Since August we’ve been able to focus on the work of a dozen different creative folk working in a variety of different formats, from oils and watercolours to photography, linocuts and textiles.
The formats and materials may vary enormously, but what all our guest artists have in common is a love of local landscapes and wildlife, which frequently provide them with sources of inspiration.
In some cases that inspiration has proved a life-changing experience, as for Sue Graham, whose reflections on the disappearing dawn chorus ended up with her family buying a croft and planting hundreds of trees on a remote Scottish island.
Other artists whose work is inextricably bound up in local landscapes include Jane Duff, a volunteer for The Earth Trust and an avid supporter of their efforts to create new wetlands and improve water ecosystems, and Rosie Fairfax-Cholmeley, who with colleague Robin Wilson has a permanent base among the trees of Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire.
From windmills to bluebell woods, local landscapes provide a visual escape for many artists, whether working in textiles like Rachel Wright or acrylics like Christine Bass, who spends many hours outside among the whistling red kites before developing paintings from her drawings back in the studio.
If Chilterns landscapes from Ivinghoe Beacon and Pulpit Wood to Hertfordshire parks have provided many of the settings featured in the weekly articles, there have been occasional forays further afield too, with Tim Baynes providing our most recent online escape from lockdown restrictions with his portraits of Kent marshlands and West Wales shorelines.
There has even been a chance to learn the secrets of fairground art in the company of Joby Carter from Carters Steam Fair, whose family were the subject of a recent profile feature on our People & Places page.
We’ve already had plenty of nominations of artists across the Chilterns whose works should feature in future instalments of the series, but keep them coming.
Times are tough for artists in the current climate and we’re eager to do all we can to help promote such a vast array of local talent – particularly in a year when so many of the local open studios events have had to be cancelled.
To nominate an artist or painting we might feature in the future, simply drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the work and the reason for your choice.