Saturday 28 September 2013

Louis Turpin - a local star painter

For many years we have admired the work of Louis Turpin, who lives and works near Rye.
     We initially came across him because our old friend Karol, who we met in Turkey many years ago, has several of his paintings in her house.
     When we first came down to this area we saw a wonderful big painting by Louis, in the permanent collection of Rye Art Gallery, of a field of cabbages. I can't reproduce it here - it just looks like a green mass in the photograph, but we were so struck we have looked out for his work ever since.
      He paints mostly gardens and English landscapes, in a very characteristic colourful, sunny style. I am not into art critic speak - I suppose you'd say the work is representational, yet impressionistic, with a bold, rich
Teasels at Great Dixter - Louis Turpin
palette of colour and very clear light.  Anyway, we find his work immensely cheering to look at.  He has done many paintings of Great Dixter, which Hastings Battleaxe readers will know is one of our favourite places.
      There are usually works of his for sale in Rye, and we have often admired, but never bought.
      However, just before we went on holiday we saw a painting in the Rye Society of Arts Exhibition. It was of the allotments on the West Hill in Hastings, looking across the valley to High Wickham on the East Hill. We knew exactly where it was painted - a view very familiar to us from our first days in Hastings, and still familiar now.  We bought the painting there and then.
      Here it is together with a photo of the view taken by Philosopher.
       The blokes who keep the allotments kindly let us have a good poke round, and as you can see, we found the actual plot with the yellow hoops.
Our painting - Allotments on the West Hill

Philosopher's photo of the same scene.
The photo is taken later in the year - the buddlea bush has grown up, and the runner beans have grown over their framework     
      We ended up having a total cock-up pantomime to pay for the painting - the curse of Santander service struck us big time - but it turned out well because Louis eventually brought the painting round to us himself. It was nice to meet him and his wife Davida.
Allotments by the sea
       Interestingly, we had a visit from Philosopher's sister Hilary and her husband Mike this week, and it turns out that Mike worked with Louis' father, Digby Turpin, who was a filmmaker.  Mike mentioned an article on Louis he'd seen recently in the Daily Telegraph.
       I see he is very into music - we will have to go and see him strut his stuff at some point.
       There are other paintings of allotments, including this other one of the West Hill, in a new exhibition at the Bohun Gallery in Henley.
       I've neglected Bombastic Battleaxe a bit lately - Hastings Battleaxe has become quite labour intensive. Once you start building up a blog audience you have to keep the posts coming.  I had started the first in a series of no-holds-barred posts on the shocking truth behind social housing, but I showed it to Philosopher who said it was too inflammatory and I needed to research my facts. Research? Facts? Moi? So I left it.
To finish up with, here are three more nice Louis Turpin paintings - I like the winter scenes with sheep.
Morning Frost

Apple Orchard with ewe

Winter sheep

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