Sharron Astbury-Petit’s response to the Sir George Clausen oil painting: ‘Trees’ (1884)
Inspired by Sir George Clausen RA’s painting Trees, I have explored the artist’s much quoted dictum that: “light is the most important person in a picture”. Drawn by his taste for experimentation and motivated by a mutual love of the fractured light which falls through foliage at sunrise or sunset, my aim was to reinterpret these sublime and emotive effects.
Clausen’s great affection for the French Impressionists’ work and our shared artistic links with France also spoke to me. Clausen studied at the Académie Julian in Paris under Bouguereau and Robert-Fleury, and painted at the Quimperlé artists’ colony in Brittany. I, too, honed my craft in France, exhibit my work with the Société des Artistes Français in the Paris Salon, and am inspired by that wonderful pearlescent light.
Wishing to bring some of my own French influences to this reinterpretation, I have used colours and ambience borrowed from the palette of the great Symbolist artist Gustave Moreau, who was working in Paris during Clausen’s time there.