High Weald


Anna Wilson-Patterson lives in Herstmonceux - an area which enjoys views of the medieval landscape of the High Weald to the north and the more open, chalky landscape of the Downs to the south. Her work is very much inspired by features on her doorstep.

What art techniques/style do you use and why?
Texture is an important feature of my art. I paint on board using brushes and palette knives, often scraping back layers of paint to reveal colours underneath. I also make small mono prints where I press the paper into the ink to make patterns. I use water-based ink and paint as it doesn't smell and I can clean my brushes and equipment in the sink.

How and what about the High Weald landscape and its features or materials inspires you?
I grew up in South Wales with views of rolling hills, woods and being a short drive to chalk cliffs at the beach, so the High Weald landscape reminds me of my childhood. Lush green, the irregular shapes of enclosed fields, steep climbs and drops with isolated farmhouses dotted on the horizon. I am curious about local farming, so enjoy watching the different crops growing and animals grazing through the seasons.

Is there a special place where you like to do your art?
I walk through the fields opposite our cottage daily at dawn and dusk with our hounds. Foggy weather, a passing tractor, a conker or wild flower can give me an idea for a drawing. I sketch and paint at home and in my garden, because I attract too much attention from nosey dogs & cows if I draw in the fields.

Where you good at art at school? What did your teachers say?
Art was the only subject I was good at. I enjoyed it and tried hard. Most of my school reports from other subjects said 'Anna would do better if she stopped talking.' Now at work in my Gallery my customers say I am very friendly, so I still talk a lot.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I have always had a 'proper' job, working for an organisation with a regular monthly salary. I went to college and trained as an Art teacher, but ended up working in community settings. Art has always been my main interest, but I was 40 years old before I felt the desire to work full time as an artist.

Thorndean_Cliff_AWPHow did you become an artist?
I met my husband who is a graphic designer and he encouraged me to hold exhibitions of my work in our garage. From there I started showing my paintings and I enjoyed the. experience so much I opened a Gallery selling my own and other local artists work.

What do you like most about being an artist?
When I complete a drawing, printing or painting and feel really satisfied with it.

What is your artist tip for local children?
Draw as much as possible, you don't need expensive materials, just a pencil or biro and some paper. Draw your hands, feet, birds and trees, anything you like.

How the pictures you have supplied for the website come about?
When I moved to Herstmonceux and opened a Gallery my customers asked me to paint cows. I visited the local farmers and learnt about different cattle breeds and have been painting life size cattle portraits for three years now.

 I initially saw the High Weald landscape as vast empty fields and sky. The more I walk and look, the more I see the landscape is full of life, from dragonflies, birds and rabbits to farm animals.

AfterHarvest_AWPThorndean Cliff is a portrait of a Limousin bullock grazing in the field opposite our cottage.

The painting After Harvest came about as we were walking to our friend's house for Sunday tea. The crop had been harvested and the ground was covered in sharp stalk shards, whilst the ground was an extraordinary pink colour. There was a clearly defined path, leading to a farmhouse on the horizon.

To view more paintings and to contact Anna visit www.artshut.com

If you are interested in local producers then please visit the High Weald Local Producers pages