Delightful Variations

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Variations, Hop Gallery, Star Brewery, Castle Ditch Lane (off Fisher Street), Lewes, until March 29.

SHEILA and Peter Marlborough offer Variations, their new exhibition at the Hop Gallery in Lewes.

Gallery spokeswoman Diana Hitchin said: “This exhibition is about the different approaches to painting landscape that Peter and Sheila have each developed over many years. They go out and about together and have similar likes and influences, but the end results are very different.

“They live in Sussex and are therefore within easy reach of beautiful countryside, but both need to distance themselves from the subject before painting. Generally, Peter likes to create the atmosphere and feeling of place, whereas Sheila is more interested in abstracting through shape and colour.

“They met at the St Ives School of Painting on a painting holiday in 1980 and return to St Ives every year to meet up with old friends and get further inspiration from the landscape and the art scene.

“Sheila’s influences stem from the St Ives artists of the fifties and sixties and also from the Glasgow School for their wonderful use of colour. Her work seems to alternate between realism and abstraction, so as a result, there is often an overlap between the two, which has happened over time, and finds this an interesting concept which she hopes to develop further.

“Peter’s formative years were spent in Hertfordshire, and his interest in painting developed after attending life classes tutored by John Pisano and, later, portrait and life classes by Elizabeth Hepworth.

“Influences at this time were probably English Traditional painters such as Sickert and the Euston Road School. But a landmark event was a meeting with Edward Seago, at his home and studio at Ludham Norfolk, which opened his eyes to the paintings of Arnesby Brown and subsequently to the work of Bernard Dunstan and Ken Howard, among others.

“Much is written about why we paint and theories abound, some more esoteric or fanciful than others. For Peter, the urge to paint is a necessity, trying to express in paint some images he sees, interprets and absorbs mentally during the course of daily walking, viewing or reading.”

Gallery is open: Tuesday-Saturday 10.30am-5pm; Sunday noon-5pm; closed Monday.