prove something to the high authority art figures in the big cities. In doing this, you’re losing touch with your own authenticity and you’re working for them instead of yourself. Hence why art school isn’t always necessary to become a successful artist. In some ways, you could say it’s detrimental to the discovery of your true innate creativity – especially if you’re just trying to tick boxes to break into the London art bubble. I’m getting a bit too deep here.
The art world is evolving.
And as it pairs with the digital world, the professional work of an artist is starting to be in our hands – and not the hands of art critics, high-end galleries, good connections and global publicity (although these obviously help). Our practices are whatever we want them to be, and it’s our duty to tell the world about it.
But what about our art’s value and reputation?
Doesn’t it make you wonder why some other artist’s work matters more than others? Surely, we all have the same agenda – to create. It’s quite often the galleries, critics, magazines, brands, celebrities and political movements that still give artwork its value. Artwork can be quickly produced, with no story and unappealing colour schemes (obviously subjective) and still be worth thousands if it’s put under the right spotlight.
I find it crucial that I’m the one who initially gives my work its value and reputation. I’m so overprotective and emotionally attached to my work that I feel it’s my duty to proclaim its value. Perhaps in the future, I’ll work with others and my reputation will evolve – but right now, it’s in my hands.
Our practice is such a significant part of our lives.
Heck, sometimes it totally envelopes my life. Some nights, I’ll wake up at a ridiculous hour, check my emails and respond to a message from a collector in a different time zone. Or I’ll start to fall asleep and then suddenly come up with an idea for a social media post, so I’m back on my phone with Jon huffing in the background. Or I’ll crouch over our kitchen island making work for hours on end, proceeding to worsen my back pain and headaches. My practice is essentially the epitome of my existence. Wow – deep again.
My work is my Dad’s legacy.
Most of you will already know why I’m an artist today and how I got here. But for those of you that don’t, I’ve committed to my work as an artist to keep my Dad’s legacy alive.
He passed away on September 9th 2016 – after his initial doctor’s appointment for a slight cough, we had 6 weeks to say goodbye. He had metastatic colon cancer and his diagnosis was only finalised the day after he passed away. So, our lives were completely flipped upside down. You can read my story on more detail over on this blog post.
He was an insanely talented bass player and made sure to be in charge of his own life from the get-go. He worked for himself, had his own way of navigating life and wouldn’t let anybody stand in his way. Well, apart from his wife and kids. He fell in love with my Mum and her ankles when they were 18 – and he dedicated his whole life to giving his family the best life he possibly could. So much so, he’d work in his music shop all day and play in his bands all night. He was always working – for us.
And with reflection, two things he used to say to me often go through my mind: “life’s a bitch and then you die” and “work for yourself because being boss is king”. Now, the pessimist in me (inherited from my Dad – thanks) is totally enticed by the first statement – it makes me wallow, which I love to do. But my sheer determination and desperation to succeed for my Dad allows me to ignore it. Instead, I take his latter advice and be the boss.
So, as you can imagine, my work is extremely valuable to me. Every single piece that is displayed in your homes, offices, cafés and galleries is an attempt to share his legacy around the globe. We can no longer hear his musical talent, which is one of the most heartbreaking things for me. So, in some ways, I like to embrace my artwork as a raw translation and extension of his unbelievable talent that we can no longer experience.
Raw marks and perception characterises my work.
Authenticity, spontaneity, remedy and honesty are words that identify my practice. As an artist, I keep my head down and constantly ask myself what I want to create and why I want to create it. And I’d say for the last year or so, I haven’t hunted for inspiration from any other artist or even thought about it. I’ve been so caught up in my own head and have actually found it to be important to work it all out on my own. This way I can take full credit for my work.
With this in mind – even though my work has an underlying sad reason for its existence, I find it crucial that each piece emits varying feelings of enthusiasm, optimism, true-grit and joy.
Taking the latest four pieces in the It’ll Be Alright collection as an example, I want my collectors and watchers to identify these feelings with help from the raw marks, colour matching and dynamic compositions.
Anyway, to tie up this blog post, I just want to reiterate how important my work is to me – and hopefully, to you.
And I’m so grateful to all of you who continue to support my practice as the bereft, emotional and slightly strange artist that I am.
Thank you for your kindness.
47 Days into UK Coronavirus Lockdown
It’ll Be Alright is an ongoing collection of pastel drawings that first took shape in response to COVID lockdown. One seemingly tedious (but sunny) afternoon, I planted myself in the garden with a stack of freshly torn paper and a gigantic box of soft pastels. Little did I know, an extensive collection of bright pastel works would unfold within a few hours.
Spontaneous, enthusiastic and assertive marks in varying bright hues evolved into confident mental landscapes. As I stared at the first 8 works basking in the sun on the patio, my previously numb mental status evolved into some sort of state of nostalgia, calmness and wellbeing. These pieces felt comforting and hopeful.
This Collection Has Two Creators
During this lockdown, our house has seemingly turned upside down and inside out. Mountains of paper cover the table surfaces, invoices for pending orders envelop a wall in the dining room, pastel and paint have stained the patio and kitchen floor, cardboard boxes have somehow reproduced..
And for a long time I’d moan at Jon for having too many tools, bicycles and man toys in the house. The hypocrisy is now worryingly evident.
He’s had to put up wth a lot of mess, mood, anxiety and imposter syndrome from me over the last few weeks of lockdown, so I wanted to involve him in this collection. He has been given the role of naming each of the artworks.
Despite the collection’s romantic and joyful ideology and aesthetic, it certainly comes with a challenge for me. Having Jon name the pieces is forcing me to let go of some control and take a step back from the obsessive and meticulous process I usually have with my work.
Quickest Selling Collection Yet
Thank you to all of you who have collected pieces, so far. Since the release date on 08/05/20, 22 pieces have sold – and I can’t wait to see where the others will end up.
I hope that each piece will bring you hope, evoke feelings of calmness and motivate you to keep your chin up under these current circumstances. It’ll be alright.
Oh, and the collection will continue. Stay tuned.
You can read more about the collection and collect pieces here.
Mountain (2020), an eclectic collection of 50 original paintings and drawings; here to honour the ascent and descent of all our life mountains.
Throughout life, we all experience the same emotions. Granted, in varying degrees, dependant on what happens during each of our lifetimes.. But at some point, we all laugh until it hurts, we all cry until no tears are left, we all move our body in weird ways, we all shout in anger, we all feel love in our own ways, we all get jealous, we all have our own strange behaviours, we all find life difficult, we all have moments of feeling hard done by, we all get set in our own ways, we all will lose someone we love, we all are in the midst of a health crisis.. we all are climbing a metaphorical mountain. And each of our mountains are different – consider the altitude, flora, fauna, weather conditions, temperature, location, vistas, rock type, climbing difficulty.. none are the same.
The varying works in the Mountain collection represent the challenges we encounter in our lives, the trauma we overcome and the adventurous voyage we take to reach our goals. May they remind you of not only how far you’ve come already, but also how far you’ve got left to go. May they encourage you to keep your eye on the ball, drive forward to achieve your goals and keep climbing your life mountain.
The collection can be broken down into a number of series: 16 Mountains, 8 Hikes, The Diptychs & Triptychs, Pack Your Raincoat, 8 Monochromes, Reaching The Summit and The View.
The works that kicked off the Mountain collection were 16 paintings, each existing as abstract miniature mountains. Colours, marks and textures you see within these works (as well as others) are sourced from real landscapes and mental landscapes.
As part of this series of miniatures, I wrote brief “mountainscopes” to match the works with their ideal collectors. You can find out which mountain you match with in this blog post.
To create each of these works, I followed the same route. Every piece began with recklessly applied pools of colour, then followed by journeys of soft pastel to exude varying feelings of enthusiasm, panic, bewilder and calmness; the final trail was a meandering pencil, that leaves behind traces to remember the route.
Bright hues, rough textures and spontaneous marks are there to take you on a visual hike; prompting your eyes to roam and your mind to take a wander.
Let’s go on a hike.
You can view the 8 Hikes virtual exhibition here.
The Diptychs & Triptychs
I set a side challenge for myself when I was putting together this collection. I’ve always been slightly intimidated by the idea of creating diptychs (two artworks that exist as one entity) and triptychs (three artworks that exist as one entity). Concentrating on one artwork, ensuring that it boasts its own unique statement and making it stand alone confidently is what I’m used to. So, with these works, I went off piste and pushed my imagination to create works that are comfortable living and working in a partnership.
Pack Your Raincoat
The five Pack Your Raincoat pieces evoke quite a wide range of emotions, and also put a spotlight on a few of my personality traits. Some works carry colours that are brash, bold and bossy that are sitting quite contently next to subdued, timid and contemplative marks. Other works focus on a stubborn and moody grey, juxtaposed with an apologetic pink or a fleck of hopeful gold.
When Jon and I go hiking, Jon insists on preparing for any situation that could occur. In case we are too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry, too hungry, too uncomfortable, too itchy, too blistery.. whether we’re going to fall down, climb up, run away, walk, chase, escape, fly.. he needs to prepare. Me, on the other hand, will quite simply just throw on my hiking boots, grab my sketchbook and go sit in the car waiting for him to stop flapping around.
99% of the time, I get myself into some sort of pickle – I’m too hot, I’ve fallen over or I’m not wearing a raincoat. These are my usual issues. Thankfully, Jon’s got me covered.
Like the diptychs and triptychs, I set myself another challenge with these monochrome pieces. Although, the word challenge needs to be used rather loosely here, as pencil drawing comes the most natural to me in the world of art. Sketching, doodling, mark-making, scribbling and shading seems to be an innate behaviour of mine that never seems to fade.
If you’re an avid watcher of my practice, you will be used to seeing relatively bold colour choices. So the challenge here is the vulnerability that comes with exposing my rawest and most natural level of art creation.
These delicate pieces (soon to be released for purchase) have all been fitted into bespoke natural oak frames, which subtly adds to their organic, unfinished and raw aesthetic.
The Spontaneous Drawing
Reaching The Summit
So, we’ve reached the summit of the Mountain collection.
With these five larger works on paper (15″ x 22″) your mind will wander and your eyes will work hard, darting from side to side in order to follow along with the visual adventure in front of you. When viewing these pieces, you’ll be proud of your openness towards the world of abstraction and be confident in your ability to gather your own stories from these conceptual landscapes. Alternatively, you’ll simply enjoy the view.
These works are all fitted in bespoke fresh white frames.
Behind the glass, adventure awaits.
All of the colours, textures, marks and compositions within the pieces in this collection are sourced from varying landscapes, mental and physical. Credit is given to the towering mountains of Crete, the vivid fauna of Kauai, the tiring roads and eerie shortcuts between Virginia and Tennessee, the rolling hills around The Cotswolds and the emotional rollercoaster that resides in my head.
As always, each and every piece is dedicated to my Dad (1959-2016).