An artist in the natural world

We enjoyed a stimulating talk in April from Bruce Pearson on being An Artist in the Natural World.

Taking a dynamic approach to working in the field, Bruce aims to capture moments in nature through drawing and painting, letting his attention be drawn by whatever is happening around him.

Working instinctively, he often draws on a roll of B&Q lining paper, using twigs, grass and any other natural materials that come to hand.

Bruce distils the day’s experience through ‘evening sketchbooks’ and then works up his final compositions in the studio, letting his imagination work on all that he’s observed.

Mixing watercolour, graphite, oil pastel and coloured pencil, he aims to create multi-layered compositions with a sense of tension, a moment suspended in time.

‘A painting is an evolving surface,’ says Bruce. ‘A piece of paper can’t recreate the texture of an iceberg that’s millions of years old. You are trying to convey essential rather than literal truth.’

He also speaks about the importance of giving back, of ‘putting art into service’. His exhibition and book, Troubled Waters, which explored the decline in albatross species over a decade, helped to raise awareness and inspire positive action in wildlife conservation.