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DArt Art


Washing Day, Andalucia


SARAH BOWMAN


Sarah Bowman is a well-known Devon painter who has exhibited with White Space Art in Totnes for nine years. Her latest solo exhibition ‘The Rite of Spring’ runs in the gallery from 1-18 March.


It’s a fabulous exhibition. Are you pleased with it? Yes, I am. I’ve enjoyed focussing on spring. It’s my favourite season. I love the anticipation as you go through the dull winter months. I plant the bulbs in the autumn and look forward to them peeping through as spring arrives. I look out from my studio and it makes me so happy when I see the snow- drops, the crocuses, the daffodils. It’s a


lovely, optimistic time of year. You’ve also painted some wintry scenes. I know your winter paintings are very popular. Why is that do you think? It’s because I don’t paint many of them I suppose. I like doing them, I like the winter palette, the cooler colours. They tend to be of Dartmoor and the sur- rounding area where I live. I normally focus on Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly


Mending the nets


and the coast. But I’ve been doing a lot of walking on the moor, I feel I’m just starting to scratch the surface there. I like the patchwork fields, the hedgerows. How important is a sense of place in you work? I have to have a feeling for a place. For example I have never painted Dorset although that’s where I grew up. I love it but for some reason it didn’t strike a chord. Whereas as soon as I arrived in Cornwall it was instantaneous. I think I have a lot more paintings to do of Dartmoor. Sometimes you can be looking but not seeing. Recently you have introduced people into your landscapes. Why is that? It’s an exploration of narrative. I put curtains blowing in the wind, or a bumble bee or a bird by the window. But if you see a solitary figure walking the dog in the background it suggests a story and that can make the painting more interesting. In 2005, you won the RWA Mary Fedden award. Your work is sometimes compared to hers. Are there other artists who inspire you? I would say the I’m aware of the palette of Christopher Wood, Winifred


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