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Anna’s Coast (artist Anna Wilson-Patterson)

October 22, 2011

Today on Decor-Art we have opened our third E-Exhibition. If you still haven‘t done it, please visit our Virtual Gallery.

The South Coast of England byAnna Wilson-Patterson is not only a trip to the English coast, it’s a pleasant walk on a beach and an opportunity to relax.

For a glimps behind the painting process – a few questions answered by the artist.

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Anna Wilson-Patterson in her studio

When and how did you discover your love for drawing and painting?

As a child I have vivid memories of playing with an ‘Etch A Sketch’ and colouring-in books – first ‘Peter and Jane’ and then geometric patterns in felt pen. Drawing and painting has been the one constant area of fascination throughout my life.

Was it an easy path or were there other occupations you were drawn to?

I left college qualified to teach art, but couldn’t find a job back home in South Wales. So I moved to Brighton and managed a Latin American Craft and Culture Centre. From there I went into community work, which involved all types of fascinating projects including public art regeneration, events and community festivals. I then spent eight years in a strategic planning role that led to my life-changing decision to work full-time in the arts.

A Latin American Craft and Culture Centre – that sounds interesting. I assume you could tell us a lot about the cultural differences, but did this foreign culture affect your artwork in any way?

Not directly, I gained a love of hand made items and learnt about new materials such as tin and smoke fired ceramics.  I have very fond memories of the textiles. We sold clothing and rugs that were highly decorative and still hard-wearing. I also retain my love of anything related to ‘The Day of the Dead’.

Hide at Waders Pool, 2011 (oil on canvas)

I had a look at your older works and these are mainly still lives, when did you move onto coastal landscapes?
I opened my ‘Arts Hut’ Gallery in 2007 and after a few years of painting the rural life and undertaking commissions for cows, chickens and landscapes, I felt I needed a change of scenery. I found the nearest sandy beach and a bungalow (that would allow our two tall hounds to stay) where we spent a week at Winchelsea beach.

With just a few roads, situated next to an 800 acre Nature Reserve, it is a fascinating and atmospheric place. Of course I started to paint it! This year we stayed twice and now I have closed Arts Hut and am aiming to move to the beach and work from a studio there. There are many coastal locations in East Sussex that lure me back – the fishing net huts at The Stade Hastings, Prospect Cottage (the home of Derek Jarman) at Dungeness and the boats at Rye Harbour.

You certainly have covered plenty of different subjects (still lives, landscapes, beloved dogs and anything to do with rural life), you have also mastered more than a few mediums, so which would you call your favourite – painting or print making?

I don’t have a favourite, the techniques are for creating different types of image and they suit different moods.

The print-making is an immediate technique, a line drawing complemented by the paper touching the ink adding texture to create atmosphere. It is a quick and immediate process.

Whereas my paintings take many weeks to produce; I am gradually finding my favourite surface is plywood, my favourite paints are water mixable oil paints and my favourite tool is a flat palette knife.

Dungeness Lighthouse and Path, 2010 (oil on canvas)

You have nicely described the process of painting on your website:

 “I start with a focal point and composition lines, blocking in areas of colour. I use knives to apply the paint, scraping and mark-making with objects that come to hand. I work on several paintings at once; over the weeks as the paint dries, I add more layers of colour and texture. My gestures of adding, dragging and removing paint imitate the natural world, the tidal ebb and flow, the movement of clouds, wind, rain and snow. I am drawn to places where the human presence has an integrity and character but is humbled by the forces of nature.”
I was intrigued by the fact that you can work on several paintings at once – isn’t it hard to divide your attention? Maybe they have to portray similar subjects? And do all of the paintings get finished?

Once you have curated your own shows and hung your work in other galleries, you develop an eye for consistency. I think in terms of series of paintings and currently have about 20 paintings on the go. Paintings are easier to hang in groups if they are of a similar scale, size and framed as a family. I move between the subject matter of coast, sight hounds and still life. I hang the work to dry in the studio. If I feel the initial composition doesn’t work I start afresh.
Tell us about your gallery – The Arts Hut and, of course, about the yearly Christmas Show (or is too early to talk about Christmas?)

The concept of ‘Arts Hut’ was to sell my work alongside that of other local artists. The reality of being located within a farming community, was that the landscape and its four-legged inhabitants became the subject of choice from my customers. Now my work is heading in a new coastal direction I sell online and via other galleries, many of whom include a café and a diverse range of other work such as wood, ceramics and textiles. I will however still be organising the Herstmonceux Christmas Trail 2011, where I encourage people living on the main road to decorate their windows to a theme.

RX150, 2009 (oil on canvas)

What is your opinion on contemporary Art and if Art in general is still needed? I guess the question is for Anna who is not only an artist, but also a business woman i.e. self trader.

I always avoid terms such as ‘contemporary art’ as it means so many things to different people. We have paintings, sculpture and craft pieces in our cottage collected over the years which make me smile and think about moments in time and the world in which we live. They are my favourite possessions. I rely on others at a regional level to ensure there is art in public buildings and on our streets. Our existence as humans would be considerable poorer without creative expression in whatever form that takes.

I know that visitors are always welcome by appointment to your Studio in Herstmonceux, are you organising any workshops?

I organise workshops for groups of people who already know one another, for example the local Book Club. I haven’t had any requests this Christmas yet!

— — —

On behalf of the whole Decor-Art team I would like to thank Anna for the opportunity to present her beautiful paintings on our virtual gallery, for answering our questions and, of course, for taking part in Art! – THANK YOU. As for everyone else – enjoy the new exhibition and if you live somewhere near Herstmonceux why not meet Anna in her studio?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2011 8:25 pm

    Discovered this through a Google search and so glad I did! Really interesting seeing another artist who also paints the coast I’ve painted. Thanks so much for the e-exhibition.

    • October 28, 2011 9:27 am

      Thank you, Tina, for your comment. I’m sure Anna will be glad to hear that you like her paintings and we are glad that you liked the e-exhibition!

      I had a look at your artwork and it seems you not only paint, but also take photographs – this of course appeals to me. By the way, I love the colours you use, your paintings look more like pastel drawings, very soft as if wind blown colours, if you know what I mean, and the little mixed media works on paper are very original.

      Enjoy your trips around the English coast and keep creating.

      Kristina (Decor-Art)

  2. October 28, 2011 9:14 am

    Love the lighthouse pic!

  3. November 4, 2011 3:38 pm

    Thank You!

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