I am lucky to live in Northumberland where access to both the countryside and the coast is a short drive away. This provides for me a constant source of inspiration and though my work is very firmly rooted in the North East I aim to capture the atmosphere of a place and time and focus on the changing play of light on the land, rather than represent a particular place. The big skies and long distant views, the seasons and the wild weather all influence the “feel” of a finished piece and I often sketch out in the field (weather permitting), making notes and absorbing a place before taking these ideas and memories back to the studio to work on a canvas.
I find it difficult to put a label on my style, but if I had to I would call it contemporary and expressive. I strive for a “looseness” in my brushstrokes and endeavour to resist “tidying” it up too much, so that my sketches translate to canvas but retain their freshness.
I also enjoy painting animals, the challenge of catching their characters on canvas is a delight and when I’ve had enough of painting “loosely” and “expressively” , or am struggling with a particular piece, I paint an animal, a much more precise and detailed art form!
My preferred medium is acrylics as it allows me to work quickly, building up layers and incorporating texture and, occasionally, found pieces, I have worked in oils and watercolours but neither seem to suit my methods. I am currently expanding my use of mixed media and exploring the potential that collage and printmaking can offer in expressing my ideas. I am becoming increasingly interested in printmaking, particularly lino cut, as it combines a need to be precise and detailed but also allows a “painterly” approach when carving and at the printing stages. A prefect combination of the two methods I adopt when painting, fast and loose for landscapes/seascapes and detailed and precise for animals.
My work is currently exhibited at:
The Allendale Forge Studios Art Centre, Allendale Market square, Allendale, NE47 9BD
The Duck House, Town Hall Buildings, Corbridge, NE45 5AD
and has previously been exhibited at:
Spennymoor Town Hall Art Gallery, Spennymoor, County Durham, DL166DG
The Whistle Art Stop, Haltwhistle (now closed)
Gallery 45, Felton, Morpeth, NE65 9PP
Robinson-Gay Gallery, Market Street, Hexham.
I have taken part in the following exhibitions:
A Shared View, Northumberland Studios, a collaborative exhibition with my sister, Kathy Stevens
Alnmouth Arts Festival
Water Marks, a solo exhibition at Allendale Forge Studios, Allendale, Hexham.
The Holy T Arts Festival, Holy Trinity Church, Jesmond, Newcastle
The Spirit of Growing, a group exhibition in Hexham Abbey
Open spaces, Hexham Empty Shop Project
Collection 2, Shepherds Dene Retreat Centre, Dene Close, Riding Mill, NE44 6AF
Artists at Work, Creative Guild, Hexham Campus, Northumberland College, St Mary’s Wynd, Hexham
Network Artists Showcase exhibition, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS
Art Squared, The Allendale Forge Studios Art Centre, Allendale Market square, Allendale, NE47 9BD
Inspired, Shepherds Dene Retreat Centre, Dene Close, Riding Mill, NE44 6AF
Ten, Scott’s At The Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham, NE461XF
Art Tour Open Studio event, at Shepherds Dene Retreat Centre, Dene Close, Riding Mill, NE44 6AF
The Art Sale, Queen’s Hall Arts Centre, Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS
Winter, The Allendale Forge Studios Art Centre, Allendale Market square, Allendale, NE47 9BD
New Beginnings, HexhamAabbey, Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3NB
Solo exhibition, Scott’s At The Forum Cinema, Market Place, Hexham, NE461XF
Art Tour Open Studio event, Barnes photography studio, Prudhoe (now closed)
Landscapes and Seashores, Solo exhibition, The Allendale Forge Studios Art Centre, Allendale Market square, Allendale, NE47 9BD