An exhibition of paintings by Aylin and Jeff Sharp is in the Wilson Studio at the Oxmarket Gallery, Chichester, from February 11-16 and in the Foyer from February 11-23 under the title Alchemy.
“Alchemy was the ancient predecessor of modern chemistry which, as one of its primary goals, sought to turn base metals into gold,” Aylin said. “With the rich odours of turpentine and linseed oil, tubes of paint, powder pigments, bottles of painting media, brushes, painting knives, old dried paint encrusting easel and floor, found and other objects of interest, an oil painter’s studio can sometimes have the arcane feel of an imagined medieval alchemist’s laboratory.
“Perhaps the practice of painting can be viewed as a form of alchemy whereby the artist is usually seeking to transmute pigment and media into the essence of something three-dimensional on a two-dimensional surface
“The oil paint itself also radically changes from a rich, malleable substance when applied to a hard, rock-like substance with the passage of time. The application of the artist’s imagination and technique is the final part of this alchemical process involving understanding, communication, revelation and often celebration of what the artist sees or feels. This exhibition is a celebration of the mysterious process of painting.”
It is the first time Aylin and Jeff Sharp have exhibited together as husband and wife. Aylin said: “It’s marvellous painting together in our back-room studio and by providing each other with support and feedback it seems to add to our creative ability. Painting for both of us is a truly magical process, particularly when there is a creative flow, and sometimes the creative process is so intense, and the results so surprising, it feels as if you are a vehicle for some kind of external creative energy!”
Jeff added: “I have painted all of my adult life and after all these years I am still endeavouring to work loosely and in a more decisive, painterly way. This is the constant challenge that keeps me painting. I am also fascinated by the versatility and richness of oil paint, the use of thick paint, and the interesting effects that can be achieved on canvas and textured surfaces. Since retiring last year, I feel very lucky to be able to spend more time painting and it’s great to be exhibiting together.”