My creative process all starts with drawing. I believe that a painting or print can only really work if the initial drawing has a strong composition, so I spend a lot of time walking, drawing, searching for compositions on the marshes, footpaths and in the lanes around the Waveney Valley. I don’t often encounter other people when I am out and about but I am intrigued by the generations of people who will have walked and perhaps drawn in the same space as me. There are echoes of the past everywhere in the landscape, holloways, paths that have been created by people or subtle tracks made by hares finding the quickest route through a hedge or across a field. The impact of human activity can be heavy handed like the route of an old train line across a marsh or subtle, like the replanting of field hedgerows with Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Sloe but excluding Spindleberry. It’s always a joy to discover a vibrant Spindleberry with it’s bright orange berry encased in a bright pink pod. I love colour. This may be obvious from one look at my work but there really are the most intense flashes of colour out in what at first glance looks like a green/brown marshland. From the Campion along the side of the road in the spring, Dogwood sprouting in the hedgerows, bright red Holly berries to the intense blueish purple of ripe Sloes, the heavy red/brown of the soil and the bright skies reflected in puddles in the lanes.
My collected drawings stay in my sketchbooks as memories, springboards for paintings and prints. A series of drawings may make up a solo exhibition of large vibrant paintings or a selection of linoprints. I am constantly experimenting with colour and how colours react to each other to create vibrant colour filled artworks.
This work can be very solitary, I split my time between painting, printmaking, running workshops and curating exhibitions. All of which feed into each other and inspire my practise. I exhibit across the UK and have work in permanent collections.
Sarah Cannell, Painter.