Taking a moment to wander the gallery and allow myself a moment to soak in each piece of this collection, it becomes apparent that this is a transitional body of work in more ways than one. Not only does this exhibition demonstrate Amanda’s ability to depict beauty in every Cornish season but the application of paint appears to have developed. Amanda’s light touch and honed skill remains with each abstract mark having purpose in the formation of recognisable headlands. The light, dancing across the water on a summer’s day, in earlier bodies of work had been depicted in sweeping marks, now effortlessly sparkle and dot across the deep turquoise ocean. Amanda’s attention to the landscape has become even more distinctively impressive.
With many landscape painters the viewer can often be aware that the artist has either one of the following – an innate connection to the landscape resulting in emotive works that captivate their audience not with their precision or accuracy but by the rich immersion the artist has in the energy of their surroundings. Whilst other artists are simply impeccably skilled with paint, they could pluck a landscape from Google maps and perfectly translate it onto the canvas in their proposed style. It is, however, rare to find an artist with both merits under their belt. Amanda’s love for the Cornish coast runs as infinitely deep as her love of painting. Her prolific approach never ceases to develop whilst her romanticism is prominent in every single piece.
The play of light in this collection is also a prominent factor with the usual bright blue summer days complimenting the sultrier mauves and dusky pink evening skies. ‘Bluebells at Enys Gardens’ depicts beams of sun breaking through the woodland ceiling to illuminate the splattering of bluebells amongst the overgrown path. Countless shades of green juxtaposed by the gentle flickers of purple effortlessly depicts a Sunday stroll through the woods. The Helford paintings feel especially fresh with murky undergrowth framing the dazzling streams of light that glisten upon the water and distinctly capture the ethereal magnificence of the Cornish landmark.