Land Escapes, 2/9/2016-12/9/2016

Oil paintings by Stephen Collins celebrating our landscape, ranging from the figurative through to the abstract.

The work shows three different ways of seeing the landscape- the figurative as observed on the spot, the abstracted based on a number of drawings done in situ and the fully abstract evolved in the studio.

Open daily 10.30-4.30, free admission.

Stephen says:

“There is a freedom and a power to be found in a brush that I find in no other place in life ”.

My paintings illustrate three ways of responding to our environment, the Figurative, the Abstracted and the Abstract.

The Figurative has the advantage of being done at the site of the subject, but with all the attendant problems of changing light and weather.

The Abstracted offers the apparent ease of simplicity as the scene is gradually reduced to its essence over successive drawings. The challenge being to maintain the subject’s identity and a sense of place.

With an Abstract my dialogue with the painting develops slowly. The subject, often unknown, emerges vaguely as I paint. Sometimes it only reveals itself to me at the end.

steve collins portrait

The first brush strokes come from a blend of emotion and impulse, the poetry and the madness. This is followed by the endless pondering over colour, form and balance.

  • Do the spatial relationships within the painting work?
  • Is the eye led seamlessly around the painting?
  • Does it feel good or contrived?

Answering these questions can take months, sometimes years. While I’m wondering I hang the painting in my kitchen so I can look, begin to see it clearly and adjust aspects as it works towards completion. Sometimes I think of it as a kind of visual maths with a sense of the labyrinth about it.

I think the reason I flip between these three ways of seeing the world, is that, between them, they provide an outlet for the romantic, the spiritual and the analytical observer within me.

Hopefully my paintings will satisfy much of the same for you.