Amanda Hoskin: A Cornish Summer

15th June - 3rd July 2020

Amanda Hoskin: A Cornish Summer

Amanda Hoskin Interview June 2020


H.N: How has your painting practice evolved over the past year or so?

A.H: I think I'm painting with more texture in a more painterly way. I've been working on building up quite rich paint and colour into my surfaces. I think when I started painting, as a water colourist, it was much flatter and fine. Whereas recently, I've been using a lot more paint in itself, building rocks and foregroundmore yummy. Which has hopefully built a depth and richness into these paintings.

H.N: Is there something new that is driving you forward at the moment? Something different you've been trying to navigate?

A.H:I've always used sketching in situ as a starting point but I think now more than ever the return to the studio is important. I use the studio as a filter, that's how I describe it. When you're outside, there is so much information, its overwhelming, all the views and stimulus. Whereas when I get back to the studio, its like a natural selection because I'm working with my memory and what stuck out for me, how I homed in on certain things. I really like using the studio as a filter to bring everything down to produce a final painting. This has sort of developed over the years and I feel it has become something really prominent in my practice over the last 12 months or so.

H.N: What is the most enjoyable part of working with your chosen subject matter?

A.H: So, its really two things. First of all, its a real connection to the landscape. I just really love that outdoor space, the huge-ness of it. And it really doesn't matter if its the moors, the cliffs, the beach. And I've done some city scapes of Venice and such and its still the same feeling in urban landscapes, of being outdoors and feeling that interest. That feeling I get when I'm out there, that is the starting point of everything for me. And then secondly, its to do with the painting. I really enjoy the texture of oil paint, the richness of the colours, the creaminess of it when mixing, how I can manipulate it- I find oil paint incredibly easy to use. I have a real love for the paint so when I move through the landscape not only am I seeing it for its beauty but I'm thinking about the paintings I could make from what I'm seeing. I try to and absorb it more, try to soak in everything about where I am and hold onto that feeling because I know I'll be taking the memories back to the studio with me. I take in the landscape within me and then back in the studio have a second engagement with it as I put it outward onto paper or canvas. So its both those things, you cannot have one without the other, the landscape and the paint.

H.N:Do you work on more than one painting at a time, if yes or no, why?

A.H: I usually work on several paintings at a time, for several reasons. Mainly, because I am often working towards a show or a collection of sorts and I like to produce them together. I will paint a picture, put it on the wall, leave it alone, paint another one and they seem to grow as a group.
And also, one painting very often leads directly to another one in terms of composition or subject matter. So I might do something in one painting and really like a small detail and then take this into another work either bigger or zoomed in. I enjoy producing pictures as a group rather than one on its own, it is my preferred way of working. Working as a collection, it feels

more like a journey. Also, working on more than one at a time really helps me edit and finalise paintings. In a group of 7 or 8 paintings, when I have moved through them I can then go back to the first one with fresh eyes. I've had a break and can look at it again with a more critical eye and see different things which I can then go back and change. It all naturally works this way, you've got more cohesive paintings together, more time for stuff to dry and dip back into. It has all got to flow but then each painting has to stand alone as well, so its a real balancing act.

H.N:How do you map out the trajectory of a painting, does it come from a single sketch of photo or more a culmination of a place?

A.H: I get an idea from a view on a walk, that is usually my beginning point. Even the last few weeks, in lockdown in Fowey, I've gone to places that I perhaps have never really bothered to go before and seen views and angles of the estuary I haven't painted. So from those walks I can see paintings I will now be going on to produce. So when I'm out walking, I'll just see something and think, oh, that's good, I like that. From this point, I'll do some sketches and then develop this idea, filtering through the experience and the feeling of being there and then remembering this back in the studio and then off I go. So it starts with seeing something and a sketch. I like to sketch rather than take a photo because I think you remember it so much more. I've noticed that when I'm teaching in the Newlyn School, when people sketch rather than photograph they really remember the view or the walk.

H.N: Recently, what has been running through your head and studio that is exciting you with this recent body of work?

A.H: For this show, it is predominantly a summer showwithout meaning to be. It seems to be quite bright and uplifting and summery. The main thing with this body of work is that it is some of my all time favourite favourite views- so there's Fowey, where I've lived for 20 years, then around St.Anthony's Lighthouse and Falmouth Harbour and then also some Scillies. I feel like I homed in naturally to some of my most special places. In particular, from Falmouth Harbour, views such as looking across to Flushing. I was brought up in Falmouth so I know it so well, there are just certain things and places that I pinpoint and gravitate to with memories of sailing in the harbour just clicking back into me. This has been going on a lot whilst I was painting, this recall of memories with this show. And going back to those techniques we talked about at the beginning, just that texture and approaching it in a more painterly wayespecially in some of the night scenes which I love. Building up that light and colour of those blue skies has been is focus.

H.N: What is your favourite part of the painting process?

A.H: I think it's the beginning.. which I know is unusual. I don't have a problem with a blank page, the beginning is always optimistic and hopeful and rather exciting for me. I can honestly say, having been painting for so many years now, every painting I start, I have this feeling of, you know, this is the one, this is going to be the best and I put everything into that feeling. The excitement of getting on with the picture is just the best feeling. You know, you've got paint there and this white board or canvas, and I actually like the white-ness of it- I never put a colour down, you've got this clear window and clean slate and then you start.People who have watched me do demos have said that I'm faster at the beginning, there's an energy I pour out and I try and capture it within that zone, being fully in the moment. And then people say I slow down. As I

get nearer to the end I'm looking at certain things, is that colour right, is this all working; slowing right down. A total difference between the initial excitement and energy and then a methodical, more critical manner. But I really do enjoy the beginning.

H.N: How do you find the balance, within the mark making and composition of a painting, between the instinctive and the intentional? Is this something you are aware of whilst you paint?

A.H: I think it is instinctive for me now and that process becomes stronger purely by the amount of time I've been painting. There was always a certain degree of instinctive mark making for me because of my upbringing and childhood in the environments I am painting pictures of. I have sailed all my life, always been by the sea and looking at these spectacular landscapes, always very aware of movement and sky and sea and weather. This awareness meant that those shapes and landscapes are just in your blood and brain whether you know it or not. So when it came to painting, there was an instinct to it from the start to create the painting itself but this has certainly grown stronger in me as a painter over the years. But also at the same time you have to be intentional and look for the happy accidents and be aware of things going on in the painting.
The little bit of light or flick of paint, you have to notice them and take note of them before you accidentally obliterate them. So there's definitely both intentional and instinctive marks in my paintings, its a combo again. Nothing is just one thing in painting. So many things are going on in painting, why do we do it, what are we trying to say, what are you focusing on, are you painting to escape and switch off or are you trying to reach people. Painting has never-ending questions.

H.N:What is the main message or thought process behind this particular collection of paintings?

A.H: This collection is naturally uplifting and bright. I think the idea of them being a captured memory of Cornwall is perhaps what is most important. They are really specific to this place, the landscape and a moment of time. I want people to be able to take something from the paintings that is exclusive to them, I try not to put too much in the paintings like no boats or people because I want the viewers to fill in the gaps themselves. I want there to be enough space for people to put their own imagination into my work. I love the sense of space and openness, for me this is vital and what I want to put across the most.

H.N: How does teaching effect your own painting practice?

A.H: When I'm teaching I try to say there's nothing to fear. It is just a painting and if something goes wrong, its not the end of the world. And there's a freedom in that. I've noticed that people just want to get the picture done so that its done. But you've got have the confidence to take the time, you've got to be okay with it not being okay and perhaps being a bit rubbish for a while.
I've really enjoyed teaching because it has made me look at what I do because I'm having to tell to people about it. Its made me articulate better and think about these things I'm telling them to do like not be scared or let it go or be free and its reminding me to do those things. Instead of just painting, with teaching you're having to think about all the why's of your painting and you start analysing the things that are going on and I've found it really helpful. And also, you learn.
You see how students are painting and what techniques they're using and sometimes you see something you've never thought to try yourself. Its a two way thing.

H.N: What has been, for you, a career defining moment?

A.H: Not sure I've had one yetI just want to keep painting. I think for me there can be too much talking about your work and you get bogged down when really painting is the only way forward for me. My aim is just to keep making, don't look sideways and compare yourself, just keep painting.

H.N: What's the best bit advice you could think to give yourself at the beginning of your art career that you wish you'd known?

A.H: Learning how to let things lie, don't over work it, if its not working just leave it alone. 20 years of being a painter has been such a privilege, to be artist and have this for my life is wonderful. And during my time as an artist I have been really fortunate, but one thing I'd say to myself is don't be frightened and don't be intimidated. Keep your distance and just do what you do.

H.N: What do you think is so captivating about this part of the world as an artist?

A.H:I just think the beauty of Cornwallits just sublime. The other day, it was a beautiful early morning and I was walking down over the rocks towards the beach in Fowey and the breeze was coming up over the sea and the water was sparkling and it was just all so special. I remember thinking to myself that the air was delicious, it was fresh and clean. With your question, that memory comes straight into my mind.

H.N: We've loved watching the progress and evolution of your painting over the years, what is the most rewarding part of working with a gallery for a long period of time? How has working with Beside the Wave impacted you as an artist?

A.H: I was thinking about this a lot leading to this show, I think I have probably been with you guys for about 20 years-which is really amazing, I don't know where those years have gone?! At the starting point of my career, I was just not sure whether I could make a living out of it, the everyday worries were a big thing for me but Beside the Wave showed me such enthusiasm, encouragement and support. With your confidence, it inspired me to become an artist really, to push on. With a gallery, its sort of like feedback. As an artist, you're on your own a lot, getting on in the studio, doing your thing and then you finish the work and it can feel a little flat. But then, you go to the gallery for the drop off and with you all at Beside the Wave I get such enthusiasm which combined with the customers, it fuels to me say.. okay, this is good. It all acts as a circle really as it then propels me into making new work again. Beside the Wave has really been so essential to me, probably my most important gallery over the years and not only the encouragement but the trust is something really important to me. You have to trust me to produce the work and put your confidence in what I am making and that all helps me paint, and it doesn't take huge amounts, even the smallest amount of encouragement really inspires me.

Amanda Hoskin - Coastal Colours, Polridmouth Cove

Amanda Hoskin

Coastal Colours, Polridmouth Cove

Oil on canvas

£3,250

Amanda Hoskin - The Sea Rolls in, Cornwall

Amanda Hoskin

The Sea Rolls in, Cornwall

Oil on canvas

£3,250

Amanda Hoskin - The Essence of Summer, Cornwall

Amanda Hoskin

The Essence of Summer, Cornwall

Oil on canvas

£2,900

Amanda Hoskin - Summer Roses

Amanda Hoskin

Summer Roses

Oil on canvas

£2,250

Amanda Hoskin - Sea Pinks, near Gwithian

Amanda Hoskin

Sea Pinks, near Gwithian

Oil on paper

£1,695

Amanda Hoskin - Quiet Sea at Lantivet Cove

Amanda Hoskin

Quiet Sea at Lantivet Cove

Oil on paper

£1,450

Amanda Hoskin - Silver Light over St. Mawes

Amanda Hoskin

Silver Light over St. Mawes

Oil on paper

£1,400

Amanda Hoskin - Turquoise Sea, St. Martins, Isles of Scilly

Amanda Hoskin

Turquoise Sea, St. Martins, Isles of Scilly

Oil on paper

£1,400

Amanda Hoskin - Radiant Light across the Bay, Falmouth

Amanda Hoskin

Radiant Light across the Bay, Falmouth

Oil on paper

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Sunlight through the Trees, Heading to Allday's Field

Amanda Hoskin

Sunlight through the Trees, Heading to Allday's Field

Oil on paper

£1,250

Amanda Hoskin - Wild Flowers, the Hall Walk

Amanda Hoskin

Wild Flowers, the Hall Walk

Oil on paper

£1,100

Amanda Hoskin - Crashing Waves against the Rocks, Falmouth Bay

Amanda Hoskin

Crashing Waves against the Rocks, Falmouth Bay

Oil on board

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Light sparkles in the Bay, Falmouth

Amanda Hoskin

Light sparkles in the Bay, Falmouth

Oil on board

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Our Ancient Landscape, Zennor

Amanda Hoskin

Our Ancient Landscape, Zennor

Oil on board

£995

Amanda Hoskin - Autumn Walk to Polridmouth Cove

Amanda Hoskin

Autumn Walk to Polridmouth Cove

Oil on paper

£950

Amanda Hoskin - Roseland Peninsula

Amanda Hoskin

Roseland Peninsula

Oil on paper

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Walking the Coastal Path from Lamorna Cove, Cornwall

Amanda Hoskin

Walking the Coastal Path from Lamorna Cove, Cornwall

Oil on paper

£750

Amanda Hoskin - A Summer's Day looking towards Flushing

Amanda Hoskin

A Summer's Day looking towards Flushing

Oil on paper

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Summer Flowers at Mylor Creek

Amanda Hoskin

Summer Flowers at Mylor Creek

Oil on paper

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - The Glory of Flowers

Amanda Hoskin

The Glory of Flowers

Oil on paper

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Evening Stroll to Mylor

Amanda Hoskin

Evening Stroll to Mylor

Oil on paper

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Moonlight St. Mawes

Amanda Hoskin

Moonlight St. Mawes

Oil on paper

SoldSold

Amanda Hoskin - Daffodil Field near Fowey

Amanda Hoskin

Daffodil Field near Fowey

Mixed media on paper

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Amanda Hoskin - End of a Perfect Summer's Day

Amanda Hoskin

End of a Perfect Summer's Day

Oil on paper

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Amanda Hoskin - Garden Flowers

Amanda Hoskin

Garden Flowers

Mixed media

£375

Amanda Hoskin - Zennor, a beauty in it's Wildness

Amanda Hoskin

Zennor, a beauty in it's Wildness

Oil on board

SoldSold

Beside The WaveBeside The Wave

8-10 Arwenack Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3JA8-10 Arwenack Street, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 3JA

Open Monday - Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm | Sunday 11:00am - 4:00pm | Bank Holidays 11:00am - 4:00pm

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