Lil Tudor-Craig – Ecology into Art
My formal training has been in Agriculture and in Wildlife Conservation, but art has been the main theme of my life. Painting is a way for me to explore, understand and celebrate the natural world of the British Isles. My interest is in ecology or the relationship of living things to each other and to their habitat. Each picture shows a particular place at a particular time of year with some of the creatures which can be found there at that time. Some of the creatures are dependent exclusively on the plants in the picture.
The pictures are about the interconnectedness and interdependence of life, our connection and our loss. The natural world, the humble one on our very doorsteps, that is sometimes not obviously beautiful, holds delight, magic and importance and can be greatly healing to us.
The paintings show a glimpse into the world of brambles, stinging nettles and other commonly unnoticed habitats, and of some of the many intricate lives you would find there, though they are but echoes of the wonders to be seen if we look patiently into thorn thickets, long grasses and thistles and enjoy the forgotten places where wildness persists.
I use Egg Tempera which I make using pure pigments ground into a paste with water and then mixed with egg yolk at the time of painting. Egg yolk is an emulsion of oil and water so the paint is water soluble when wet but very durable. Very intense colours and fine detail are possible using this medium. I use high quality 18mm birch ply wood which I first coat with gesso, which forms a ground for the tempera. The technique of tempera, requiring many thin layers of colour, together with the detailed nature of my work, means that the paintings can each take three or four months to complete.
4th – 19th July 2015 at The Linklater Pavilion, Railway Lane, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 2FG
Studio visits available by appointment.
“…The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself.”
From Chief Seattle’s Testimony, 1850’s
“…The exceeding beauty of the earth, in her splendour of life, yields a new thought with every petal. The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours when we really live, so that the longer we can stay among these things so much the more is snatched from inevitable Time. …These are the only hours that are not wasted – these hours that absorb the soul and fill it with beauty. This is real life, and all else is illusion, or mere endurance.”
From The Pageant of Summer by Richard Jefferies, 1884.