Mr Snatt's Landscape Exhibition
It is lovely to have the opportunity to show some of the paintings I have been producing...
It is lovely to have the opportunity to show some of the paintings I have been producing and more so given Chrome Yellow is owned by Jonathan Treadwell and his wife Suminder. Jonathan was amongst the talented first cohort of A Level artists I taught at Warwick School, and along with Suminder is now a fulcrum of the local art scene. I’m just grateful the dry and dusty Art History course I was arm twisted to deliver didn’t put him off!
My paintings are almost all landscapes of a sort though I am keen to avoid anything too pretty, bland or picturesque. Having spent most of my artistic life working in clay or other 3D materials it has been a refreshing departure to explore the field of colour and to spend time responding to nature. I have tried to combine family holidays or DofE supervision with some en plein air work but generally find this is not as successful as working in the studio from photographs. Here I can allow the piece to gradually evolve and to go through a number of iterations before settling on a final version. Some don’t make it and lie half completed or wait to be recycled. Others remain 90% done but for some reason an excuse not to persevere with the last 10% keeps arising. The landscapes that inspire me vary from the rugged shapes and shadows thrown up in our National Parks to views snatched amongst the shops and parks of Leamington. Light plays an important part; what can on one day be passed without a pause can, under a bare street light or passing car headlights take on a completely different personality.
The painting is a view across the South Downs. I took it many years ago when out on a very early bike ride. I managed to get to the top of the Downs to an ancient hill fort called Chanctonbury Ring just as the sun came up. It is a reminder for me of those small adventures, the excitement of being out exploring when no-one else is around and seeing something that becomes all the more magical because you are alone.
Some of you may recognise the lone tree which stands squeezed between the music block and what has been in my time a gym; the Tuck Shop; the Sixth Form Centre and now the school shop and music studios. Passing music on the way home there is always something drifting out through an open window and the lights cast a lovely dramatic colour onto the tree and surrounding area.
One of the most dramatic views in school are The Limes. Often overlooked and ignored as we rush between one lesson and another, they can provide the most stunning visual sights on the campus. Seen early on a sharp winter morning, freshly clipped and shawn they have the stark, eerie beauty of a Paul Nash WW1 painting. I have yet to tackle a summer view when they are resplendent with their fresh windblown bouffants; I’m just waiting for the right light.