These are late summer fields on the coastal lands above Durdle Door, harvested or on the point of harvest, where the dried clumps of weeds and grasses which cut off the viewer in the foreground hint at the coming autumn. But beyond the first field, green pasture and hedgerows indicate life and – probably – a road, whilst the sky is equally hopeful: squally clouds are driving past, over the head of the viewer, and the day beyond is softened and bright. Watts has taken the motif of a tree – the classic repoussoir – and cleverly remade it as the line of telegraph poles which march away across the landscape, imposing a dramatically emphatic recession through the swooping perspectival swing of the wires. A quiet and sober fall of land in earthy colours is thus given a sense of imminence: of hope, and of excitement.
Terry Watts is a London-based artist who was trained at Camberwell and Hammersmith Colleges of Art, and worked at first in landscaping projects. He moved to studying landscape through the medium of photography, and then from drawing to painting. His works are panoramic, combining an enhanced perspectival viewpoint and a frequently low horizon to give a sense of the vastness and sublimity of nature; they are rooted in a realistic topography, but blend features and motifs from separated areas to achieve a more emotionally accurate response to the land. Skies are of great importance in his paintings, as they were in the work of Turner and Constable; the low horizons and unusually deep vistas of clouds or clear skies stimulate the universal tendency to a pantheistic reaction to nature.
He has had solo exhibitions at the Stark Gallery (Canterbury and, later, London); and at galleries in Rochester, Kent; Broadway, Worcestershire; Tunbridge Wells, Kent; Bridport, Dorset; and Southwold, Suffolk; he has participated in many group exhibitions at provincial galleries, and has also shown at the Royal Society of British Artists (elected a member 2006), the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, and the Royal Society of Birmingham Artists.
Works by Watts can be found in public, private and corporate collections in Britain, France, the Netherlands and the USA.
For further reading on this artist, please click here.