Painting landscapes – looking for pattern

Whilst painting with Tony Rothon, one of the most helpful pieces of advice that he passed on was to ‘look for the pattern’. These simple words, delivered in his quiet and considered manner, has since given me much food for thought.

When in Olhao, southern Portugal and working on a large canvas, Tony suggested that I look at the work of ‘Patrick Heron’ – especially his late garden paintings. Formerly a textile designer and writer on art, he developed an abstract style using unusual colours and intricate patterns.

Oil painting of boats waiting for the approaching tide by Iona Stern
Waiting for the approaching tide. Painting by Iona Stern

The late garden paintings were painted at his home, Eagle’s Nest, an imposing stone house perched on a cliff near St Ives. Staying recently with friends in Cornwall, en route to St Ives, we drove past this windswept house and garden. Having seen the house and its setting suddenly made perfect sense of the wonderful Patrick Heron paintings and prints that we saw later that day at the Westcott’s Gallery, St Ives.

'Red Garden Painting' Patrick Heron
'Red Garden Painting' Patrick Heron

Another artist I’m excited about is from the Scottish school, Christine Woodside.

In the Cotsworlds, the John Davies Gallery, is soon to be holding an exhibition of her work. From pouring over the beautifully printed catologue featuring her recent paintings from Scotland and Spain, it appears that pattern is very much part of her landscapes and still life.

Landscape painting by Christine-Woodside
Landscape painting by Christine-Woodside

This is what was said by Robim Wilson about Christine’s last exhibition:

“Venetian exteriors have been painted many times but Christine has a fresh eye. Her buildings are sharp, fractured hallucinations. The pattern of their arches,roofs,doorways and shutters is melodic. The painting is assured, rythmic and generous. She has observed meticulously the foundations of the old city walls and then waved a magic wand.”

I can’t wait to see the paintings and hope to cover Christine Woodside’s exhibition at the John Davies Gallery, Moreton-in-Marsh. 12/11/2001 – 03/12/2011

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2 Replies to “Painting landscapes – looking for pattern”

    1. Thank you Katie. I recently been studying Ivon Hitchens, who doesn’t really use pattern in painting but rather his paintings create pattern in themselves.

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