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Jenny Matthews BA(Hons)


Artist Statement My garden has largely been the focus for this exhibition. Having recently moved to a house with a garden, and as a new gardener with definite favourites in the plant world, I had already begun to introduce my own favourite flowers. So when lockdown restrictions were imposed, I was able to focus my attention on the garden which became my second studio. Paintings such as ‘Lilies Reappear’, ‘Marie’s French Flowers’ and ‘Stormy Afternoon’ were painted ‘en plein air’, whilst contending with bright sunlight, heat, cold and rain showers. Similarly is ‘Foxgloves’, self-seeded characters which made an unexpected but welcome appearance.


Watercolour and its tendency to do its own thing makes it a perfect medium for creating spontaneous and vivacious paintings, full of colour and animation. The skill required to control the medium of watercolour needs to be tempered by an ability to preserve that first elation and excitement of discovery. Using larger brushes, and brushes which are difficult to control, helps me to continue to walk that tightrope! I no longer sketch out my compositions with a pencil, which I find also assists me to really focus on capturing the subject as I first experience it, for example ‘Amaryllis’, ‘Jewel Dahlias and Poppies’, ‘Nasturtiums’, ‘Memories of Summer’ and ‘Russet Irises’.


In paintings which incorporate collage and abstract colour blocks, for example ‘A Handful of Seeds’, ‘Exuberant Garden’ and ‘Chaotic Sweet Peas’, I continue in my quest for immediacy, using abstract shapes to emphasise that first impression of a cacophony of colour.


Evening Light, St Ives Acrylic on board


12 x 18 inches 2


Photograph: Colin Hattersley


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