As the Riverside Café Gallery welcomes its new exhibition, ‘Be Still…’ we caught up with the artist Esther Pritchard to find out more about her practice and motivations. Esther is a self-taught seascape painter from Surrey, producing oil paintings that reflect the changing light, mood and atmosphere of the British coastline. As interest in Esther’s work builds momentum through local showcases in Surrey and from being a regular at the Maltings Monthly Market, we are delighted to bring together a selection of her pieces in a solo exhibition which runs into the New Year.
What are you working on at the moment and where do you find ideas for your work?
I am currently completing a flurry of commissions, ready for Christmas. A lot of my work comes from people who want me to encapsulate a holiday memory in a painting. I therefore work from photos and sketches that they provide. On the easels this week are paintings of The Gower, Highlands and Croyde.
What motivates you to make work, who do you believe has influenced your career and inspired you to start?
I believe, like every other soul on the planet, I’ve been given a gift. I don’t want to waste opportunities to grow and develop. The fact that I gain so much joy and pleasure from painting, testifies to the truth that gifts need to be nurtured. My Great Uncle was an oil painter. I have very fond memories of slyly sticking my finger into a pile of semi dried paint, as he’d show me his latest landscapes. But it was a good friend who encouraged me to start painting and she provided my first opportunity to exhibit. Thanks Laura!
What medium do you use in your practice and why?
I paint with oils. I fell in love with this medium several years ago. There is something about the depth and richness of colour that feeds the habit! Oils are also incredibly malleable, which compliments the movement and light of my seascapes.
If you could name one, what is your favourite piece of work you have created, and why?
‘Lighthouse’ is a very special painting. It seems to connect with many people. It was painted during a time of grief and my response in the midst of sadness. It may seem odd that this is my favourite painting but there is a raw hope hidden in that piece that continues to remind me to look to the light, not the storm.
If you can name one, what is your proudest achievement?
Painting a collaborative piece with my son Jesse, age 7!
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
Without a doubt, kitchen roll.
Where is your favourite place to see art?
I’m a big fan of local art houses but have recently fallen in love with Liverpool and its vibrant art scene.
Riverside Café Gallery, Farnham Maltings
30 November – 04 January 2019 (free exhibition during Café opening hours)