Hello, my name is Anne Winstanley Wood and I make vibrant paintings of the Surrey Hills landscape in a semi-abstract style often featuring buildings and man-made structures sitting within the nature around them. My work is about conveying a sense of mood and capturing movement and spontaneity. Lanes and undulating fields inspire me to sketch lines, shapes and patterns which in turn form my ideas into compositions. I have a lively, expressive style exploring different colour combinations and free energetic brushwork and mark making. I love drips, dots, lines, layers of different paint thicknesses and use a variety of tools including palette knives, sponges, spatulas….I am always excited when embarking on a new painting - creating something which is meaningful to me. Finding that happy place which sits just in the right place between representation and abstraction is very challenging. It is not always successful but I find it exciting. I often work on several paintings at the same time exploring similar techniques and ideas - this also stops me from working on something when it is actually finished!

Growing up in a northern mill town surrounded by magnificent landscape. My friends and I loved to escape the slate roofs, mill chimneys, endless rows of terraced houses and washing lines to explore the wild hills and moors beyond. We loved to climb walls, jump becks, run down slopes and tackle styles, make dens, and picnic in all seasons. It was a perfect adventure playground and I felt free to explore and imagine.

Fifty years later and having lived in the south west London, Devon, New York City and California I now find myself surrounded by the gentle, rolling hills, heathland and wooded countryside of the elegant Surrey Hills. Beautiful houses and National Trust properties replace the mill chimneys, slate roofs and “dark satanic mills” of my youth. Fences and woodland weave across the landscape rather than dry stone walls and moors.

That love of majestic, rugged landscape from my northern roots is still with me and I find myself injecting some of those gritty, moody feelings into my art.That’s where I see beauty. It comes from my early experiences in the north. I feel free. I feel calm and tranquil, excited and free.

“A work becomes a work of art when one re-evaluates the values of nature and adds one’s own spirituality. I tried to pursue notions such as these and often I stood contemplating the landscape, so grey, so simple, yet so splendidly rich with the animation of the sun and the wind.” Emile Nolde

I am very excited to be participating in’Surrey Artists’ Open Studios’ from 29th September – 4th October.

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