Knaresborough-based artist Simon Crawford has revealed a series of brightly coloured and impactful paintings for his first solo exhibition at Ryedale Folk Museum.
The exhibition explores the Yorkshire and British countryside and the featured paintings are inspired by Simon’s walks with his dog, through the landscapes and places he loves.
Mr Crawford has produced these paintings to reflect his feelings about nature, gathered and formed as he roams across fields, through woods and by rivers.
He studied History of Art and English at the University of Nottingham, before winning the Jubilee scholarship to the Byam Shaw School of Art in London. Simon has exhibited widely in the United Kingdom and abroad, including a mixed touring exhibition organised by the British Council to Moscow.
In 2001, Mr Crawford won the Hugh Casson prize for drawing at the Royal Academy Summer Show, in which he continues to regularly exhibit.
Mr Crawford said: “I may take photographs or make small drawings as I go along, but these paintings are more to do with feelings as one meanders through the landscape. William Blake saw Angels in Peckham Rye.
“They exist in Yorkshire too – in trees and the earth.
“It is difficult to ignore the Romantics – especially Samuel Palmer, but also contemporary artists like Michael Porter, Christopher Le Brun and Ian McKeever – these artists get under the skin and help to experience a place and register and recalibrate one’s own thoughts and feelings.
“The paintings are trying hard to get across the sense of smooth bark, or boggy heath, dryness and brittle fragments, and a grand sweep of the elements.”
Jennifer Smith, museum director, said: “Simon Crawford was recently featured in the museum’s first-ever open art show. I am now excited to see his solo show in the gallery.
“The paintings are strong, powerful and colourful. They convey Simon’s personal response to landscapes and provide an exciting interpretation of Yorkshire scenes.”