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In Her Studio Magazine Feature

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Amongst the e p a c s d n a L h s i t Bri by Bethany Holmes As I sit on the floor in my studio I consider how it was only just over a year ago that I made the decision to reduce my full time work commitments I needed more time to paint and to push my own creative business as it was becoming more and more successful From starting out painting in the corner of my spare room I now have my very own studio and it was the best decision I have ever made I have always been a creative person My grandfather was a photographer and my grandmother enjoyed painting often with me when I was a young child From early on I knew I wanted to do something creative I studied textile design at university so I knew from that moment I would go into the creative industry A change in my circumstances led me back home a lovely little town in the southeast of England My boyfriend s family had two old stables that had been renovated 20 or so years ago but were now completely full of rubbish you know how it is My boyfriend Ben suggested we clear out one of the stables give it a good clean and a fresh lick of paint and make it into my studio 6 7

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Today I can t imagine it being as clean and tidy as when I first moved in It s full to the brim with scraps of paper old paint tubes half painted canvases primed wood panels and vintage lockers bursting with odds and ends I would like to think that my studio is a calm place When I m in the studio I feel I ve escaped from everyday life I don t think about the time the fact that I ve got a load of washing to do or that I haven t even thought about what we re going to have for our evening meal When I moved into the studio I discovered three vintage lockers that were full of rubbish I love these lockers and promised myself I would keep them organized so I would know exactly where everything was located For a short time I had a locker dedicated for warm neutral paints colder neutrals green blues pinks etc It is 14 months later and although I still want this to be the case it ll never happen I tried this system for about a week but sure enough I failed I tend to grab the paints that I m drawn to and just leave them on the floor lids off along with paintbrushes still thick with paint Then a week later I ll pull out more paints and the same thing will happen again In my home I have a place for everything however my studio is my release I go in there and it doesn t matter if I get paint everywhere or if nothing has an exact home Yes it would probably make my business a lot more efficient but I know where everything is When you re in the middle of painting using your hands a squeegee and a cloth the last thing you want to do is go and put the lid back on the paint and put it back where it came from 8 9

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In the depths of winter I ll put the fan heater on and work in artificial light occasionally opening the top of the stable door to check that all the colors are going in the right direction When I shut the door again I m a million miles from home I m in my own world I ll put on my playlists or a podcast and get completely lost in the paint textures and most importantly color At the first warmth of spring I usually open the top of the door again and let the light flood in It s lovely to creep into the studio first thing with a cup of tea and listen to the birdsong that surrounds me Then in summer the whole door is flung open The studio is such an inviting place at this time of year The floor is pale gray concrete and is always nice and cool When it s really hot which is rare in the UK I open the windows as well and let the breeze flow in The evening sun usually comes around and warms the place up by about 6 p m which I usually think is an acceptable time to have a glass of cold white wine whilst I paint into the evening 10 autumn 2018 inherstudiomagazine com 11

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Although a calm space my studio is an extremely productive environment I work surrounded by commissions and pieces I am experimenting with for my next series of works which hang on the wall or are propped up Pieces I am currently working on lay on the floor alongside Ozzy the farm border collie Current larger paper pieces are bulldog clipped together and hooked onto a nail in the wall I look to nature for my inspiration as well as the relationship between the landscape and my canvas I use texture color and marks to explore and investigate how I see the British landscape My paintings evolve and change they are a process of covering up and sanding back revealing the layers beneath My paintings grow organically much as the undulating British landscape changes develops and progresses The land is flat so you can see for miles and miles This environment is the inspiration that keeps my paintings flowing Behind the studio I love gazing at the big sky as the colors change throughout the day culminating in the reds and oranges of the evening sunset For more information about Bethany Holmes work or her studio please visit bethanyholmes co uk or check out her Instagram bethanyholmesart She welcomes email at art bethanyholmes co uk Photography by Bethany Holmes and Natasha Boyes 12 inherstudiomagazine com 13