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Martin Taylor at Chelsea

Low flying pheasants, deep green leaves on heavy ash tree boughs and golden honey colour stone houses and villages can only mean you are travelling through Northamptonshire. I was on my way to visit Martin Taylor in his studio just on the edge of the Althorp estate, just before the start of the Chelsea Flower Show.

With views across fields of cows towards the Spencer family church at Great Brington you can lean on the five bar field gate outside his studio on a farm and breathe in the lush smells of the English countryside.

Martin Taylor at Chelsea Flower Show

Martin is busily making coffee and chatting about his recent trips to a local wood or the conversations he has been having with game keepers and farmers which bring that sense of the countryside much closer still and onto his easel.

Dabbing at the air with a single hair brush he points out the details on the bark of an oak tree. In his painting he enjoys nothing more than taking the viewer deep into a thicket or tangle of brambles to really explore how wildlife maybe sees the World we have created. Millions of tiny brush strokes are applied in a host of colours and shades of greens, blues and blacks to enable this sense of intricate detail to appear. At the same time, as is his wish, it must still be seen as effortless and simple as the work of nature is, an accident of both growth and decay, of change and season.

Martin Taylor at Chelsea Flower Show

For Martin this change in the trees and hedgerows of this charming corner of the English Midlands is what excites his artistic mind. Left unchecked the hedge soon extends outwards and small trees grow larger and woodland develops. Mature trees shed branches as they decay and light filters down to the ground giving more shadow and detail. All of this Martin is enthusiastic about capturing in his detailed compositions.

Martin Taylor at Chelsea Flower Show

Bringing Northamptonshire to London and to the Chelsea Flower Show is Martin’s chance to engage visitors with how our countryside is constantly changing and how time and nature affect what we see in the great outdoors. Visitors on Friday took great delight in seeing the single hair brush being wielded over the canvas to create some stunning country scenes.

 

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