I have been drawing and painting since early childhood – carefree sketches and watercolours, evolving slowly over the years to a measured approach, drawing figures in the life room. Art college (for me) was about using rules, and letting go of the rules resulted in a personal and somewhat expressionist approach. Still life provided my inspiration as a student; it was a loose framework, inviting me to ‘play’ with contrasts of translucent glazes, rich ‘dry’ paint, and broad sweeping strokes, punctuated by slower detailed passages.
Still lives, interiors and landscapes all allow me to submerge myself in my first love: colour – my true subject matter. I do not contemplate my pallette when engaged in my work. Instead, I ‘dive in’. A first layer on the canvas could have areas that inhabit a place in the final image, but could be lost in an instant with my next gesture. Colours can change as quickly as thoughts pass. A prevailing mood might be captured in jumping red, dusty lime and ominous purple, only to be replaced the next day by shining yellow and optimistic summer sky blue against cool green.
My work can be seen as a diary, depicting little snippets of colour and detail which come to rest in my head. Often I am unaware of their presence until I paint. Since moving to Cornwall a year ago, my focus, (both detailed and broad) is daily renewed by my surrondings. I am inspired by windy skies, everchanging light on everchanging ochre and green hills, and where the sea meets the sky at the horizon line I find a wealth of colours meet on my canvas. I am fascinated by the silver delicacy of Cornish air – such an interesting contrast to the rich verdant feel of Norfolk landscapes, which remind me of Constable and Cotmanâ’s wonderfully eloquent responses to the land of my childhood.
I have a very simple approach to my subject matter: I walk in it, I walk through it, not recording or sketching it in any tangible way. I do not have to ‘meet it head on’: no analysing, just feeling. I must wait to see what will be revealed when I return to my studio. It will be coaxed out with big brushes, little brushes, pallette knife, an everchanging palette and a meditative state of mind.
Rachel Budd 2009
Rachel Budd is also represented by Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.
|1986-87||Fellowship year, Kingston Polytechnic|
|1983-86||MA Painting, Royal college of Art, London|
|1978-82||University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne|
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
Henry Moore Gallery, Royal College of Art, London
Barbican Arts Centre, London
Alfresco, Royal Academy of Arts, London
Arts Council, touring show to Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia
Lloyds building, London
Imaginations Building, Financial Times, London
The Henry Moore Prize at the London Group Show
The Jeffrey Archer Prize, GLC painting Competition
Mark Rothko Memorial Trust Fund
Travel bursary, USA
British Council Grant to attend Thapong Artist Workshop, Botswana
Contemporary Arts Society
Lloyds of London
Government Art Collection
Christie’s Fine Arts
National Museum of Botswana