I'm delighted to be showing the work of Dorothy Ramsay, Cumbrian artist at Linden Print Studio from 18 April to 30 June. There is a mixture of paintings and prints, abstract and figurative, but generally representative of Dorothy's more recent interests. I will also be showing one of her early prints, made when she was 16 and which won her a place at the Camberwell School of Art.
It is actually easier to write about myself than say anything intelligent about what I am up to in my work.... but I do know that I am able to focus and stick to one form of art; in the 1980s I spent a decade weaving using only black and white, that shows tenacity! Now in later life I am working more as a student trying and playing with as many ideas and media as I can find, limited only by the lack of working space. Printmaking allows endless opportunities for experimentation and by not allowing myself to be defined by tradition I can mix collage, monoprint, and sugar lift etching, all of which can be seen in this show. The paintings fall into two rough categories: abstraction and realism. I enjoy doing both. Abstract art is over a hundred years old but is not particularly understood or liked (I would disagree!). The more photographic a painting is, the more it is prized, but the loss is the visibility of the presence of the artist. For me, making abstract work is a bit like a non-dyslexic person enjoying a crossword. Some of my work takes days of constantly altering, till they become balanced and interesting to look at. My more realistic work is painted because some scene or objects have a quirkiness which attracts me. A different kind challenge is in creating an atmosphere such as the painting Snowy Castlerigg. I tried to capture the strong forms of the stones but then also the glowering sky with flashes of light in it, too. This is done intuitively but with nearly 80 years of observation. I think the discomfort of abstract work is due to the very ancient need to be able to recognise things, people quickly - life depends on this even today. Sheep can recognise sisters and cousins preferring the company of the known. Abstract art - is it friend or foe? Each time I think I have created a totally unrepresentative piece, some will immediately see a face, or a dog, rendering it safe once again. A challenge! just enjoy the colour, composition, and a place of the unknown.