In contrast to the Plein Air Painter (where speed is of the essence to capture that moment in time, the mood and the light) the Field Painter is about repetition and study, recording the movements, the attitude, the habitat. Sketchbooks become a diary, identifying not just the markings and shape, but the posture and pose.
Birds and Insects have inspired artists for centuries, from the 20,000 year old cricket inscribed on a bison bone through the Dutch Still Life symbolism of the 1600s. Nearby Smallhythe boasts the restored Beetle Dress worn on stage by Ellen Terry in 1888 and insects played a heavy role in the surrealism movement of the early 20th Century. Each artist gives their own interpretation to their patient study.
Darren Woodhead is a pure Field Painter based in East Lothian where he creates his delicate watercolours. By working direct from life, he aims to retain the freshness and energy that working outside can give, often in extreme weather conditions. Beekeeper Matt Underwood describes the quintessential English Summer with his traditional Japanese woodblock prints. Both are members of the Society of Wildlife Artists collecting awards at the Mall Galleries exhibitions.
Curiouser and curiouser, Boo and the Angel bring whimsical to the Gallery: mixed media pieces using papier-mâché, stitch, paper and found objects. Mary Johnson is “standing up for earwigs and brussels sprouts, rusting wheelbarrows and decay, as integral parts of the landscape” with her slip decorated earthenware ceramics made at her studio in Derbyshire using traditional craft skills, applied in contemporary and unusual ways. Chris Moss has taken a little time away from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park to bring a selection of her little wire birds: wrens, robins, sparrows, blackbirds and thrushes.
Wooden birds, wire birds, ceramic birds and painted birds, stitched birds and woven birds.
Silver bees, graphite bees, etched bees and painted bees.
Woodlice, ants, ladybirds and beetles, butterflies and moths.