As the Oxfordshire Artweeks virtual festival begins, its first daily art trail takes viewers on a journey through the local countryside through the eyes of dozens of Oxfordshire artists. In the trail video and the accompanying artist galleries (see www.artweeks.org) you can, for example, rediscover the South Oxfordshire landscape through the eyes of Jo Lillywhite (www.artweeks.org/galleries/2020/jo-lillywhite). Jo loves represent the local countryside inn an interesting way, using varied marks and brushstrokes and bold and joyful colour combinations to produce striking paintings that grab the eye. Textile artist Ushma Sargeant (www.artweeks.org/galleries/2020/ushma-sargeant) also enjoys bringing the colours of the natural world alive in her garden studio on the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire border, just of the Ridgeway National Trail. She creates landscape and wildlife pictures taking inspiration from the unique and historical scenery from Uffington through to Avebury and beyond, working to capture light, depth and texture with fibre.
‘I love walking on the Ridgeway where you can see for miles and I still can’t get over the changeability of the views – the light can change in minutes and so the view just alters completely. I find the changing seasons here fascinating as well and enjoy returning to the same view at different times of the year as well as looking forward to the seasonal flowering and the resulting dramatic colours in the landscape. The long history of the Ridgeway means the essence of the view has remained the same for centuries even though the changing light and seasons change the panorama.’
‘I came across fibre as an ’easier to clean up’ alternative to paint and immediately took to it. I found ‘painting’ landscape views much easier for me in fibre. Each piece requires individual techniques to achieve the desired effect, so there is always something new to learn. I use mostly needle felting techniques but occasionally wet felt. I work indoors from photographs as the slightest breeze would blow the fibres away easily while I work!’
Above is a tour of landscape painter Anna Dillon’s Aston Tirrold studio.
Visit https://www.artweeks.org/festival/theme/local-landscapes for more.