Shielding in lockdown with her husband Peter, Amanda would walk over the fields at dusk from the farm where they live, dogs at heel and sketchbook in hand. ‘Painting has been a real escape for me,’ she says. ‘It takes your mind off everything. I can lose hours at a time at my easel. I’ve been going for a walk every day and I’m lucky that the countryside here is beautiful and inspiring. It’s a very rural area. But I don’t usually paint a specific scene – this picture is an amalgam of a nearby cornfield with black crows in the foreground and a dilapidated red barn on the horizon, inspired by the farms I pass. I tend to take my walk as the light is fading, and there’s often a moon rising. I like that time of day and the shifting colours that come with the approach of twilight.
A retired learning support assistant, Amanda has had more time to paint during lockdown and she worked on this one over six weeks from April. She begins with acrylics then builds on top with oil pastels. ‘I allow the foreground to occupy at least half the depth of the canvas, as this does. I’ll see something I like and I may take a photo or sketch it. Back home, I start developing these into what will become the finished piece.’
As winter looms, she isn’t at all despondent. ‘I can dive into my imagination.'
This has a real sense of eerie atmosphere. I felt there was a lot of emotion, but also a lot of skill in this picture.Andrew Marr
Expressive, poetic, spontaneous, technically accomplished, the artist’s personal response dominates the mood.Phillip Mould
This painting is stunning – so modern, so impressionistic. The energy expressed leaps off the canvas.Jane Seymour
The horizon gives a sense of hope, while the foreground brings you back to the here and now – untidy, scratchy, shadowy.Anneka Rice
I love the freedom of movement of the brushwork complemented by the expressiveness of the colours and design.Mark Bergin
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