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Caroline Forward, Contemporary Artist

Photo credit: Julie Murray

I am an oil painter working from my garden studio in the heart of the Cambridgeshire Fens where I have lived for over 30 years.

I am inspired by the world around me, in particular organic structures, patterns and shapes in nature, the vast Fen skies, reflections in water. Currently my focus is with surface texture, marks of age in rock formations, and historical marks in buildings. These marks in nature and those left by people, are witness to the presence of people who have passed through over the ages.  I like that sense of presence even in absence.

Originally a figurative painter, I am now using oils with cold wax medium, which enables a freer, more experimental style, from which my work is currently becoming more abstract and explorative.

My abstract paintings combine mark making, texture, lines and layers.

Marks tell a story, sometimes the meaning is clear, sometimes it remains elusive to the viewer, but the marks I use always have a relevance to me and the painting I am creating.  Texture can give form and design as well as entice the viewer to look closer and become immersed.  Lines are evocative, often ancient and can hold the presence and absence of the people who made them, or witnessed them. Layers hold memories and experiences, they hide and reveal, they contain history, linked both to the natural world and to people passing through.  Such surfaces ask to be touched and felt.

My figurative paintings include portraits.  I am continually interested in painting the human face, exploring light, planes, contours, capturing mood and character, and where possible exploring the interconnectedness of person and place.

Pablo Picasso:

"the artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place, from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web"

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