New exhibition from Frances Knight

Frances Knight
Frances Knight

Arundel-based contemporary landscape artist Frances Knight offers her solo exhibition New Light at the little art gallery, West Wittering  until May 13.

Her new show will include recent plein-air works of Sussex landscapes and seascapes, as well as larger studio paintings.

Working exclusively in oils, Frances’ paintings explore the effects of light, colour and structure on the landscape. She often works outside on location and then returns to the studio to create larger paintings from these studies, exploring further the abstract effects of shape, structure and colour harmony. She offers her paintings as a joyful expression of light, colour and atmosphere.

Frances said she is particularly pleased to be back at the little art gallery which has recently celebrated its first birthday. She exhibited there last year in the venue’s second show.

“They are such lovely people, and I think that’s the main thing I like, but also it is very well located. I am aiming to show work that I have not shown before, work that I have done in the past year. I usually paint outside on location, but recently I am tending to do a little bit more in my studio and do a little bit more interpretation. It’s a direction that has interested me, just to see where it is going. It’s about expressing a little bit more of the inner feeling by not being so dominated by feeling you have to make an accurate representation of what you are seeing. I think I am becoming a bit more abstract, but that has always been there to a certain extent. I am not interested in pure abstraction. I think really I am interested in the interplay between abstraction and representation.”

Frances paints in oils: “I find them very forgiving. I love the physical quality of working in oils, and that’s another reason I am more interested now in studio work. When you are working outdoors on location, you have to finish a painting within two hours, but when you are in a studio, you can build up the layers over time. I have always worked in oils. I have tried acrylic and I have tried watercolour. But I just love the way that oil painting has a physical quality. You can paint thin. You can scrape. You can paint again. And also with acrylics, I don’t really like that plastic quality… and also the fact that it dries darker.”

As for subjects: “I have always loved the Sussex landscape. My family had a cottage at Itchenor, and we spent all our summers sailing in Chichester Harbour. I have always loved that area, which is another reason for wanting to exhibit at West Wittering.”

More recently, from her Arundel studio, she has been focusing particularly on the Arun Valley: “I love the abstract quality of the South Downs, the fields, the light and the dark of the sun going over the clouds, the geometric shapes. I really like the softness of the landscape around the River Arun.”

Frances has exhibited her work internationally as well as widely across the UK. Her paintings are in private collections in the UK, Europe, the USA, Canada and India. Future exhibitions include the Oxmarket from July 16-29.

For other stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2

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