Kim de Vries
The challenge of translating the panoramic skies of the Somerset Levels through the medium of oil painting is formidable. Breathing life into these scenes requires breaking them down into their component parts, sky, terrain, trees and water, all of which relate to and have an effect on each other. The light given by an evening sky is constantly changing, having a dramatic effect on each element in terms of shadow and colour.
It is difficult to work outside on this scale with this medium, so I tend to immerse myself in the sense of the light I am trying to capture by taking hundreds of photographs and plastering the walls of my studio with them. I believe in thinking ‘abstractly’ while painting ‘descriptively’. If the painting does not adequately describe the sense of the time and place I will move trees and change scale to achieve a certain form which is more evocative. So these paintings, though all depicting scenes within walking distance of my home in Godney, are not truly realistic but an attempt to get deeper into the sense of this beautiful and very particular landscape.