nine cool things on a tuesday

1. Get in the car – we’re off for a December ride! ‘Tis the season for bundling up, picking out that perfect tree, shopping for gifts and making sure our animal friends are happy.

British artist Stephanie Lambourne’s colorful and quirky pictures are just the thing we need to get us into the holiday spirit. 

Based in Suffolk, England, she earned a BA in Fine Art and a post graduate degree in Art and Education from the Hornsey School of Art (now Middlesex University). After teaching at schools and colleges for a few years, she transitioned to painting full time in 2003.

Inspired by walks along the beach, she featured coastal landscapes, cottages, beach huts, boats, and seagulls in her earlier paintings. In recent years, her main focus has been people and humor (“unreal characters in sometimes strange pursuits”).  

She works in acrylic, rarely doing preliminary sketches, preferring to draw ideas straight onto the canvas to create a sense of freshness to her work. 

Though I’m sharing mostly holiday/winter themed pieces today, her pictures are set in all seasons. Her objective is to make people smile, to immerse the viewer in a lighthearted and slightly offbeat narrative from a bygone era. It’s fun to imagine just what the people in her pictures are really up to. 🙂

For more, visit Stephanie’s Instagram and FB Page. Her fine art greeting cards may be purchased via Green Pebble and The Blank Card Company. Original acrylics are available at Southwold Gallery and Bircham Gallery. DM her directly for any inquiries or commissions.

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Sarah Bowman: In and out of the Window

A cup of tea, a sweet treat, and a lovely view: who could ask for more?

British artist Sarah Bowman is known for her ‘though the window’ paintings, which impart a soothing sense of peace, calm and serenity. 

Sarah in her home studio.

This unique hybrid of a still life in the foreground with a landscape beyond invites the viewer to enjoy a dual narrative, with the chosen objects and the space around them telling one story and the outdoor scene another.

Bowman has said that her landscapes are derived from memory; they’re an amalgamation of places she’s visited such as Cornwall, Devon, the Scilly Isles, and Andalucia.

She actually lives in Ashburton, Devon, where she works at home in an attic studio. She and her husband own the White Space Art Gallery in nearby Totnes, a market town with a thriving arts community. 

Sarah works in oil on board or canvas, using a gentle, muted palette. A harmonious blend of subdued greens, blues and greys with pops of pinks, yellows, oranges and purples speak of idyllic coastlines, stone quays, fishing villages, patchwork fields, quaint cottages and rolling hills dotted with sheep.

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Christopher Corr’s Colorful Joyful World

When asked to describe his work in three words, British artist, animator and writer Christopher Corr said:

“Colourful Joyful World.”

And how! Corr’s pictures make you feel like doing a few handsprings and backflips. Such energy and exuberance! No time for the blahs or even a tiny speck of indifference. Corr dazzles with bold colors, injecting whimsy and humor in his pieces with a naïve, intuitive style.

Christopher Corr lives and works in London.

Equally at home drawing everything from stone huts to skyscrapers, he works in gouache on handmade Indian or Italian paper, as though he’s using a pen. Color is powerful, a language in itself.

Corr loves to travel and wholeheartedly invites us along, inspiring us to open our eyes, open our minds, enjoy, and fully embrace all that the world has to offer: people, places, animals, cities, cultures, landscapes, art, architecture. 

A native of London, Corr earned a BFA in graphic design from Manchester Polytechnic, and an MA in illustration from the Royal College of Art. 

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Marcella Cooper: Beauty in Simple Things

What could be more relaxing than sitting in your back garden with a steamy pot of tea, a good book, and a snuggly feline friend?

British artist Marcella Cooper captures the joy of simple pleasures in her lovely paintings, each an invitation to live in the moment.

photo of Marcella by Sarah Lane

Based in rural Suffolk, Marcella lives with her family in a 16th century thatched cottage. Interested in art since childhood, she had always been drawn to British flora and fauna. 

While living in a quiet village and homeschooling her two children, she was inspired by her picturesque surroundings and began to dabble in drawing and painting. She sold these early pieces to family and friends. 

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mary fedden: beauty in finessed simplicity

I actually came to know Mary Fedden’s work in a round about sort of way. Truth is, her name was so frequently mentioned as an inspiration or influence by so many of my favorite British creators that I simply had to learn more.

Turns out she’s one of Britain’s finest and best-loved contemporary artists, one who painted daily right up until her passing in 2012 at age 96. She’s most well known for her distinctive still lifes, characterized by a bold use of color, odd and inventive perspectives, and flat picture planes. 

Artist, printmaker and illustrator Mary Fedden in her Durham Wharf Studio

She made the ordinary extraordinary with her signature näive yet sophisticated style, elevating the beauty of favorite subjects such as fruits, feathers and plants. Her extensive body of work spanned over seven decades.

Born in Bristol, England in 1915, Mary hated and dropped out of Badminton girls’ school to attend the Slade School of Fine Arts in London at age 16. While there, she studied under Russian scene painter Vladimir Polunin, who had worked with the Ballets Russes and with Pablo Picasso.

After completing her studies, she briefly designed sets for Sadler’s Wells before returning to Bristol to work as a teacher and portrait painter. Polunin’s influence was evident in her opulent palette, reminiscent of the sumptuous colors of the ballet’s sets and costumes. 

With the outbreak of WWII in 1939, Fedden served in the Women’s Land Army and Women’s Voluntary Service, where she was commissioned to create murals for the war effort. She later worked as a driver for the NAAFI in Europe.

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