Christine and Cathy first met as fellows of Digswell Arts, through their studio spaces in Letchworth. For the last several years, they have also both regularly exhibited their artwork at the Art Nest Gallery. Although in their practice and work each has a distinctly different emphasis and style, they discovered a mutual love of landscape and a particular passion for trees.
Through conversation and coffee at the studios the idea of a joint exhibition formed, and both artists have spent the last few months visiting local woodlands, sketching and taking inspiration from the beautiful surroundings. Next month sees the gallery filled with these paintings and scenes, celebrating “The Birds and The Trees”.
Christine’s vibrant paintings express her love of landscape and wildlife. Exhibiting in Hertfordshire, she has won both private and public painting and mosaic commissions. Her impressionistic style distils the many colours and textures of the landscape. She enjoys plein air painting and often makes small studies in the field to inform larger paintings made in the studio.
Christine enjoys the versatility of many mediums, painting, drawing, printmaking and mosaic - choosing the medium at the point of conception to best express her initial inspiration.
Much of Christine’s work is in acrylic - its quick drying time enables her to create rich layers and texture, with brush, palette knife, glazing and scrafitto.
Cathy paints with a distinctive style that is both popular and unique; her work is easily recognisable and has featured in galleries and exhibitions across Hertfordshire.
Cathy has a passion for travel and adventure and her paintings take inspiration from places near and far. The subjects and locations are diverse, including landscape, cityscapes and woodlands, plus her series of little paintings which capture the characters of birds.
Using details from sketches and photos, the finished paintings are full of detail. Layers of oil paint are built up with brushes and a palette knife, adding textural quality whilst retaining the lines of the initial drawing. A careful and subtle colour palette reflects the attention to detail that is invested into every painting, large or small.
Christine Harrison, 'Path Through Hitch Wood'.
Cathy Smale, Woodland Birds 10.