Pauline Preston

I started painting about nine years ago following retirement from education. I practised as an educational psychologist for twenty years and a science teacher for twenty years prior to that. I am married with three adult married sons and four grandchildren .

Over the nine years I have tried to develop my skills and extend my experience by attending many classes and workshops locally at Qube and Willow Galleries, as well as further afield. I am a member of Oswestry & District Society of Artists ( ODSA) and  have exhibited locally. I currently have a number of ink cat paintings in Willow Gallery.

‘Lockdown’ provided me with the opportunity to spend more time on my art and try out several new and experimental techniques.
Of all the media I have tried my love is for watercolour and its effects. I prefer to paint loosely and drew my inspiration from the natural world, with flowers and animals being my main themes.

However this painting ‘Mountain blues’ is very different and one of several experimental pieces completed during lockdown . These paintings are all landscapes painted in a very different style.

I swapped brushes for  a plastic credit card and applied thick watercolour paint sprayed with lots of water, and then I swept it across the paper , letting it do its own thing. I found this technique to be very ‘ freeing ‘ and was pleasantly surprised with most of the results . In fact,  I made a short video for my group for one of the Zoom sessions when the Qube tutor was not available. Our weekly Zoom sessions, with Qube tutor, Babs, facilitate momentum, as well as maintaining our positive social contacts and friendships.

This particular painting ‘Mountain blues’ derives from my  imagination, reflecting my mood and yearning for a return to  ‘normal’ conditions, with the freedom to be able to travel to beautiful, peaceful and safe places, where we feel free, safe and once again at ease.
The reflections visible in the water symbolise these thoughts;  and the limited palette of ‘blues’, unusual for me, matched my mood .
In contrast, the small areas of warmer colours , yellow and orange, remind me that there are still many positives  to appreciate. These represent small islets of opportunity and hope in the cold landscape, reminiscent of the kind and warm acts which we have witnessed in the local and global community ,in the face of the harsh co-vid climate.

Mountain Blues
Watercolour, ink, credit card
29 x 42cm