Amanda Childs (b. 1984) is a Canadian abstract artist based in St Ives, Cambridgeshire. When she was younger, she was often found drawing and painting and this continued into adolescence. In high school she took art classes with a considerable focus in Impressionist style. She has fond memories of her grandmother (also an artist) taking her to view Impressionist exhibitions. She went on to study at Dalhousie University where she gained a Combined Honours Degree in Social Anthropology & International Development Studies. After graduating she worked abroad and travelled extensively, which has influenced her as a person and artist. Amanda began abstract painting in 2019. Abstract art was always a fascination to her, and it was direction that she felt pulled towards as a channel to express herself artistically. Her work is inspired by geography, culture, the concepts of nostalgia & memory, nature, food and the arts. At times her artistic process is influenced by a fixed concept but applied to canvas through fluid and abstract techniques. Other times she works completely intuitively, with each movement being a reaction to the last, until it comes together and reminds her of a memory or subject (which can influence the title of the piece). Amanda maintains an inclusive approach to her work to allow for each painting to emerge and speak for itself. Plenty of layers, bold colours, large brush strokes, colour blending, and symbols inhabit her work. Her style ranges from minimalist pieces to more detailed paintings, depending on what the piece calls for to convey a certain feeling or impression. Primary mediums include acrylic and mixed media on canvas. Amanda’s work has been included in various exhibitions since 2020, including Cultivate Gallery (London), Fronteer Gallery (Sheffield), Thought Foundation Summer Art Festival (Durham) and The Virtual Art Fair – where she was fortunate to be granted the second-place prize. Her solo exhibition at Cole’s Gallery is titled ‘Bold Heat’, and is inspired by memories of travel, a longing for escape, and themes of exploration and adventure. During these difficult times, she wanted to create a collection that would evoke feelings of warmth, fun, and freedom. She hopes the paintings will transport the viewer to a different place, if only in their imagination.
Mirrorclade by Andrew Sales
The central message of the painting is that of respect and dignity in front of nature as the opposing forms of the mollusks and humans observe one another beneath the surface. Although entirely different biologically to their core, the two opposing 'Clades', invertebrates/vertebrates, humans and mollusks, are expressed as the same and equal in the face of the imperceptible spans of time from our earth's history. This leads onto the paintings second theme which is that of time and the tiny and fragile place of human beings in the cosmos. The surface of the painting is devoid of figures and suggests so much time may have passed even the tectonic forces that shape the surface world have evolved and changed. On the seafloor lies remains of prehistoric animals and dinosaurs to express extinction and its role in the long and slow processes of the planet that we cannot possibly witness. The bones and dead corals also signify our destructive affect on the planet but express the disquieting fact that the earth will remain long after we have gone. The title 'MirrorClade' is meant to convey these themes and say we are no more important than the invertebrates in the ocean or the many millions of species that have come before us.
With my work I like the themes to be equally matched in the composition and technical painting processes I deploy in the piece. The oval board was selected as oppose to a panoramic rectangle in combination with the colour pallet to give a sense of the planet as seen from space. The central material concept that was the driving force behind the painting was that of opposing textures. I needed to express the theme of two things being different but inextricably linked and equal, so the very contrast of the surface world and underwater world had to be strong. The very idea of having a cut out shot of the water was to express this and also homage some paleoart that inspired the painting. To make the surface and underwater scene contrast, as well as using altered colours, the fluidity of the paint was different for each scene. For the surface, un-thickened oil paint was applied directly with no thinning agent. The surface was also painted in one single layer in an impasto style to express the chalked cliffs and trees. The underwater scene was painted using layers of thinned paint and liquin gel with various layers applied and let to dry. Using layers of coloured glazes in conjunction with this gave the underwater scenes a rich yet liquid feel to both the atmosphere and surface. This hopefully led to the themes and execution of the painting to harmonize. The theme of opposing/opposite things being equal is expressed with the subject matter, composition and the material processes deployed in the painting.
Cole intends to make a kind of 'Poesy Painting', based on a conceptual link between literature (poetry), visual art and life. His works aim is to be connected to poetry, debate and contrary but not to follow the often cringe worthy pairing of the adjective, 'poetic', and painting. The works focus on areas such as rhythm, semantic content, visual and verbal puns and the real life ways both physical and visual that poetry can be considered a key discourse in painting. His paintings are a visual representation of the poetry of epiphany, moments of creative inspiration and a merging of the poetic and artist myth making.
My subject matter is landscape and the interaction of people and objects within it. Throughout the history of my practice I have explored a range of figurative styles and approaches. I draw a lot of my ideas from historical painting mixed in with my own experiences, adding specific personal thoughts and myths to an image. I like my paintings to work not as individuals, but as a collection of different scenes and events that work together to communicate my thoughts on different subject matter, even when paintings appear to be a thematic series. Much of my work is intended to be allegorical, as I create characters and imagined landscapes that interact with each other, expressing an alternate narrative disguised within a set of imagined rules and aesthetic judgments. Not all of my details are intended as I invite subconscious imagery to make its way into paintings and often question myself as to how it got there. I use minimal physical objects or spaces to create paintings but appropriate reproductions of historic painting and images offered by film and literature. Decisions are partly subconsciously made and I allow this to become part of the process, developing mistakes and allowing new ideas to present themselves as a result of this.
My studio practice consists of traditional media and varying approaches to using it. I try to be adventurous in my methods and pursue certain technical working strategies for varying lengths of time. I have become interested in the materiality of paint through my application to the surface and its fluidity, experimenting with various textures, layers and glazes, continually developing my practice and approach to image making. The traditional methods I employ and aesthetic appearance of my work is a response to the art I love and hate. I am constantly trying to make my work as honest and communicative as possible and in the future I want to make sure it is about an experience, social narrative or facet of behaviour. The politics of painting, both in the art market and in social sense of being a painter interest me.
My focus on landscape painting is stimulated by the impermanent nature of the seasons and an interest in Biocentrism. Through oil paint, I aim to record the pulses of life emanating in the natural environment, whilst also portraying a sense of experience, memory and emotion in the colour palette and texture of the painting. By using psychogeography as a means of exploration, I am able to approach an environment with a deeper scrutiny, deconstructing the essential characteristics that draw inspiration. As an artist who is deeply affected by colour and light, the emotive approach to an environment is a continuous theme throughout my work. As emotion and colour are interdependent, I find constructing a painting through emphasised colours much more instinctive than descriptive painting. As a result, I am freed from the boundaries of realistic painting, enabling me to choose a level of resemblance and detail I feel appropriate for the mood of the work. Moreover, I have recently developed a matured colour palette, with deep browns, greens and greyish undertones which elude to genuine experience within the atmosphere depicted the painting. This exhibition includes a collection of work which focuses on themes of memory and stillness. The withdrawal of summer has brought about a new focus in skies and tricks of light, with a particular interest in colours created by the setting sun. This environment makes me feel peaceful and content, which I hope to bring forward in my paintings. To portray this, my current work consists of small, delicate landscapes which are formed through several thinly applied layers of oil and pigment. With this technical decision, I am able to create ‘misty’ or ‘foggy’ depictions of places, using both photographs and my own memories to work from. I hope this evokes a feeling of internal nostalgia for the viewer. The very nature of memory combined with the ephemerality of a certain light across a landscape adds to the suggestion of a fleeting, transient moment from the past. I hope this enhances the sensory perception of an atmosphere, creating a mindful and contemplative experience for the viewer. Whilst most of my work is painted on handmade canvases, I have left the sides of the canvas untouched, as the crisp, painted edge adds to the tangibility of the work. Consequently, some of my paintings are set in shallow display frames, exposing the unprimed sides of the canvas. The use of a smaller canvas with protruding edges contributes to the idea of a ‘framed’ atmosphere. I wish the viewer to see this as a window into an alternate infinity, evoking personal memories and emotion, transporting them away from the regimented gallery space, and into a state of mindful and physical tranquility.
Chris is a Figurative artist from Leeds who works across a range of media from small scale gouache portraits on paper to large scale paintings in oil and acrylic on canvas to original handmade prints, made at ‘Leeds print workshop.’ The figure is central to her work. As a fine art student Chris worked for three years painting and drawing from the life model. “ Whether a portrait painting or a figure print I’m attracted to simplifying the image as much as I can to bring to the fore the core elements of its design, particularly in the use of colour.”
Further examples of Chris work can be found at; www.chrisieastham.com She is available for portrait commissions via her Etsy shop: ChrisiEastham Instagram: @chrisieastham
Helen Thomas is a visual artist based in West Yorkshire. Helen works mainly with painting and drawing in response to themes which are currently focussed around plants and place.
Jackson studied at the Royal College of Art and the Royal Drawing School. His paintings and drawings are held in private collections in the UK and Europe including the Royal Collection and the Moritz-Hayman collection.
Morrison has established a reputation as a painter renowned for capturing the character and essence of the land. Driven by a desire to remind viewers of the beauty of the landscape and inspired by the diverse vistas of the UK, Morrison is compelled to translate the breadth of colours, shapes and forms onto canvas. Morrison’s gestural oil paintings are composed of expressive colours and richly textured brushwork, offering abstract representations of the British Isles.
Jeremy Ford studied Graphic Design at Southport College of Art, (1972-5) and Illustration at Harrow College of Art, London (1975-8) and has been a professional Artist and Illustrator since then, working on a wide variety of books, magazines, and greeting cards. Jeremy is also a regular contributor appearing on the Painting & Drawing Channel, Sky 192, & FreeSat 402 and can also be seen on the Painting and drawing TV channel.
Jonathan studied art at High Wycombe in the Chilterns, and Falmouth in Cornwall, before moving to Leeds twenty-eight years ago. His subject is the built landscape of Leeds: the houses, flats, and commercial and industrial architecture of the city, and the suburbs to the North West (Hyde Park, Kirkstall, Headingley and Meanwood). He is influenced by the British tradition of landscape painting from the 18th , 19th and 20th centuries, as well as by colourist, modernist, painterly and abstract traditions. He focuses on the permanent and characteristic forms and atmosphere of the buildings and spaces.
He doe’s not include people and vehicles, and avoids indications of specific times of day. In parallel with realism, he places importance on the abstract qualities of line, shape, pattern, texture, and above all colour; and on the emotional atmosphere of the painting. Jonathan paints in oil on canvas or board, in his studio at home. He works from drawings, notes and photographs of the subject. Typically, Jonathan works on a series of paintings over a few weeks, developing the colour and compositional relationships, and he revisits the subject many times to think through problems in the paintings.
Helen is a Mixed media artist, She studied Fine Art Painting at Bretton Hall. Helen works in all different media, concentrating on colour, line and shape predominantly in an abstract style.
Zoë Carlon’s practice explores ambiguous and transitory spaces, both domestic and public, that we experience within our everyday lives. She is interested in asserting a balance between abstraction and representation, using the physicality of painting to create an invented space that draws on both her own imagination and literal places she has encountered. Zoë studied at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts Budapest 2015 - 2016, and The University of Leeds, graduating in 2017. She is the winner of the FUAM Graduate Art Prize 2017.