Holton artist Christine Bainbridge is giving away 20 of her most recent paintings, as she is unable to host her annual Artweeks exhibition this year, despite painting in self-isolation.

“Many people have been creative in these new times because they feel the need to continue working. In order to provide continuity and to share the pleasure that painting brings me, this May I would like to give away 20 paintings,” she explains.

“I see myself as something of an escape artist,” Christine continues. “While I thrive on contact with friends I also need my solitude.

“Over the past two years I take trips to the Dorset coast every six weeks, to recharge my batteries and gain energy from the sea, by walking and finding inspiration to paint.

“During the pandemic, it was daunting to find that this escape was no longer allowed. Instead the current situation has brought a return to valuing the beauty of the Oxfordshire countryside.

“My escape across fields and through woods in the very early morning has been a revelation. There is so much to learn about waiting for wildlife to appear, and knowing how to observe the slightest movement or change in colour,” she says.

“There is the anticipation of coming face to face with a hare or deer, or the barn owl that comes to perch on a branch just a few metres away. All this has renewed my love of painting local landscapes, trying to capture and convey something of my experience when I escape at dawn.”

Christine’s virtual Artweeks exhibition (www.artweeks.org/galleries/2020/christine-bainbridge) includes an insight into her studio in which she shows the paintings that have resulted from these walks into Holton woods and the fields around her home.

Visitors can also take a tour of a garden ‘beach hut’ packed with wild waves, moody seascapes and a bright abstract sun setting over the water and tour a new series of paintings inspired by the familiar and well-loved painting by Uccello called The Hunt in the Forest and other trees both near and far.

Prior to the lockdown, Christine often found inspiration in the treasures of the Ashmolean. “I have my favourite galleries such as that of 20th century art, and the smaller gallery of Chinese art with its changing exhibitions,” she says, “but it was Paolo Uccello’s success with perspective that drew my imagination deep into that forest with its hint of moonlight and mystery.  

Spending a lot of time in Holton Wood and Bernwood Forest, Christine started painting, and thinking about how colour could express the forest in all its different moods. 

“One painting led to another. The magic of the forest took over. I have always loved painting trees but this was something different,” she says. 

So why give them away? “Many people have been creative in these new times because they feel the need to continue working. In order to provide continuity and to share the pleasure that painting brings me, this May I would like to give away 20 paintings,” she says.

To express an interest and to receive further information and images of the paintings on offer, Christine can be contacted via her website www.artweeks.org/galleries/2020/christine-bainbridge

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