For many, a good landscape painting is when the picture looks like the landscape they know – in effect, a photographic image in oil or watercolour. But paint allows the artist to transform the landscape, expressing their vision which is anything but a photograph. Sarah Duffield has taken this to another level with her amazing portraits of the landscape she loves, as she uses colour to express emotional feelings about what she sees. Now, for the first time, Sarah, who has picked up a notable following from exhibiting in group shows, is holding her first solo show at Horsham Museum and Art Gallery and is already attracting rave reviews.
Entitled ‘A Different way of seeing – the art of Sarah Duffield’, the visually stunning exhibition will run until 28 November, with an opportunity to meet the artist on Saturday 14 October, 12pm – 3pm, admission free.
With such a unique style of work, Sarah described how she translates the image she sees in to the landscapes she paints: “Often the way light is interacting with a landscape dictates the colours I use to describe it – morning light is pink and peach, the earth is often blue and cold while at Sunset the light is red or orange, grass is warmer and colours richer. People have a strong affinity with colour and often don’t realise how closely connected to emotion it is. When someone looks at one of my paintings they may recognise the place but feel the colour choices are wrong – what is a cool, calm, blue and purple place for me might be a warm, happy, yellow and green spot for them – I like that this stimulates a conversation, it forces people to think about colours and how they relate to emotion – “What colour is this place for you?””
The paintings are of real places, for example Memories of summer which is a view of the Lordington lavender fields near Chichester, but as Sarah explained: “I like to paint “real” views, places people might recognise; although I must admit I am constantly surprised when people do. I work from sketches, photographs and memory – I often move or leave out hills and trees, I have yet to paint a pylon and very rarely include buildings in my paintings.”
Sarah also exhibits works other than landscapes, including floral works, yet all draw on her ability to see life through a prism of her imagination and sense of colour: “I enjoy reducing the complex forms I see into simple shapes and block colours. I find flowers endlessly joyful and so choose to use a vivid, uncomplicated palette to describe them.
“In the future, I plan to create a series of flower paintings describing colour, light and portraying the emotional response they produce in me.”
As a complete change from the vibrancy of the colour, Sarah will be exhibiting her charcoal images that reveal, through monochrome, her ability to draw, capture and imagine.
A different way of seeing – the art of Sarah Duffield runs until 28 November. It is a rare opportunity to acquire original or limited edition prints by one of Sussex’s unique artistic voices, which thanks to the OWN ART initiative means the museum can offer interest free loans to purchase her work.