George grew up on a farm just north of Hook Norton, surrounded by some of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire’s’ most dramatic landscapes, therefore it is no surprise that this environment soon became central to his practice.

We have asked George to submit a piece that helps us to understand how he worked over the last two years towards his latest exhibition. 

‘ I think a lot about how best to capture the spirit of a place. We all have some positives that came out of those dreadful lock downs, and for me it was realising the creative value of embarking on long walks. Often at dusk when the light is rapidly changing, walking through valleys, fields, woods and soaking up the endless variety of light and atmosphere became a wonderful new resource for the work. For example, the Evenlode Valley has become an on going project. It is interesting to note, that whether spending time in one place making a painting, or walking to get to know an area, what one sees and feels is permanently on the move.

     

The title of my latest exhibition was ‘Chasing Time in The British Landscape,’ and what I hope comes across is, not a static shot of a view, but rather a culmination of experiences where a painting becomes like a summary. People often ask if I would work from a photograph of a favourite view. Although photography for me is another form of drawing, gathering vital information, I would never be able to instil as much intention as in a painting. 

Alex Katz, one of the 20th Century’s great American painters said this,  “My father said why don’t you paint your own backyard. Which is extremely intelligent and I resented it a great deal. I couldn’t see a picture in the backyard. All I saw was a mess. But I kept the idea — the idea seemed like a really good one: paint your backyard, paint what’s in front of you, don’t paint anyone else’s backyard.”

Returning to a subject that you think you know, interests me a lot. The apparent familiarity of place is blown away every time you set out your paints. If it becomes too easy, and second nature, you are on dangerous ground! The landscapes not only evolve year by year as farming progresses, but also bear  witness to the infinite variety presented by the weather, growth and decay, light and atmosphere. This mind boggling variety keeps things fresh and challenging. If it is too easy you are on dangerous ground in terms of not being properly engaged. Some people say ‘How lovely and relaxing having painting’ . To the contrary, I like to equate it to a tight Wimbledon Final, where decisions are played back and forth through mind and hand. You win some and you lose some. 

Additionally, an aim is to highlight the importance and vulnerability our landscapes face, and so to remind us of the ongoing urgency of action needed in order to preserve them! The Exhibition can be viewed on my website www.georgeirvinefineart.co.uk and you will see subjects ranging from the Cotswolds, Cornwall and Scotland to Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Warwickshire.

If anyone would like to visit the studio gallery (OX7 7DP)  please do contact me through @george_irvine_fine_art on instagram or george@georgeirvinefineart.co.uk and I would be delighted to discuss any new projects, or my current work.

 

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cotswolds properties

Mrs Tucker June 2020

Butler Sherborn was a delight and pleasure to work with. Once again thank you so much for all you help and exceeding our expectations and much more.
— Nicki and Brian Lee, January 2021