Themes of isolation and escapism are always prominent within the work of landscape painter Lucy Fiona Morrison. She creates paintings that allow the viewer to be able to appreciate nature in its rawest form. Devoid of human figures and constructions, the viewer takes a solitary stance and is immersed into the landscape, captured by the fleeting moment of nature in an uninhabited view.
Ahead of Lucy’s exhibition in the Riverside Cafe Gallery, curator Anna Garrett speaks to the artist to hear about future plans and the challenges of painting big!
What are you working on at the moment and where do you find the ideas for your work?
I always have multiple paintings on the go. A few of my latest projects include a commissioned set of paintings that represent the Scottish Highlands; a brand new series of paintings which will be exhibited at the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate this July, showcasing Yorkshire’s idyllic settings of untamed countryside, and experimental works creating oil paintings on alternative surfaces. I take my inspiration from the landscape around us; it’s about capturing aspects of the scene that move me and trying to convey that to the viewer by eliminating unsightly elements, and enhancing aspects like the weather conditions, to create heightened reality.
What medium do you use in your practice?
I use oils! I prefer to make my own oil paint by using dry pigment and cold-pressed linseed oil. By using a glass muller and palette knife to combine these ingredients together I can control the quality of the colour produced. I am continually experimenting with raw pigments and their resulting effects. I often stock up on pigment when visiting abroad, I really enjoy discovering the emporium of jars filled with colours in European art supply shops. Once I have created the oil colour I will generally use the selected colours to create a series of paintings, dipping in and out of each one as each layer of oil paint dries.
Alongside oils, I regularly use charcoal to set compositions and to highlight details in the paintings, I use this technique when working on both canvas and board.
If you could pick one; what is your favourite piece of work, that you have created, and why?
My favourite piece of work is an Oil painting I made of the oil seed fields. It is that moment of calm before the storm, with dramatic clouds against bright cobalt blue skies. A contrasting wave of ochre fields are overcast with shadows; it is an atmospheric yet peaceful moment.
If you can name one, what is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement to date has been shipping works internationally- having my works in a collection overseas. Five of my large scale paintings were recently sent to America, as they were purchased by a private buyer.
What is the most indispensable item in your studio?
Space – I like to paint big! I am constantly creating new series of paintings and often have to change the studio around to fit with my latest project or commission. It is rare that I have blank walls!
Lucy Fiona Morrison’s exhibition ‘Plains and Peaks’ runs at the Riverside Café Gallery from 16- 28 May.