Hannah Ivory Baker
I am a self taught artist living in Crouch End, North London. I have always had a love of art and began painting when I was quite young, nothing formal, but was always encouraged to draw and paint. My grandfather was an artist, and he was a great inspiration as a child.
My landscapes are largely based around Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset as I visited these places frequently as a child and have continued to do so. Once there, I am often found sketching in a field or sitting on cliff tops with a brush in hand, gathering material for studio work. Taking photos, making sketches, jotting down notes about the time of day, weather, and interesting features. I try to absorb as much of the environment and my surroundings as possible.
My work is largely inspired by the natural world. The rugged Cornish coastline to the relative serenity of the Somerset Levels provide a wealth of artistic opportunity, possessing all elements necessary for creative interpretation and expression.
Working alla prima, I paint in main features of the landscape, recording basic shapes, tone and light then develop the rest intuitively. I often do lots of quick sketches from the same place using a variety of different mediums and then work in the studio on a large scale using both sketches and reference photographs. Studio pieces are done mainly on canvas, wood panel or aluminium depending on the overall feel I want to achieve, whilst the majority of initial sketches are done on board or paper.
The works of Constable, Turner, Monet and Seago are a constant and important influence for me. Their respective sketches from nature, studies of the natural world, light and reflection led them to create works of full depth and atmosphere.
I work predominantly in oil. I feel the possibilities of this medium are infinite. The ability to create translucent washes or heavy texture provides a constant challenge and creates interest in its own right. No matter how technically capable there is always an element of the unexpected when working with them. When combined with different mediums their ability to morph into glossy, translucent fluids or to thick, impasto is unrivalled. This, coupled with the ability to manipulate the paint, wiping it away to reveal tones beneath, record strong brush marks or scratch in to the paint layer enhancing depth and detail results in the medium that I feel, is best able to capture the true essence of landscape. Every so often, I produce larger work using acrylics, charcoal, gouache or ink. The idea is to keep all marks as loose and gestural as possible in order to create a real sense of energy and movement. Each work aims to evoke a sense of place, whilst allowing plenty of room for personal interpretation.