Monday, November 14, 2011

Golden Autumn: Mark Hearld, Angie Lewin and Emily Sutton

There’s something funny about the autumn.  I actually mean about this autumn in particular.  For one thing, the past few days have been beautifully warm, warmer than a month ago.  And the sky is true sky blue.  No mauve or pewter.  Nothing muddy.  And the wind has been blowing for days.  So that even in protected spots, like my garden, the leaves are flying around, falling before they’ve completely changed.
And the sun is really clear.  I can’t say it’s intense.  But it’s definitely shining with purpose.  And everything just seems much more yellow.  Not just golden, but all sorts of yellow.  Plants that might normally turn brassy gold are almost neon bright.
Ones that are usually amber are more like saffron.
Brown lichens are mustardy against greenish-grey bluestone.
And faded barn reds are cerise with veins of sunflower yellow.
Maybe I’m imagining it.  But even my Golden Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium ‘Aureum’), that reverted to green years ago, has sent up lemony-lime foliage among the fading daylily leaves… which are surprisingly sunny this year.
Overall, everything seems more cheerful, even with the regular untidiness of fall.  The grass greens seem so much more citrusy.  So the blue greens are frostier.  And the dark, dark greens are more black.  It’s like someone adjusted the Technicolor.

And there’s so much activity.  From the wind and leaves, of course.  But there are also tons of birds in the yard.  Wrens, finches, sparrows, chickadees, small downy woodpeckers and large jays and cardinals, all taking advantage of the bits and pieces of plant stuff drying around them.

The past few days have reminded me of three British artists I really like.

Mark Hearld, Angie Lewin and Emily Sutton share a lot in common in their work, and I suspect, in their interests.  They are obviously interested in the natural world.  But they are also inspired by early British Modernism and interwar and postwar decorative design.
Long Live Weeds by Mark Hearld
Larch by Angie Lewin

Corner field, Stillington by Emily Sutton

They live and have studied in northern Britain: Mark in Glasgow and York; Angie in northern Norfolk and Emily in Edinburgh and York.  They predominately work on paper: wood-block prints, lithographs, linocuts, silkscreens, watercolors and collages.  But they also experiment with fabric.  All have designed fabrics for St. Jude’s, a gallery that has branched into hand-printed textiles.
Nature Table by Angie Lewin
Doveflight by Mark Hearld
Emily also crafts small fabric sculptures on her own.

And it seems like they are all drawn to palettes with lots of yellows, browns and blues. 
Stony Track by Angie Lewin
Pisanello's Hare by Mark Hearld

Night Horseman by Emily Sutton
And birds.  Lots of birds.  And feathers.

Their art always seem so kinetic to me.  Like the wind is perpetually blowing.
Grainfield by Angie Lewin
The Quince Tree by Mark Hearld
Even Emily’s still-lifes are full of activity.
Still Life by Emily Sutton
Obviously, their work reminds others of autumn.  Each artist currently has an exhibition in England: Mark and Emily at Godfrey and Watt through November 20, and Angie at Cambridge Contemporary Art, also through the weekend, and all of their original work is very affordable.  I don’t think they exhibit regularly in the U.S. just yet.  But they all do a lot of illustrations and design everyday items.

So, capture this beautifully tawny fall in your memory, and let Mark Hearld, Angie Lewin and Emily Sutton help.

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