Artist Statement about the work created for this exhibition at the Longitude Art gallery
“The ‘bones’ of the British landscape: hills, mountains, ridges and gullies motivate and inform my work. I love both rugged edges and soft moorland. In particular, I am drawn to heightened light effects and for this exhibition have focused on the golden light of high summer. Indeed, across all my work, I aim to capture movement, intense light and atmosphere- particularly glowing horizons, wild skies, receding hills and textured foregrounds. My intention is to create an emotional response to landscape and successfully negotiate the delicate balance between representation and abstraction. My paintings are not always depictions of a particular scene, although I do refer to the sketches I make as I walk the landscape. My work draws on both memory and imagination and the close contact I feel with the British landscape through years of walking through the countryside.
By applying paint in unpredictable ways, I aim to create energy and vitality in the image whilst still maintaining strong compositional balance. I work mainly in acrylic paint on canvas but I do also paint in oils. I work energetically using brushes, rollers, palette knives, cloths and sharp tools. I apply thick emulsions liberally, allowing these layers to harden into ridges and contours. I then allow fluid, transparent glazes to flow and dribble over the surface creating unpredictable and often exciting effects. In addition, part of my process includes scraping, scratching, indenting and removing layers. I sometimes move into an intuitive state where I work at top speed – turning the canvas round, moving it between floor and easel and over-painting, blotting, printing, pouring, scratching, building and taking away paint. I feel that this reflects the way the landscape itself has been shaped and transformed by human action. Part of my practice also involves quiet contemplation and leaving a painting to ‘rest’ for a while. I work on several pieces at once, shifting between them and leaving myself space for reflection and reworking as I respond to the emerging image and the physical process of painting itself.
Alison always drew and painted throughout her childhood following in the footsteps of her mother, the painter Barbara Stewart RBSA, RWA, PS. She studied Fine Art at Exeter College of Art and since then has lived, worked and painted in Sheffield. After teaching in schools and universities for many years and gaining a Masters Degree and Doctorate in Education, she took early retirement to dedicate herself to her art career. She has two studios – a small one at home and a wonderfully spacious one at Yorkshire Art Space in Sheffield. She teaches art on an occasional basis but devotes her time to painting in her studios and sketching in the landscape.
The artist successfully exhibits her work in many UK regional galleries. She exhibited in London and Singapore for the first time in Autumn 2016 and has work destined for New York in Spring 2017.