That Spring Feeling: Artists & Their Inspirations

The sun is shining and the cold of winter has faded – Spring is here! Unfortunately, many of us are self-isolating due to the current pandemic, so we can’t make the most of the weather! We’d like to share a selection of our artists with a spring in their step. Discover how the season has inspired artists from across the world!

Lorna Just Always Wanted a Water Feature, Rachel Campbell / Private Collection / © Rachel Campbell / Bridgeman Images

Rachel Campbell

Rachel Campbell is a visual storyteller. Her paintings depict commonplace moments that intrigue her as she looks for the beauty in unexpected places. She said of her work:
‘I choose to paint with abstracted realism. The places and images are clearly recognizable. I use colour and manipulate composition to interpret the story I want to tell. I ask myself how to I want to depict my relationship to this experience or space.
My visual stories often reference nostalgia and memory. Others reference moments that bring me joy, and I want to put them into a painting.’

A Passion for Peonies, Billy Showell / Private Collection / © Billy Showell / Bridgeman Images

Billy Showell

Artist Billy Showell is based in Tunbridge Wells. Watercolour has been a passion of Billy’s for some years now – she fell into botanical painting by chance but has since written 3 best selling hardback ‘how to’ books, ‘Watercolour Flower Portraits’, ‘Watercolour Fruit and Vegetable Portraits’ and ‘The A-Z of flower portraits’ and another book on the way all published by Search Press.
She also has work held in the Kew archives and those of the Hunt Institute in America. Billy has been teaching botanical painting since she began painting watercolour and has a passion for sharing all that she has learnt, all her tips and skills.

Aquilegias, 2016, (oil on linen), Anne-Marie Butlin / Private Collection / © Anne-Marie Butlin / Bridgeman Images

Anne-Marie Butlin

”All my work is essentially an attempt to make a beautiful, uplifting image. In both my garden and still life paintings I hope to convey the character of different flowers and the unique feeling they can create in a space; the strong structures and often the sheer joyfulness of their appearance. I try to capture the sense of calm that flowers can give us; a chance to contemplate and meditate, and remember our connection with the natural world. Portrait/figure paintings are likewise an attempt to capture quiet transitory moments; recording a moment of childhood or the unique shape of a body or face before it changes forever.”

Highly Sprung, Rebecca Campbell / © Rebecca Campbell / Bridgeman Images

Rebecca Campbell

International selling British artist Rebecca Campbell lives and works in London. She trained as an illustrator and this has led to her unique, narrative style of work. Her influences are eclectic: a love of nature came from growing up in the Irish countryside with a menagerie of animals and birds, as well as being surrounded by the most beautiful gardens. She has travelled extensively; the biggest impact came from her three months spent in India, seeing first hand the Mughal miniature paintings with their rich earth colours, bold design and exquisite attention to detail. These influences remain the bedrock of much of her work today. She has been showing her paintings with Jonathan Cooper, London, since 2002 as well as in the States, Mexico and Canada. Her work has been published worldwide in books, magazines and as greeting cards.
Campbell has taken part in many large public art events, including with the charity Elephant Family (she is their in-house artist and Ambassador).

Kingfisher, 2016, (oil on canvas), Jane Tattersfield / Private Collection / © Jane Tattersfield / Bridgeman Images

Jane Tattersfield

Tattersfield grew up in London & studied illustration at Kingston. In her 3rd year of Art School she was lucky enough to be commissioned by Collins Publishers to illustrate the covers for all of Shakespeare’s plays in a series aimed at the teenage market. This was a great start to her career and led to commissions from other publishers, magazines, graphic design & greeting card companies. She springboards from here, specialising in childrens’ books & television work, in particular with Channel 4.
‘Colour & pattern has always been the most exciting aspect of my work to me, & using inks and gouache I created a vibrant & intricately decorative style, with influences from India, South America, textile, fashion, folk & ancient art.’

Untitled, Emma Forrester / Private Collection / © Emma Forrester / Bridgeman Images

Emma Forrester

Emma Forrester graduated in 1993 with a degree in Fine Art from Liverpool University. Having worked as a scenic artist in the theatre on many West End shows and Royal Opera House productions, she is now concentrating on creating and exhibiting her own paintings. Her recent works, including many still lives, bear an expressive use of line to portray everyday objects such as vases and teacups. An appreciation of pattern and form has been fundamental in creating these works. Looking at the influence of textiles on the work of Matisse has provided great inspiration.
She says of her work, ”I am drawn to beautiful forms whether they are man- made or natural. My aim is to show my appreciation of the simple beauty of such objects by their sensitive portrayal in my paintings. In my work I’ll often draw and paint the forms many times, scratching and scraping through to previous layers to create a broadly descriptive but beautiful image. My aim is not to ‘copy’ the object in paint, but rather to describe and celebrate what I see with mark making skills that have developed into my personal style as an artist.”

The Dance-Green, Watercolour and gouache on Arches 300gsm paper, Tim Hayward / Private Collection / © Tim Hayward / Bridgeman Images

Tim Hayward

Tim Hayward is an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist who has developed a highly individual and imaginative form of wildlife painting. His subtlety in rendering textures in watercolour and gouache, and accuracy of line and form demonstrate a lifetimes study of and fascination with wildlife. “Tim’s paintings of birds in flight and at rest combine technical brilliance with the emotional intensity of pure colour. Demonstrating a mastery of his craft and a deep understanding of the birds that he depicts, his work perfectly captures the play of light and shade over feathers, while silhouetting his subject on an abstracted colour background. “ (Jonathan Cooper)

Bunnies with Pansies, 2014, (watercolor), John Keeling / Private Collection / Bridgeman Images

John Keeling

”I’m drawn to the transparency of watercolor.  Its elusive and unpredictable nature makes it both a challenge and a delight for me. With watercolor, I am able to capture the essence of my subject… the fragility of a flower or the devoted gaze of a beloved pet. I am a painter, but I begin each piece by drawing.  using pencil or ink, I learn to see each subject before I begin to paint.  Once I have a likeness established through drawing, I am set free to paint with spontaneity and joy. When painting with watercolor, I seek out both lost and found edges.  I intentionally  balance controlled definition to help you see with blurred edges to let you enter.
In this way, I invite you the viewer to collaborate with me… to bring something of yourself to the work… to touch the paper with your experience, your memories, your story.”

Hydrangea purple, Carolyn Jenkins / Private Collection
/ © Carolyn Jenkins / Bridgeman Images

Carolyn Jenkins

Carolyn lives in London. She studied art and graphic design at St Martins School of Art in London and Bath Academy of Art. For several years she has worked as an illustrator for publishing, advertising and graphic design companies contributing to several publications. She is also a professional gardener. Painting plants and flowers in watercolour brings together her love of art and gardening. In 2011, she studied for a diploma in Botanical Painting at the English Gardening School for which she was awarded ‘Distinction’ and ‘Best Student’.
Her most recent work includes several private commissions, illustrations for Darphin Paris, Crabtree & Evelyn, Diageo, The Sunday Times Magazine, Hobbs and illustrating the book: ‘H.R.H The Prince of Wales, Highgrove, A Garden Celebrated.’

Elephant Blossom, 2018, collage, Genevieve French / Private Collection / © Genevieve French / Bridgeman Images

Genevieve French

Genevieve French has been classically trained in portraiture and figure painting, and is currently tutored by Maggi Hambling. She works in a range of materials in a very diverse selection of styles, painting whatever interests her at the time.  Primarily, her works take the form of oil paintings – slightly abstracted from nature, still life, figures and animals. She also works in collage and a small amount of sculpture. Her works are an ode to animals, vintage fashion, art and pinup girls.

Enjoyed our sunny selection of artists? Discover more of our Spring inspired art here.

Many of our studio artists are also available for commission. Get in touch with any questions or queries.

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