THIS week’s painting is a new work by Chilterns artist Sue Graham, who has often drawn inspiration from local landscapes.
A feature in April revealed how a series of paintings inspired by her love of the dawn chorus prompted her family to buy a croft and start planting hundreds of trees on a remote Scottish island.
One of her latest completed works takes its inspiration from a landscape at the other end of the country, in Cornwall.
Sue explains: “In 2019 I decided to organise a group exhibition in St Ives, famous for its artist colony and a place I had always wanted to visit.
“It was a great week: off to have a beer and yoga on the beach every evening after I shut the exhibition doors, and wonderful company from my fellow artists. It was just a fabulous hard-working but energising experience.
“One evening I climbed up on the grassy slope above Porthmeor Beach as the sun was setting. The whole bay was lit up and the air itself seemed to glow.
“I wasn’t interested in catching a precise rendition in paint of St Ives viewed from the hill, more an expression of how it felt to be there at that moment: intoxicated by the sense of space, light, the natural world and infinite possibilities.
“I started painting this in August 2019 when I got home: it started well and then I got lost in it. So I put it away, then Covid came and cancer came and by the time I felt like painting again I pulled it out and by then somehow in my mind I had resolved how to make it work.
“It’s often best to put things away when they get stuck, though I did at one point almost chop it into pieces. This is painted on board: it’s a weird surface, ungiving and thirsty, but it makes for some great textures if you layer the paint and scrape it back again. That’s the technique I used for the foreground, which is my favourite part.”