"Walking is Man’s Best Medicine”
December 07 2015
Landscape Paintings by Jamie Poole
Fresh air, space, movement, freedom, the sound of footsteps and the weather are just a few words to describe the awe I feel when in wild places. In my paintings I strive to express this great sense of wonder by applying rich texture and vivid colours to the landscapes I paint. The surfaces are embedded with collected materials from the landscape including pressed flowers as well as maps, fabrics, papers and plaster before acrylic paint is applied on top.
Walking and experiencing the natural environment enables me to relax, breathe and contemplate. It has always been my aim to capture and preserve this rapture in my paintings. The landscapes of England where I live provide such rich and varied places to draw inspiration from. I particularly enjoy the movement of water: gentle ripples on a lake, the steady flow of a river, or crashing waves on a seashore; these always send me into a meditative reverie – particularly when drawing. I add textures that make you want to touch, brushstrokes and colours to make you feel, and spaces to encourage your mind to wonder.
I have taken inspiration from many artists but have always been a great admirer of postwar artists in England. These include Patrick Heron’s abstract paintings, Ivon Hitchens broad brush strokes, David Hockney’s clean, bright and optimistic style and Ben Nicholson’s innovative line drawings. Contemporary artists which I follow include Kurt Jackson who has a fantastic sense of adventure using mixed media techniques. All of these have influenced the way I interpret the landscape in subtle ways and have helped my own style to evolve.
Creating a textured surface and using pressed flowers or foliage has enabled me to preserve something of the place within the artwork, which goes beyond the traditional painted landscape. Anselm Kiefer uses sunflower heads in a symbolic way, as well as earth and branches and puts them directly into his monumental and emotive paintings; this has been a major influence on my own work.
People who have seen my work at first hand are often fascinated and surprised by the texture on the surfaces, which create curiosity and an urge to touch and explore. They are often reminded of places they have visited when on holiday, walking or when out fishing by the riverside and of happy times of relaxation. The colours and brushstrokes are also enjoyed for the vivid and expressive potency. This includes the splashing of water on a beach, the clouds blowing across a stormy sky or the light falling on grass.
When I think and write about my work I am taken back to the places and times I treasure the most. Staring at my paintings brings these places and feelings back into the present, and creates a longing to experience these feeling again and again. When I make these artworks I am absorbed in the place and the time and feel free. Painting is happiness and is an intensely focused activity of my choosing, and has a clear objective and which I receive immediate feedback from.
In summary, the places we live in are a strong part of both our identity and value as human beings. The natural world gives us a sense of belonging and reminds us of the past and future, but holds us in the present. The landscapes I paint represent an instinctive desire to hold, capture and remind us of these powerful and very human desires.
To find out more or to shop for the perfect painting or print visit my website www.jamie-poole.com.