The upstairs gallery at J & G Innes in St Andrews is showing a series of new paintings by Phillipa Mitchell. Philippa is one of the artists selected for the upcoming Society of Wildlife Artists’ annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. She paints using water-mixable oils in thin and thick layers, employing various techniques in the one painting, and taking choosing her own experiences of landscape and encounters with nature as subject matter.
Of the piece pictured, Yellow Gorse and Yellowhammer, Phillipa says it was based on a Fife Coastal Path walk near Crail, when the first lockdown was being eased: ‘…The gorse was in full bloom, and was especially profuse in stark contrast to the daily news from around the world about the virus. It was a reminder that the rest of nature was thriving, and perhaps more so, because human activity was reduced. The Isle of May was hovering, as it often does from my vantage point in Crail, in the shimmer of the sea above the gorse and the bushes were alive with birds flitting about, especially well camouflaged yellowhammers. Our neighbours were out walking too and it was so good to see them. I was trying to capture the freedom, hope and colour that I felt on that walk in this painting.’