We are very pleased to be welcoming two of Derbyshire’s most accomplished and outstanding painters to the gallery in March – Rex Preston and Mark Preston. they are both highly successful artists with a keen focus on painting directly from nature, working outside in all conditions to capture the essential beauty
“I spend as much time as possible out in the countryside whatever the weather searching for subjects. When the weather allows, I paint out on location and just walk until something takes my eye. I quite often don’t know what I am looking for, but it usually involves colour, light and reflections. Sketching is also very useful to quickly record fleeting light effects and atmospheres. Often in showery weather it would be impossible to paint, but a sketch can record the changing skies and light effects. The most incredible effect might only last for a few minutes, but with my pencil and sketchbook, I can capture enough to be able to paint it later. Back in my studio, my sketch will remind me of what really inspired me and, together with my memory and imagination, will give me all I need to complete the painting.”
Mark paints in acrylics and works mainly in situ with relatively little time spent in the studio. “For me, experiencing the landscape and elements directly is essential to attempt to capture them in paint. I just need to be there to respond to the situation and the spirit of the landscape” This direct approach of working from nature, allows him time to observe and experience the subtle changes in colour, light and atmosphere, enabling him to build up an understanding and awareness of the places he paints. One mainstay of Mark’s thinking comes from John Constable’s declaration that “Nature is the fountain’s head, the source from whence all originality must spring”.