Jim Whitty's landscape painting is an ongoing exploration of his local Somerset landscape, focusing on the beautiful wooded valley of Vallis Vale, near Frome. 'It is a place that I never tire of,' he says. 'It's constantly surprising me with its secret paths, which might lead under a fence into a hay field, or end at a precarious makeshift camp perched on the cliff edge of an abandoned quarry looking out above the tree canopy'.
Jim's vision of the forest reveals it as an other-worldly, dream-like place where nature is alive and at work. The further you get from the well-trodden path, the truer this becomes. He revels in the beauty of the woods that surround his home but acknowledges that this is a moment in time when forests are in crisis and we need to learn to tread lightly on the earth.
Unusual in its approach to English landscape, Jim's work is distinct by its saturated colour. Jim favours precise brushwork and flat-planes to describe the woodland and waterways that surround his home. He likes to work in large scale, offering the viewer an immersive experience, the landscape appearing to encircle them.
The atmosphere in each of the works is brooding, almost bringing out a sense of strangeness and mystery, whilst his use of colour is unromanticised, capturing nature’s intensity. He says:
'I do hope to create a series of inter-connected thoughts but sometimes the visual experience can't be pinned down by words and ideas, and a more instinctive approach can feel more emotionally direct.'
Jim graduated in Fine Art from Glasgow School of Art in 1994 and has exhibited widely in the UK and worldwide.