Leonie Gibbs, The Chemistry of Colour, Landscape

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Jan - 15 - 2018 - Filed under: Blog -

16 and 17 April 9.15 am to 4 pm

This course will build on the techniques introduced in Leonie’s course last autumn but is suitable for students of all levels with intividual tuition. You will be encouraged to experiment further with colour, freeing inhibitions to express yourself in a considered but spontaneous manner.  Leonie will give a formal introduction to advanced colour theories looking at the work of various artists who have inspired her.  Students will be able to learn from observing Leonie paint and from her personal tuition.  They will be encouraged to paint outside making full use of the garden and landscape around the gallery.

Price: £225. To include lunch in the main house.  For more information click here.

To book a place email: courses@moncrieff-bray.com or telephone 07867978414

Kate Corbett-Winder, Corfu Cove, oil on canvas, 40.5 x 51 cm

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Jan - 4 - 2018 - Filed under: Blog -

John Hitchens, Grey Hill Fields, 1971, on canvas, 51 x 91 cms

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Jan - 4 - 2018 - Filed under: Blog -

Kate Corbett-Winder, Winter Scene, 66 x 61 cms, pastel collage paint on paper £1,500 copy

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Jan - 4 - 2018 - Filed under: Blog -

Oona Campbell Recent Landscapes

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Sep - 7 - 2017 - Filed under: Press Releases -


Oona Campbell’s  recent paintings are united by the dramatic cloudscapes that roll across our skies and nature’s light effects especially at dawn and dusk.  A group of paintings of Petworth Park Lake at sunset forms the focus of the show together with images of  the long sandy beach 
of West Wittering.  Further afield, Oona explores  the mist of an early morning on  the Jurassic coast of Dorset and the wild moors  of Scotland’s  Applecross Peninsular.

Oona has been familiar with Sussex since she was a student at Brighton Art School where she fell in love with the South Downs but is equally at home exploring the Highlands.  She was delighted to return to Petworth Park explaining, ‘Over my years of visiting there, no matter the weather, it has always been a place of calmness and beauty. Among these new Petworth paintings there is an early spring evening where the golden sun on the lake meets the mysterious night as it gently folds in. The painting captures that evanescent moment. Sunset and evening light is never quite the same, and always inspires thoughts for painting’.

Speaking of the exhibition Oona describes her painting process. ‘My paintings start with observation and develop with memory and imagination. For me physical observation is a necessary prelude to painting, but it is memory of the atmosphere that allows the subject to burgeon. Memory enables a vivid reliving of the dynamic qualities of  watery mist, the setting of the sun, lashing storm rain, or the aural turbulence of thunder. Landscape is always changing before your eyes, and in an instance you can sense a picture being born.’

Juxtaposed with Oona’s figurative work we are showing,  Abstract landscapes by Jonathan Gibbs, Susie Leiper Tuëma Pattie and Sarah Warley Cummings

Tuëma Pattie lives in Duncton and has painted both the Sussex landscape and further afield. She is a long-term exhibitor at the gallery with her exuberant paintings celebrating the joy of nature.  Sarah Warley-Cummings is another Sussex artist who has made a series of abstract prints exploring the shapes and colours of the countryside. We are very lucky to exhibit two Scottish artists.  Susie Leiper, whose work combines calligraphy and landscape.   One of the country’s finest calligraphers she is also trained in the techniques of Chinese art.  Her work unites eastern and western traditions of painting.   Jonathan Gibbs is a senior tutor at Edinburgh College of Art and a leading wood engraver his multi-layered paintings  combine present observation with a life-time of images and motifs remembered.

Wednesday to Saturday 11 am to 4 pm but we welcome visitors by appointment at any time.

FURTHER INFORMATION: contact. Elspeth Moncrieff
mail@moncrieff-bray.com   Tel: 07867 978 414 – www.moncrieff-bray.com

John Hitchens and Anthony Garratt

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Apr - 5 - 2017 - Filed under: Blog,Press Releases -

Exploring the Land: Two Ways of Seeing

Exhibition dates:                Saturday 13 May — Saturday 17 June 2016

Private View:                          Saturday 13 May, 3 pm—8pm

This joint exhibition explores the way two artists have responded to the landscape of Sussex both of them painting en plein aire in an expressive spontaneous manner. John Hitchen’s work in the exhibition spans a 45 year period from the 1970s to the present day and presents a retrospective of his evolving style. Anthony’s paintings were all completed over the last year.

Although he has painted much further afield, John’s work is deeply influenced by the landscape surrounding his home in West Sussex. He also spent several weeks each summer staying at Pagham harbor and in the 1970s created a series of paintings capturing the atmospheric effects of the beach and salt marshes especially at dawn and dusk. The paintings in the exhibition begin with his early representational works through his increasing experiments in abstraction where sky and horizon are lost in broad gestural brush strokes, at times the flattened picture plane opening into glimpses of distant vistas.

In John’s latest work, gestural evocations of the land are expressed in complex compositions of flat articulate colour. Reuniting these works separated by so many years reveals fascinating connections and relationships. The paintings display recurring themes, the rhythms of the seasons, the structure of the land, vistas glimpsed through deep woodland, lines of strata and sediment, contour lines of hills and fields. The exhibition is an homage to John’s continuing absorption with the organic, changing nature of the landscape whether on a grand sweeping scale or reduced to abstracted patterns of plough lines and hedge rows. The artist’s eye is continually searching and exploring, never content to stand still as John himself says, ‘everything that has gone before is part of what is now’.

Anthony’s work by contrast is concerned primarily with the weather, and the physical experience and impact of a landscape. He researches his paintings by exposing himself to the elements, winter storms, summer heat, racing tides, scudding clouds and eery moonlight. A trip to Sussex last year inspired him to return and create the work for this show.

For Anthony, South Sussex from the downs to the coast offered an abundance of sensory information. Starting at Petworth House, what immediately struck him is that the grassy hills and lines from pathways excavated by Capability Brown are echoed naturally further South as he headed through the Downs. As the light hits and shifts around the lake in front of Petworth House, the eye is naturally led from tree to curve, to water, to sky and in some respects the landscape has already been painted.

‘Painting the coast from Sesley to West Wittering is a fascinating and atmospheric journey which feels far removed from the rolling hills of the Downs’, he explained. Massive vistas and salt marshes enable the experience of raw weather where the continually changing landscape is molded by the tidal state and weather. ‘The paintings are an impulsive reaction to visiting somewhere for the very first time and capturing the most immediate senses; the sound underfoot, the movement of the weather and land, the smell of the marshes and sea’, he continued

Anthony works by splattering and dribbling, paint across canvases, sometimes mixed with earth and sand, and rust. Often working in the open air, brushes, knives, fingers, palette knives, all play their part and from the seeming chaos an image gradually emerges.


Notes on the Artists

John Hitchens

John Hitchens grew up in Graffham, West Sussex and studied at Bath Academy of Art, Corsham Court.    Both his father Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) and his grandfather Alfred Hitchens (1861-1942) were painters and his son Simon Hitchens is a Sculptor. The wooded Sussex landscape nestling below the South Downs has been a major influence on his work but he also spent extended periods painting in Scotland and South Wales. He began his career as a figurative landscape painting but began experimenting with abstraction in the late 1970s.   From 1990 he has painted in a fully abstract style with a restricted palette of earth pigments. John’s work was exhibited throughout the 1960s, 70s and 80s at the Marjorie Parr Gallery and Montpellier Galleries in London and the John Paul Gallery in Chichester. His work is in numerous public collections, including Brighton Art Gallery, Bradford City Art Gallery, Brasenose College Oxford, Chase Manhattan Bank New York, and the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

Anthony Garratt

Anthony studied at Chelsea College of Art, followed by Falmouth College of Arts for a design degree. Having worked as a designer for a few years he decided to become a fulltime painter. He is a member of the Royal West of England Academy where he has exhibited regularly. He has also shown at the RA Summer Exhibition and the Royal College of Arts Henry Moore Gallery. ‘This is Bristol’ listed Anthony Garratt ‘as the next David Hockney’. Anthony was invited to paint the Diamond Jubilee Pageant from the Millennium Bridge.  He has been involved in three inspirational outdoor projects. In September 2014 – Alfresco on Tresco in which he worked on four massive paintings in the open air, leaving them in situ exposed to the elements for four months. He followed this with a similar project from March – October 2015 FOUR Angelsey in North Wales. In 2016 he completed High Low an installation in the Snowdonia National Park which consisted of one enormous outdoor painting which was left floating on lake Llyn Llydaw.and a second painting suspended in a near by disused coal mine. The installations attracted huge media coverage including BBC & ITV news. Anthony has had numerous highly successful shows throughout the UK.


Atlantis Coast-West-Harris.-1220-x-900.jpg

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Oct - 21 - 2016 - Filed under: Blog -

Out of India

Posted by:moncrieff-bray on Jul - 25 - 2016 - Filed under: Press Releases -

Out of India October 2016

Paul Treasure, Kerala 2, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 cm

Paul Treasure, Kerala 2, oil on canvas, 60 x 60 cm

This autumn the Moncrieff-Bray gallery, in West Sussex, celebrates the intoxicating spirit of India with a three -week exhibition. This showcases new work from four leading contemporary artists who interpret the spirit of India in their own style.

Exhibition dates

Saturday 8th October – Sunday 29  October 2016

Private views:  Saturday 8th October 3 – 7 pm and Sunday 9th October 11 am – 1 pm

Exhibiting artists:
Penelope Anstice, Tobit Roche, Paul Treasure, Victoria Threlfall


Penelope Anstice, Grain Market, Jodjpur, gouache, 19 x 37 cm

Penelope Anstice, Grain Market, Jodhpur, gouache, 19 x 37 cm

Penelope Anstice’s latest body of work was created from two separate trips to India: one to Kerala and Calcutta; and more recently to Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Since her first visit to Jodhpur in 1990 she had always wanted to return to the city which, for her, “encompasses everything India has to offer for an artist.” She is inspired by the ‘Blue’ city’s fascinating architecture, its ancient walls, the towering Mehrangarh Fort, and the vibrant markets teeming with life. “I like to sit amongst it all and paint the permanently shifting scene,” she says, “to try and capture an impression very quickly.”

In this show, Penelope’s work is a mixture of quick on-the- spot observations in gouache and watercolour, of figures and movement in the streets and markets, and of more considered works in oil developed back in the studio. “As well as the colour and energy,” she muses, “I am trying to convey something of the pervading and inexplicable mystery of the place; the hidden side of India.”


Tobit Roche, TheLakePalace Udaipur oil on board 18 x 23-cm

Tobit Roche, TheLake Palace Udaipur oil on board 18 x 23-cm

Tobit Roche has “been under the spell of India” since his teenage years which were spent in Delhi and he maintains that India is still his spiritual home.  Roche grew up amongst artists; his father (who was born in India) was the poet and novelist Paul Roche, who modelled for the Bloomsbury artist Duncan Grant.  His landscapes are imbued with the particular haze and atmosphere of the Indian subcontinent.

The paintings in this exhibition can be divided into those Roche completed in the studio from memory, and those he made en plein air using a homemade pochade paint box. This allowed him to carry three wet panels and a fresh pallet on his shoulder while trekking in Rajasthan and the Himalayas, in the spirit of countless pioneering painters of the past.

These paintings are “about longing and nostalgia,” says Roche. “I show a view of India which is intensely personal and is based on my emotional reaction to this country. When I am there, I get very moved by the spirit of the landscape, which is the spirit of the people.”



Paul Treasure travelled to Goa from Kerala for this exhibition that  he says is his “response to the experience of that place.” The paintings express his feelings of joy. For Paul, “India is a magical place that helps to focus the mind on accepting what it means to be a human being today. It leaves me feeling inspired, elated . . . I try to explore these emotions further in my paintings and experiment with many different mediums and materials.”

Paul’s style is expressive, energetic and full of colour. Some of his paintings incorporate recycled materials refecting the way even rubbish has a value in India.  His abstract works capture the emotion of the country while his landscapes depict the interplay between light, land, water and sky and the vibrant colours of the country. His bold use of palette knife, brush strokes and mixed media result in distinctive mark-making and vigorous, textured paintings.

His work is both figurative and abstract and gives a sense of everyday life in India. “What strikes me most is the symbiosis of life with plants, animals and people, all trying to get along and survive in harmony with each other. I am interested in what manifests when I mix my experience of spending time in India with the process of adding paint and other materials to a canvas in the studio. Every day is a surprise”, he explained.

Victoria Threlfall struck out  from Rajasthan into Madhya Pradesh away from the popular Indian tourist destinations . Here she visited Hindu pilgrimage sites along the Narmada river and the ancient city of Mandu.

“Leaving bitterly cold and wan London in February and arriving in India  is an almost overwhelming  experience. The heat, noise, smells and filth both beguile and repel but the colour is always enthralling with seemingly  impossible juxtapositions  of hue and tone somehow managing to look harmonious.”

Painting in the streets presents problems, mad dogs, altercations with cows, children sticking their fingers in your paints, amorous shop keepers to mention just a few but it is also a chance to engage with people, to talk and  sometimes to be offered hospitality. India will always be unknowable to outsiders, in my paintings all I can do is to try and convey some of that mystery and the excitement I experience in a country where colour is a living presence, a way of life rather than  an afterthought’.

Artist profiles:

Penelope Anstice. A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, Penelope lived in London and Amsterdam for 16 years and has travelled and painted widely in India, South East Asia and Morocco. She has exhibited her work throughout the UK and undertaken many commissions, both private and corporate. Penelope teaches at the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London and for private groups in Scotland and Italy. Since moving back to Scotland she has returned to painting the landscape she grew up in.

Tobit Roche. Born in Manchester in 1954. Tobit spent his childhood in Hong Kong, Canada and India. After studying at the Ontario College of Art, Canada, he spent a year living and working with Duncan Grant at Charleston, Sussex before completing his studies at Camberwell School of Art. Tobit divides his time between London and Hastings and travels frequently to India. Tobit recalls being inspired by a Jackson Pollock painting he saw at an exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada when he was nine years old. His fans include the actress Cate Blanchett and the late David Bowie.

Paul Treasure. Born in 1961  in Gloucestershire, Paul  studied at Cheltenham College of Art, following which he spent two years working for a fine art auctioneer. He then moved to London working from a studio in Holborn and started taking commissions for public works of art, becoming  an established artist working worldwide.

He now lives and works in Hampshire where the landscape is a constant source of inspiration to him. He frequently travels abroad, and in 1991 took a year’s sabbatical to paint whilst travelling the world, a journey which took him through Africa, India, Southeast Asia and Central America. Following this, in 1993, he was commissioned to be expedition artist on the first ever crossing of the Taklamakan Desert in North West China for three months, after which he exhibited these works at various shows, including the Royal Geographical Society in London. He continues to exhibit around the country, whilst still travelling abroad regularly to find inspiration for his paintings.

Victoria Threlfall.  After studying English and History of Art at St Andrews University Victoria went onto Camberwell  School of Art to do a B.A in Painting. A travel scholarship took her to Northern Spain where she discovered the delights of painting in a country where the sun could be relied on and she has continued to paint abroad whenever possible returning to India and Morocco and making a memorable trip to Eritrea before it became impossible for tourists to enter the country. Whether abstract or figurative, light and colour are always the subject of her paintings.


THE MONCRIEFF-BRAY GALLERY is based in a group of 18th-century former farm buildings on the edge of the Petworth Estate, West Sussex and holds regular exhibitions of contemporary art and sculpture. A spectacular oak framed barn houses the interior gallery space, and the surrounding landscaped gardens are an ideal setting for domestic sculpture. The gallery is committed to showing both established artists and those who are not widely represented elsewhere. Just over an hour’s drive from central London, the gallery is located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, enjoying spectacular views over the Rother Valley and up to the South Downs.

Former curator and arts writer Elspeth Moncrieff set up the Moncrieff-Bray Gallery in 2005. An experienced curator, she started her career at the V&A; as a former art market correspondent for The Art Newspaper and Deputy Editor of Apollo magazine, she applies her experience of the international art world to her South Downs gallery.

Open Wed to Sat: 11 am to 4pm
Closed Sundays, but we welcome visitors by appointment at any time.

For further high res images and information contact
Elspeth Moncrieff: mail@moncrieff-bray.com
Tel: 07867 978 414