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Meet Maxine Hart, Landscape Artist

We chat with contemporary landscape artist, Maxine Hart, about living and painting in Cornwall.

Maxine wears our Salt Air Linen Jumpsuit

Maxine Hart’s fluid landscape paintings capture the wild beauty of Cornwall’s land and sea. Working plein air on the banks of the Helford River or in the sand dunes that frame St Ives Bay, the Cornwall-based artist is an expert at using colour, form and texture to bring these natural landscapes to life. 

We caught up with Maxine in her beautiful studio to chat all things Cornwall, painting and loving the landscape you live in. She also shared some of her best painting tips with us, which you can see in our blog post here. 

What drew you to painting?

I was always in the art room at school, painting backdrops for school plays, and I was lucky enough to go on art residential courses to North Wales and then Italy throughout my sixth form years which was an incredible experience. We experimented with most art materials; sculpted, printed, painted huge canvases outside in all weathers… I think this was the start of my love for plein air painting and aspiration to be an artist.  

How does living in Cornwall inform your art?

Before we moved down to Cornwall, we used to have a week a year here, and at the time that was enough to inform my work until the next holiday. I would take numerous photographs and sketch as much as I could until the next holiday. Now I am living here amongst this wild, natural landscape, I am constantly wanting to capture the changing forms as much as the weather allows or, if not, from the warmth of my studio.  

Every day this landscape inspires me whilst driving or walking. It can be the colour of the sky, a lone cloud, the calm seas, hidden caves, or long expansive beaches. I always try and find balance in my work with shapes, line, colour and I really don’t have to go too far in Cornwall to find these expressive, moving lines and shapes that fundamentally inspire me to pick up my pencil, brush or camera. 

What are your favourite colours to work with?

I have always loved all shades of blue and have a current obsession with pink, a colour which I see in everything… sand, heathland, sky, roads. My go-to is raw umber, a natural earth colour which mixes so well with most colours and on its own. I love those muted, vintage photographs, sun-bleached colours, and I’m always trying to limit my palette and capture the subtleties.  

Do you have a go-to outfit for days in the studio?

My overalls! Underneath the overalls, anything denim, linen or wool depending on the temperature outside or inside! 

On the left, Maxine wears our Little Grebe Vest and Barnes Crops

What would be your top tips for someone wanting to paint seascapes?

Immerse yourself in the landscape, really look at the colours and shapes around you and try and simplify them. Watercolours are an easy medium to start with if a beginner.  They are very portable whilst on walks. There are always a lovely selection of blues, greens and neutrals to try out different depths of tone and colour you will see in seascapes whether in the height of the summer or a wild stormy day.  

Get a large brush and load it up and move it around the page. Be expressive; don’t worry too much, just absorb that scene in front of you and play with paint, marks and learn from those happy accidents!  

You can find Maxine’s work on her website maxinehart.co.uk or on Instagram @maxinehartpaintings 

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