POPULAR local artist Julie Oldfield returns to the Malthouse Gallery at the Town Mill in Lyme Regis, with her inventive and atmospheric mixed media paintings that are weathered by time, the sea, oxidation and chemical treatments in order to create texture as well as capture coastal light and mood.
Julie’s distinctive style first developed when she was using canvas as the base material and experimented with weathering her work by leaving the paintings in her garden for weeks or months, even sometimes dipping the work in the sea as well.
She explained: “More recently, in addition to natural weathering, I have been working on metal copper or brass sheets on which I am able to incorporate—on the whole sheet or specific areas—oxidization and reduction reactions through heat, acids and alkalis.
“Mixed media such as pastels, spray paints and textural materials are then added to develop the image and texture. Sometimes I scrape away materials to expose the surface beneath, giving a depth of reflective light, or use materials like sand or soil taken from the actual location being painted, thus providing a local provenance.
“Lately, I have also been experimenting with chemical reactions to create my own pigments and three-dimensional textures on canvas and metal, a process that results in a blue froth that solidifies, ideal as a base for turbulent seas.”
Julie paints both plein air and at home, taking photographs, making sketches and creating a specific colour palette in order to capture the moment. The resulting paintings are not meant to be exact records but rather impressions of the environment intended to inspire contemplation and emotions.
‘Recent Work: Julie Oldfield’ will be open daily from April 19 to May 2, 10.30am to 4.30pm. Admission is free and more details can be found at www.townmillarts.co.uk