Artist of the Month - Miranda Pender

Artist of the Month - Miranda Pender

Our artist of  the month for April is Dorset Visual Art's Member Miranda Pender. Her piece Barbury Rings is selected for the upcoming St Barbe Open. She also has a piece on show at the Octagon Theatre until Sunday 30th April 2023 as part of the Yeovil Creatives Exhibition

Here's what she had to say about her practice and working in Dorset: 

"In my current collection of semi-abstract landscape paintings I play freely with colour, curve, and contour line to create images that are recognisable without being realistic. The emphasis is on simplicity and shape, using bright and bold colours to express the essence of the place in a spirit of joyful optimism.
I enjoy experimenting with different colour palettes, but find that Titanium White creeps into just about everything I mix, as it adds a pastel opacity that works well for this flat, blocky approach. Another favourite is Phthalo Turquoise for the zingy greens it produces.


‘Badbury Rings’ - acrylic on canvas, 100 x 30 cm
Miranda Pender - ‘Badbury Rings’ - acrylic on canvas, 100 x 30 cm 

My usual working method is to visit a site and take photographs – I’m looking for a view with strongly-defined landscape features. Back in the studio I choose a photo to work from and sketch the essential outlines on to the canvas. Then I draw in almost at random, shapes that reflect the lie of the land. I count as I go; ‘Mudeford Spit’ has almost 800 segments. When I start painting I use one colour at a time, and plan in advance what proportion of the total number of segments each colour is going to occupy.


Miranda Pender - Detail of Painting
Miranda Pender - Detail of Painting 

I live in Sherborne where I share a studio with my husband Mark. We moved here in 2017 from Saffron Walden in Essex, and one of the reasons we chose to live in Dorset was the wonderful variety and drama of the landscape. In my previous artistic practice I had focused on still life and flower painting, but the hills and valleys of Dorset plus of course the amazing coastline, inspired me to expand. I also have a series of multi-media collages of ammonites, the first one of which was created in response to a call for entries from Bridport Art Society on the theme of ‘Jurassic Coast’.
Local art societies, including Bridport, Bruton, Dorset 20:20 and Yeovil Creatives, have been a great source of friendship, knowledge, and connectivity, and since 2021 I have been proud to be part of the artists’ collective at the Cygnet Gallery in Shaftesbury."

Information about the St Barbe Open which features Miranda Pender's work can be found here. You can find out more about Miranda Pender's work here and see her Dorset Visual Arts profile here


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