Downland Landscapes

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Downs Study from Beachy Head

This series of landscape works has been painted entirely on location. They are a direct response to what I saw and the experience of being in the landscape. I have always worked from direct observation and never seen the point of working away from the subject matter. That is because I do not paint pictures of things, I make studies.

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Belle Tout and Birling Gap

The satisfaction I derive from painting is from the experience of observing and the struggle to achieve a successful outcome. This experience is a kind of meditation in which I become so absorbed in the creative process that the paintings evolve with a slow spontaneity. The depth of that experience seems to determine the success of the painting that remains. I use measured drawing and paint a record of the subtle transitions of tone and colour to render forms to appear solid and create illusions of spatial depth. This is a method I practised in early attempts at painting from objects and working ‘plein-air’ and developed much further when I was a student at the Slade studying in the life rooms, which were at that time being run by Patrick George and Euan Uglow. It was from my years there that I learned to not hurry a painting and to give it the time it requires. Rather than capturing the moment, as the Impressionists and their followers tried to, my paintings serve more as a record of the prolonged time spent observing the landscape. That is usually several weeks and often I return in subsequent years.

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Birling Gap from Warren Hill

The South Downs were what inspired me to begin painting when I was a teenager growing up in Sussex. I have continued to paint from landscape ever since and after living and working as an artist in London and the Northeast of England, I returned to live in Sussex to be close to what is a favourite subject and an original source of inspiration.

For me it has always been the subject that is the inspiration and not the art world.

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Wilmington Hill

My time is divided between painting in the landscape and studio based still life and figure paintings. I also teach drawing, painting and printmaking classes at The Heatherley School of Fine Art in Chelsea.

Drawing at Belle Tout

Drawing at Belle Tout, Sussex

David Stubbs / The Rowley Gallery

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Downland Landscapes
Paintings by David Stubbs in the window of The Rowley Gallery until 9th July 2016.

Frames of reference
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