Elizabeth Oakley Artist and Photographer
Bee on buddleia: summer in the Cotswolds
Artist, photographer, illustrator with an early background living in Asia and Africa. From this I developed a feeling for wide landscapes with strong colour and dramatic form.
My father was an international architect working with overseas governments on low cost housing and planning projects in the developing world. As a young family we travelled to many interesting places with him.
In later life after university in the UK, I worked in the car industry in the Midlands; publishing, broadcast and print media in London; coaching, policy roles and the IT sector in Cambridge, and most recently, in local government in the Cotswolds.
As a young artist I started as an oil painter producing very large works, landscape, still life and portraits. Work then evolved towards greater definition through fine line drawing and photography.
After the drama and excitement of the far east, later work reflects a more subtle approach to shapes and colour inspired by the English landscape.
Especially influential are the spiritual resonances in landscape and churches that can be reflected in drawing and photography. I have a special interest in church architecture in the Cotswolds and find it a wonderfully demanding subject for drawing and photography.
In the early days I did not think I could even begin to represent the complexity and craftsmanship of the medieval stonemasons. However, over time and with a lot of concentration, I began to develop a way of working that is I hope a tribute to the huge investment of time and skill by the original craftsmen.
I also love the rural landscapes of France and Italy and have had the opportunity to travel there to paint over the years.
I have organised and contributed to exhibitions in London, Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, Stroud, Wotton Under Edge and Dursley.
I am also a poet and short story writer with many published in the local press and small local publications. The Gloucestershire Gazette published a feature on my poetry a few years ago.
It is an interesting thought that the written word and paintings can correspond in some way. I am still reflecting on this relationship and what potential it has for new art forms.
Street scene in Asia: open source image from Alamo
St James The Great church, Dursley, Cotswolds
Tuscan farmhouse with poppies: acrylic on canvas
South West Coastal path between Clevedon and Portishead