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Atelier OPEN: Meet the Artist Joanna Farrow

Forest Clearing 2

by Joanna Farrow

Oil on canvas.

Dimensions: 64 x 64 cm.

Our Atelier OPEN exhibition continues at our contemporary art gallery on Brighton Beach, and we've invited some our exhibiting artists to tell us a bit more about themselves and their work. With 150 exhibitors, we might not get to hear from them all, but we'll do our best!


Today Joanna Farrow tells us about her love of trees... 

I’m a landscape painter and am drawn to the variety and different characteristics of all our indigenous trees. While out sketching on the Ashdown Forest last winter, I was captivated by the colour and form of a huge pile of cut logs. The sawn edges making a striking colour and texture contrast to the trees themselves. This evolved into a small series of similar paintings.

I work mostly with oils on canvas, but love drawing too – again mostly trees, often very close up and working large scale.  I try to work ‘plein air’ but feel more comfortable in my studio, so most of my work is done there, usually working from my sketchbooks and/or small studies when I’ve been out and about.

My sketchbook work is fast, spontaneous and direct. The focus of my recent work is to deliver the same directness of mark making onto larger works on canvas and paper. I take much of my inspiration from drawings made in my local woodlands and forest, which I then interpret into larger pieces in my studio using oils backed up with charcoal, pastels, oil sticks and acrylics, and always keeping the immediacy of my drawings in mind.

In committing to these materials I have discovered how interestingly they collaborate, through blending, layering, thinning and pouring. I work mainly on canvas or paper and am mostly drawn to subject matter such as the structure of a tree crown, a craggy aged tree trunk or the colour and form of cut logs.

I did a part time arts foundation as a mature student and have attended various short courses. Most of my learning has been through trial and error! I am spending more and more time as an artist, though my earlier career was as a food writer, of which I still do a little. I have a new garden studio which I love!

I’ve participated in various exhibitions and art events in London, Brighton and the South East. This year I have a small amount of work in different locations so as to make my work better known.

It’s difficult to choose just one Desert Island Artwork, but it would probably be Joan Eardley’s Salmon Nets which I saw at Tate St Ives last year. Fabulous colour and marks.

You can see more of my work at my website as well as at The Hurstwood, High Hurstwood where I have a permanent exhibition. 

Come and see Joanna's work for yourself at our Atelier OPEN, daily from 11am-5pm until the 17th September. Vote for your favourite piece while you are here.