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Oxfordshire Artweeks show by Belinda Ellis, St Mary's Lodge, Bloxham
Belinda Ellis is exhibiting her paintings in her house and studio, which she describes as “the perfect studio”. It is here that she creates her abstract pieces. Often they are very large ones.
In the past she has used figurative elements in her work, but these days she prefers to start a conversation with each piece, letting the piece itself suggest the next step.
Ellis works in a variety of media: acrylic and oils on canvas, watercolour on paper, etchings and mono-prints.
When working in acrylic and oils she will staple her canvas to boards on the floor. This ensures that materials such as the thin acrylic paint with which she often starts a piece will not drip.
It also means that each piece has no fixed right way up and that she can approach the piece and paint it from any angle. Her canvases are not stretched until finished.
This approach creates a satisfying symmetry as for example in Lucky Red, shown above, where the five strong blocks of colour fill the canvas, with the dominant reds, purples and pinks working in strong contrast to the yellows and oranges, with rivulets of mint green and other colours linking some of the elements together.
She achieves a similar boldness and clarity of colour in her etching Frontier III, where the positive luminescence that is a hallmark of her work is depicted in orange and brown to the left of the piece, providing a not unsympathetic boundary for the greys and greens to the right of the piece, with a frontier border keeping them apart.
Abstract work can be difficult to understand and appreciate. Ellis’s opening provides the opportunity to see her work in the surroundings in which it was created, and to talk to her about herself and her work. The house and studio are at St Mary’s Lodge, Bloxham, open from today until Sunday between noon and 6pm.