Early paintings at the
English Wine Centre in East Sussex, England...
I am a very lucky girl. My landscape paintings are currently surrounded by people who love the English countryside. The English Wine Centre is the perfect place to show the paintings that I made when I first came to Sussex and set about falling in love with it's rolling hills and sea.
I didn't know about Sussex when I arrived on a very rainy day, parking on the Seaford seafront - wet through with three tired, wet, small children in the back seat and watching rain pelt sideways on the windscreen. I didn't chooses Sussex - like many of our moves in this adventure, it chose me and my introduction was... rocky. I do, however, remember walking into a shop in Hove later that day and asking the chipper man behind the desk why on such a rotten day he was so - beaming. He told me that spending your summer on the beach in the sunshine sort of does that to you over time. He was right.
It didn't take long for me to start to discover the hidden secrets of Sussex - the sunshine that blesses us when the rest of England is grey - the threat of storms and fog marching over the sea - children playing amidst picnic spoils on a wool blanket with my paintbox out and pencil in hand.
Castles, majestic gardens, simple barns and fields of corn sit beside winding chalk paths and sudden surprise coatings of snow. Sussex is magical. Or perhaps the moments of quiet and still I have found nestled in the throws of family life add to the infatuation.
Hanging these paintings I saw the diary of my first few years in stolen moments - driving out to Rodmell on a winter weekend while my husband babysat (thank you Stephen!) or drawing from South Heighton playground (the helicopter park) while the children played - standing on the picnic table so I could see above the trees to the hills beyond.
There are more paintings to come - large oil paintings based on these stolen moments in Sussex. They will be appearing at the English Wine Centre over the next few months, with even more new paintings arriving for Artwave in August. Subscribe here and you will be able to sneak into my studio and preview the newest paintings. How very exciting!
Timeless Rodmell. Watercolour by Ashley Hyland