anthea simmons

 I cannot look at any view without feeling…and I mean FEELING...what it would be like to ride across it. I experience a visceral response to a steep hill or a twisty track. This need to express that lurch of fear and excitement has informed my work and, in this aspect, I identify strongly with Peter Lanyon and his impulse to capture the landscape he loved from the bird’s eye view that his glider gave him. My first paintings were all aerial views, expressly to convey the ‘velocity’ of the land and my own reaction to it. I had not, at that stage, seen Peter Lanyon’s glider paintings but a visit to the Courtauld Institute’s show, ‘Soaring Flight; confirmed for me that he is one of the painters I most revere.
In March, I went on a course focusing on Lanyon’s landscapes at the St Ives School of Painting, taught by Liz Hough. At first I resisted the collage. It seemed to take away the ability to express oneself through mark-making, but I quickly realised what a fabulous tool it is.
This new body of work encompasses all of the experience and techniques I have accumulated over the past seven years. The collage plays many roles. Sometimes it represents the thing itself, sometimes the colour or the texture or the form. Sometimes it’s just there to be playful. 
When I paint the loop of streets or the sweep of a bay, I am feeling it, physically. The red lines are expressions of energy…maybe the swoop of a gull or the whoosh of a jet. Maybe it’s just the trace of the viewer’s gaze. Somehow, these lines and arcs need to be there. In the large Cobb painting, they seem, to me, to anchor the scene somehow.
I hope you enjoy these paintings and that you might feel you want to own one. They are the product of much effort and time but are, ultimately, the result of a deep love for two of the most beautiful places in this gorgeous countryside of ours.