Animated brushwork, flowing surfaces of paint, and drawn line that inscribes the surface characterize the evocative landscapes of Kathy Little. The hills, meadows, forests, and more particularly the riverbanks of the North of England, a dramatic and rugged environment with its echoes of English Romanticism, are the subject matter for compelling emotive paintings.
Little makes sketchbook studies to capture the essence of locations, but the resulting studio scale paintings are made more from the experience and memory of place. This sense that the image can evolve and develop during the process of painting gives the work a freedom of expression that reveals a profound connection with the natural environment.
The landscapes express a variety of responses, they make the viewer sense place in an acute way, for example the sharp fresh clarity of a frosty winter morning, or the languid haze of summer heat.
These diverse sensations are expressed through shifts in colour and texture, variation in consistency of paint, or the differing strength and rapidity of expressive gestures.
Watery airy surfaces are loosely brushed in contrast to thicker overlaying textures that form a surface of solidity and durability. The surface is alive with an activity of paint and mark; the making process, the physicality of the painting, is poignantly apparent.
The works reveal an intriguing relationship between drawn line, often incised into wet paint, and painterly activity consisting of liberally applied brushstrokes. Colour tends to stress the quality of northern light and is controlled through tonal contrasts of light and dark in a predominately cool palette.
Weather, the energies of nature, the transitory immaterial qualities of air and reflection, the earthy fertile density of the land, these conditions pervade landscapes full of the sense of being there. The result is works that have the power to move through their emotive presence, to evoke feelings of connectedness with domain.
Kathy Little studied at the Royal College of Art until 1982 and now lives and works in the North West of England. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in galleries and selective exhibitions including the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. She has work in both private and public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum. Recently she was selected to exhibit at the Discerning Eye Exhibition in London, winning regional prizes for three successive years.