I am a figurative painter working directly from the subject either out in the landscape, in my car or in a studio overlooking the Suffolk coast. I like the limitations this imposes; a given space, a certain amount of time, a few materials and natural light. Larger work is then painted in my studio at home from these smaller works. I use oils as I love their painterly qualities and the diverse colour range achieved with a limited palette. I like painting figures, either walking, sitting, standing; in conversation or quiet reflection; normally from a distance as I enjoy simplifying what I see, omitting unnecessary detail, emphasising close tones, and using these elements to evoke a mood or atmosphere. I am interested in a strong underlying two-dimensional design and find Suffolk’s ever changing coastal landscape of huge skies, wide seas and empty beaches endlessly inspiring; the figures becoming part of the tapestry of a compelling composition.

I put a great deal of emphasis on drawing believing that it underpins all good painting. For me observational drawing is investigation; a search for truth. It’s a record of my experience of seeing. It informs my painting and the choices I make in my work. There is always discovery. Life drawing is an essential part of my practice creating a deeper understanding of my subject; the figure, the space it inhabits, and the formal arrangement of these two elements within the support I am working on. I have travelled widely painting and studying Western Art. I keep a sketchbook/journal whilst touring around and I visit any galleries and exhibitions that interest me; this all informs my painting.

A lot of my paintings are of figures walking in a landscape, an activity that I enjoy, either here or away on holidays. I love to be walking in the landscape, over hills, by the shore, through interesting towns and cities, or mostly under an enormous Suffolk sky enjoying the connection I have with the place I am walking in. Always looking, always absorbing, always selecting. This all inspires my painting.




  • Delia Tournay-Godfrey