June 2020

My focus on landscape painting is stimulated by the impermanent nature of the seasons and an interest in Biocentrism. Through oil paint, I aim to record the pulses of life emanating in the natural environment, whilst also portraying a sense of experience, memory and emotion in the colour palette and texture of the painting. By using psychogeography as a means of exploration, I am able to approach an environment with a deeper scrutiny, deconstructing the essential characteristics that draw inspiration.

My most recent work focuses on themes of memory and stillness, with an emphasis on the fragility of the surrounding atmosphere. The emergence of summer has brought about a new focus in skies and tricks of light, with a particular interest in the Kentish countryside and the emerging of new life. This environment makes me feel peaceful and content, which I hope to bring forward in my paintings. To portray this, my current work consists of delicate landscapes which are formed through several thinly applied layers of oil and pigment. With this technical decision, I am able to create ‘misty’ or ‘foggy’ depictions of places, using sketches, photographs and my own memories to work from. The very nature of memory combined with the ephemerality of a certain light across a landscape adds to the suggestion of a fleeting, transient moment from the past. I hope this evokes a feeling of internal nostalgia, creating a mindful and contemplative experience for the viewer.

I choose to leave the sides of the canvas untouched, as the crisp, painted edge adds to the tangibility of the work. Furthermore, whilst I continue to paint on handmade canvases, some of my work is applied on stitched canvas. By using every scrap of material, I intend to avoid waste whilst simultaneously highlighting society’s effort to overlook the clear environmental problems in our climate today. I choose this way of working to reflect on the urgency of climate change, showing the contrast between an unstable climate with the beauty and harmony that still exists in landscapes today. Consequently, this highlights our dangerous attitude towards our environment. By painting this way, the viewer is given a choice; to ignore the material and focus on the serene landscape, or to be reminded of the instability of the landscape’s existence, carrying this forward in their everyday thinking.

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© Hannah Buchanan 2020