Two painters of abstracted landscapes and interiors
Charlotte Stewart trained at the Byam Shaw School of Art (1959-64) and has for over 40 years been livingand painting in Suffolk where she is also a much respected teacher and lecturer in Fine Art. Jane Lewis, taught art for two years after her degree in Fine Art and English from University College of Wales, Aberystwyth (1970-73), and following a twenty year career in publishing in London and Suffolk, she has been painting full-time in her studios in Suffolk and Norfolk since 1997.
I use the language of landscape to define and describe what generally start out as abstract ideas on canvas. My palette is taken from many influences, maybe landscape or just as likely something else. The relationship between colours on the canvas is of more importance than a literal translation
of the colours in front of me.
The surface of the work is of equal importance to the content and so the paintings become layered with a combination of smooth and textured areas. Paint gets scraped off, sometimes sanded down, reapplied and so on. The quality of line is a vital part of my work both in drawing and painting. Life drawing in particular remains a valuable discipline and anchor for the rest of my work.
For me painting begins with structure, the shape of the canvas, the thing observed. Then the colour, then the mark. The starting point of my new work is largely about the space I occupy: studio, garden, objects, landscape. Standing still reveals the subject. As I regard what is around me I see it changing as my glance moves over and around, not necessarily only what lies in front of me but what influences the spaces, colours, rhythms beyond my immediate vision. As I continue to record, the subject changes and moves in ways that I cannot anticipate. The painting becomes autonomous and escapes from literal reference.
My starting point with colour is nearly always a pair of colours whose relationship reveals something that I need to investigate and develop. An example might be the light beyond a window and the luminosity of the reflected light on the studio walls. The mark is what reveals this process to be about painting: the feel of the surface, the texture of the paint, the difference between the gestural mark and the considered and slow build up of colours and shapes.
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