We can ask little more of an landscape painter than to provide in paint not only what we have seen with our own eyes, but to capture the very essence of a scene – to feel when we gaze upon a painting the warming sun on our face and to hear the sigh of the wind distant in the trees.
In Down an English Lane, Richard Thorn has chosen that most iconic feature of our rural landscape to remind us how delightful and inspiring even the most familiar scenery can be. Whilst the majority of paintings included here represent settings from his native Westcountry, the imagery will be familiar to all of us who share the artist's enjoyment of wandering down our country lanes.
Here history and nature are entwined among the rambling hedgerows and winding roads that stamp upon the landscape an unruly maze of byways, marking it as unmistakably English. Through each season the artist charts the annual changes that transform autumnal rust to winter's steel, then change again to the first fresh greenery of spring and on to golden summer days.
For all those who love the countryside, for those who appreciate the artist's skill in capturing in paint the quintessence of a scene, Down an English Lane will prove a lasting treasure.
Richard Thorn was born in the South West of England in 1952. He grew up living close to the sea and amid the beautiful Devon countryside. As a result the sea, coastal and rural landscape have been an ongoing inspiration for his subject matter. Although he formally studied art at the Newton Abbot School of Art, he is a naturally gifted artist and prefers to create paintings from 'feeling' rather than an academic standpoint.
Early influences were the artists Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper and Philip Jameson. Richard began painting professionally in the 1980s and since then he has produced many fine paintings and limited edition prints celebrating the commanding Devon and Cornish landscapes and coastlines. The Westcountry has a 'quality of light' that attracts many British artists and Richard Thorn is no exception. He is drawn to the intensely bright and suffuse light which, together with the many variations in the coastal and inland landscapes of the area, are the qualities he successfully captures in his paintings. Historically Richard's preferred medium has been watercolour, but more recently he has been producing art works in gouache and acrylic with equal success.