Eleanor studied Foundation Art at Harrow Art School, and went on to train as a graphic designer with a large commercial art studio in Soho, London. Free-lance self-employment followed and with a foundation of sound drawing skills always underpinning her work, Eleanor enjoyed incorporating illustrative elements into her designs.
However, after a period of absence from the design world raising a family, and studying for another career, Eleanor returned to the world of art in 2015 after a painting holiday in Scotland inspired her to explore the technical challenges posed by watercolours.
“I have always loved hiking and sailing, and being immersed in beautiful landscapes, so the sort of scenes or seascapes that capture beautiful light, or mists that drift through open spaces or play with large distant horizons, provide a rich vein of inspiration. I enjoy capturing scenes that fundamentally feel peaceful, calm and uplifting.”
“My somewhat rusty illustration skills came flooding back when
tackling food-oriented still-lives. Maybe my enthusiasm for cooking (I’m also a nutritionist) makes food a natural still life choice for me, but then beautiful landscapes can be food for the soul.”
Limited editions Giclee prints of some of her paintings are available, and personal commissions are considered.
Serene light, gentle colours in a calm space, mists drifting, playing with distant horizons - I feel the need to capture arresting views that give me joy, and share them. The elusive goal is to recreate the moment that stopped you in your tracks, the scene that made you just look and stay looking.
In its broadest sense, art serves to capture a subjective experience, even an emotional response and pass it on to its viewer, and so artists have an important role to play in this fast moving technological world, where attention spans are short, consumed images are often digital and only last for micro seconds. So if sharing an arresting landscape increases people’s awareness of earth’s infinite beauty, maybe it will stir people to slow down and feel more protective towards the planet, for future generations to enjoy.
Since moving to Devon my practice is evolving and naturally reflecting the local environment: seascapes, particularly estuary scenes at dawn or dusk; and in contrast the blurred, panoramic horizons of Dartmoor, where skies are big and weather conveys emotion in dramatic relief.
The visual drama or mood may be the factor that people notice first, but a successful picture always has good tonal values underpinning it, and the composition draws you in, keeping the viewer’s eye travelling around the picture.
The serendipitous nature of watercolour suits both dynamic skies and still, reflecting waters and these two elements used strategically can make or break a painting. The distant showers depicted in ‘Red Kite over Dartmoor’ are a good example. This painting won two awards in The Artist magazine’s 2020 Open Competition, part of the Patching’s Festival. The exhibition award for 2021 means I shall explore the theme further, though I haven’t yet decided whether to focus on Dartmoor’s wildlife, perhaps around endangered, extinction issues, or stick to a more familiar theme of the Moor’s ever changing weather.
Either way I’m excited by the challenge.
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