Sarah Eddy

is a landscape artist born and raised in Cornwall. Her career has taken her on many adventures, from being one of the founding members of the international show Stomp, through to qualifying as an Alexander Technique Teacher and now painting in her home county. Sarah tries to portray her emotions of energy from the Cornish landscape whilst conveying the sense of place and magic of her surrounds.

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Charlotte Williams: Thank you so much Sarah for inviting me to your studio. It’s so lovely to be able to walk into a studio and smell the paint and see the light and just be in your space.  Its lovely to be here.  Can you just introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your practice please?

Sarah Eddy: I’m Sarah Eddy and I’m a landscape painter and I mainly paint in Cornwall.  So a lot of seascapes, as you know.

Fantastic. Can you tell us a little bit about where you get your inspiration for painting in Cornwall, because you haven’t always been, you grew up in Cornwall and you followed your career in other directions, what brought you back? What inspires you about Cornwall?

I think you can tell I’m not used to saying I’m a landscape painter. It was quite sudden when it happened because I used to perform professionally. I am Cornish and I came home and wondered what I was going to do being a bit older, changing career and I went to learn oil painting at adult education in Truro and I just started painting. I got a lot of feedback and I think when you learn something now it’s to do with the feedback that you get that encourages you to learn that subject and that’s what go me into it. Because I’m Cornish, I started painting Cornwall because it’s so amazing and so beautiful and of course a lot of people come to Cornwall and wanted to buy them and that fed the passion even more and I’ve just really got into seascapes to be honest because they’re so dramatic and the landscape is gorgeous down here.

Wonderful. And do you feel that, obviously you’ve had a change in career, do you still feel that you suffice that aspect of you that used to perform? Do you fell that that’s being served in some way? You’re still feeding that need to move and express yourself. Can you do that through the painting?

I think any subject that you do, especially if is a creative subject is an extension of who you are. So, whether you are an author, an animator or anything like that, you are usually coming up with ideas that have come from your mind anyway. So, I think going from performing and then finding something else that was in the arts was a fantastic step to take. I think there are fine lines in any arts subject, and creative art, and that I found that I could express myself in ways that was experimental with colour. So, from me being Cornish to the paint on the canvas and that is something that I think a lot of people have recognised that they can see. There is an emotional reaction, they can see that I’ve enjoyed painting it.

And isn’t that lovely that you can express yourself and people can identify with that and that you are allowed to continue and express yourself in that way and you’re not being pushed into a direction just because its commercial, effectively its almost fallen into place. You’ve found your audience; you can express yourself and push your practice and then people enjoy the finished product.

That’s right. They see something. It’s like they can see me in it, people that know me often say ‘oh yeh, I can see that’s you’

Ah that’s fabulous. Are there any influences for you? Are there any artists that inspire you? Is there anyone you’ve met that’s got you fired up in some way?

When I started learning oil painting lessons, I was doing lots of trees and light and I really enjoyed the colours, and I was getting used to doing contrast. I went to Newlyn School of Art and ended up doing a year there and did some landscape painting with Paul Lewin who is one of the teachers down there and he is an amazing seascape artist and that was it. I just learnt so much from him doing compositions and things like that, I took it like a sponge. It wasn’t like being at school when I was younger. Being older there was just something there that I immediately to and found a very natural love of doing it. I just keep doing seascapes. But there’s a few people now, there’s so many artists in Cornwall that I always look to and its usually colourists, because I’m really interested in colour

So, Sarah, we’re surrounded by a number of your paintings, and you’ve got an amazing array of paintings here which are in secret, not to be revealed. Can you tell us where these paintings are going Sarah?

Yeh, this is very exciting for me, they’re going to Thomson’s gallery in London.

So, can you tell me about these paintings which are stacked, ready to go?

So, what’s lovely about being here in you studio Sarah is we are surrounded by paintings in various processes.  We’ve got some underpainting, some background. I believe we’ve got some paintings here which are nearly ready to go, to be shipped off, which can’t be revealed yet and we’ve got other paintings form previous exhibitions. Can you tell us a bit about these which are hidden away?

This is a great thing to have actually. Do you remember at school A1? I thought what a brilliant idea to keep my paintings in. There are secret paintings here and they are, I’m not allowed to show anyone. They are going off to Thomson’s gallery in London, which is like a huge gallery and it’s very exciting for me because it’s the biggest sort of gallery I’ve ever been asked to do. It’s a summer exhibition. They’ve got a lot of Cornish artists so it’s not just seascape artists. There’s abstract artists and all kinds. So there’s three paintings that are going up for the summer exhibition in June at Marble Arch and they are going to be photographed by them and put in a catalogue and I’m not allowed to show anyone until that’s happened but I will be putting that on my social media probably in May I reckon and then I’ll be able to sort of say and everyone will be able to see them and it’s really exciting that I did those because whenever you get something like that to, it pushed me and you know it was like the very fact that I got asked, they came to visit all the way from London, pushed me to try and do my best I think and so I’m hoping that they will like them. They have seen them so far, a work in progress.

And how many paintings are in the exhibition?

Just, there’ll be lots of paintings there, but I’ve only been asked to do three.

Fabulous. And do you know the names of any of the other artists in the show?

I do know Andrew Tozer’s in the Cornish one, but I don’t know who else is in there. But I only know Andrew’s in it, not that I know Andrew, because his work is part of the marketing.

How exciting. So, this year is bringing quite a few opportunities for you

Yes, lots of new things

It certainly feels like the art world is picking up again and it’s opening its doors again which is so lovely isn’t it?  Really, important. Ok so while we’re in the studio it seems like the perfect opportunity for us to see a little bit behind the scenes and I think you were saying that you’re working on a painting at the moment, and you need to mix up a new palette for the canvases. Would you like to show us the process?

Absolutely, yes.