Artist Statement – Hannah Ivory Baker
I am a self taught, contemporary landscape artist based in North London.
My work is inspired by the natural world; the rugged Cornish coast to the relative serenity of the Somerset levels, all of which provide a wealth of artistic opportunity, creative interpretation and expression.
I work predominantly in oils as I feel the possibilities of this medium are infinite. The ability to create translucent washes or heavy texture provides a constant challenge and creates interest in its own right. No matter how technically capable, there is always an element of the unexpected when working with them. When combined with different mediums their ability to morph into glossy, translucent fluids or to thick, impasto is unrivalled. This, coupled with the ability to manipulate the paint, wiping it away to reveal tones beneath, record strong brush marks or scratch in to the paint enhancing depth and detail results in the medium that I feel, is best able to capture the true essence of landscape.
Each of my pieces derives from a plein air sketch done in oil, charcoal or mixed media that aims to record basic shape, tone, light and any striking features of landscape as well as including additional notes on time of day, weather and anything else that may be relevant. These sketches are always the starting point for larger studio work.
My main area of focus is always on mark making and texture. Landscapes are full of shape, texture, energy and it is important that these elements are captured and conveyed to canvas. To me there is nothing uniform about the natural world; weather changes in an instant without warning, the sea moves from tranquil to turbulent, a blue sky suddenly fills with dense grey cloud and an earthy petrichor fills the air and so the semi abstract nature of each piece is a nod to the asymmetry and the unexpected.
Every so often, I produce larger work in charcoal and the idea with these is the same as in my oil work, to keep all marks as loose and gestural as possible, to create a sense of texture and convey energy and movement. Ultimately each work whether in oil or charcoal aims to evoke a sense of place, whilst allowing plenty of room for personal interpretation.