ref: hTw May 20-Jun 20 2006 THE NEW MILLENNIUM GALLERY Judy Buxton






The Lizard peninsula in all is mysterious beauty is the continuing inspiration for the paintings of Judy Buxton whose latest show of major paintings has just opened at the New Millennium Gallery, St Ives.  Judy walks in the Lizard landscape everyday with her dogs and, depending on the weather, paints regularly at Poltesco or Goonhilly.  She loves the isolation of the area, free from people and the noise of cars. Here she can lose herself totally and feel at one with nature, immersing herself in the landscape and the process of painting.   She is at the mercy of the elements but she stoically accepts this as part of the joy of what she does. She prefers the winter, autumn and spring seasons because the weather is so much more changeable and this creates interest and variation within the work. Summer skies that are clear blue and cloudless are not exciting to Judy precisely because nothing is happening in them.  Ultimately she is hoping for changes in the weather, clouds moving in an interesting way, changes in light, bird flight. Then she is able to follow one of these aspects with her brush. For example  if she is following a bird flying through the landscape her aim is not to paint it pictorially but follow the movement it makes and capture with the brush the marks it makes in the sky. Judy describes it as "traveling with the element".


While painting she doesn't like to be analytical, she works fast and automatically, trying not to think at all. She uses her instincts.  She says of it "it is all about what the painting needs, about its weight about masses- putting one colour against another, it is not measured I work on the paintings quite furiously  and then walk back across the beach and make a decision back at the studio". She may rework them many times or it may work in one session.  Occasionally, something can come from just scraping the last of the paints off her pallet but generally her work involves a lot of labour and a considerable time period. 


The process in the studio is similar. She works energetically for about four hours, moving around the studio working on several paintings at a time. She will not stop for a minute, constantly walking back and forth around her work. She is totally absorbed, again working instinctively. Her studio she admits is deliberately uncomfortable, without even a chair that might encourage her to take a break or stop working. The finished paintings show no sign of this frenzy of activity.  Judy is clear that she loves the beauty of the landscape and she wants to portray it in all its wonder and rawness.


She uses small paintings and drawings as the basis for her studio paintings, making many of them in the landscape through all the different seasons.   "I have an intuition as to what to do to stimulate the painting. I sometimes spend hours on a painting and it may all go into a murky mess but then something exciting happens and having scraped some paint off you can return to the original painting and reapply fresh paint."

Director of the New Millennium Gallery, David Falconer says of the show: "Judy's paintings are wonderfully profound works intimately engaged with nature and for many collectors who live outside of Cornwall, they fulfill a fundamental primal need, feeding them emotionally until they can return again to that unique landscape."



Judy Buxton's recent paintings are show at the New Millennium Gallery, Street-an-Pol, St Ives until 20th June.