An exhibition by Darren Woodhead
17 NOVEMBER 2023 - 14 JANUARY 2024
OPEN WED-SUN, 10AM-4PM
In this winter’s exhibition, Darren presents new watercolours inspired by the abundant wildlife on his home ground in East Lothian as well as on short ventures away. As usual with Darren, all his work is produced from direct observation while working in watercolours outdoors. He has honed his artistic skills and familiarity with his environment for nearly 30 years and what produces now is a distillation of his knowledge both as an artist and as a naturalist. He explains: “My work has become ever more driven by the desire to do more with less, capturing the essential colours, making use of the white of the paper, the “negative spaces” around my subject. The more I work with watercolour in this way, the more I am excited about how the medium can be both very simple and very complex at the same time. With increasing knowledge, I try and push the boundaries.” Darren is as devoted to his subject matter as he is to his medium: “From the coast and saltmarshes to the River Tyne’s meandering course, I am driven to describe a natural world that continues to enthral me but is also constantly under threat. I feels this is more important than ever.”
Born in West Yorkshire in 1971, Darren settled in Scotland in 1996. He graduated from the Royal College of Art in London and has worked as a freelance artist ever since. A passionate watercolourist, Darren’s technique relies on his intimate knowledge of his medium. All his work is created “en plein air” working directly in paint and brush. Both painting and conservation drive Darren’s work. He has won numerous awards which have seen him travel to places including India, Peru, Ecuador, Portugal and the Spanish Pyrenees. He appeared on Springwatch, demonstrating his painting technique, as well as being “Artist in Residence” in subsequent Autumnwatch and Winterwatch programmes. He also appeared in the BBC’s Landward programme and recently travelled to Israel and Malta raising funds for conservation. He leads the Seabird Drawing Course based in East Lothian, a unique development course for artists specialising in wildlife art, founded by the late John Busby.
More work by top wildlife artists can be found in our online art shop.