Anne Pirie

Contemporary Markmakers – Anne Pirie

A wonderful collection of very different artists, our group shares a common passion for making marks. Led throughout lockdown by Anne Pirie, who has kept us together, supporting each other through very difficult times, our art has triumphed, where it could easily have faded. We are knitted together now, a network, still for art but fundamentally looking out for each other and jointly stretching out for the light at the end of the tunnel. And well done Anne, who got us all zooming several weeks before the government found it and introduced the virtual press conference and virtual parliament.

Beverley Samler

Beverley Samler

Printmaking is my passion, especially experimental printmaking. I love making use of new materials. This experimental trend spills over into mixed media, combining painting, printmaking and collage. The subjects which interest me are mainly organic, including rocks and trees. I am attracted time and again to certain things in my art, trees, rocks, sharp objects and women predominate. My African life has a huge influence on my work both in the colours I use and a spiritual attachment to the ancient. I also enjoy constructing three dimensional forms and this has drawn me to making prints.

Josie Gould

Josie Gould

I love to paint outdoors, immersing myself in the fleeting, sensory qualities of light and colour, to capture the pulse and poetics of the Devon land, coast and sea. This quality of presence, immersed in the mystical exuberance, vitality and zest of life abundant in these wild places, bring me many experiences of joy and delight which I aim to evoke in my oil and mixed media paintings.

Rachael Bennett

Rachael Bennett

I am interested in the liminal spaces within landscape created by natural transitions; those uncertain, indeterminate spaces caught between one world and another. My work is descriptive of form, light and place in an atmospheric way.
I want the viewer to experience, for example, that psychological state of mind created at the moment between wakefulness and dreaming, that threshold moment where alchemy happens and limitless contemplation is possible.
I look at landscapes, seascapes and the ever changing weather. The intimate landscape beneath my feet is just as engrossing as the grander view, and the interplay between the two, the near and the far, just as stimulating. With my painting, relationship between materials used and image created is everything to me. One is responsible for the other, it is symbiotic. The resultant conversation is where the true dialogue can happen. This is the entry point, the place where the liminal experience is possible – this is the essence of my work.


Avenda Burnell Walsh

Lockdown was an interesting time for me, I went big, meters of paper rolled over desk, wall and floor. The charcoal and inks came out and had their day. I had my eyes closed most of the time, feeling the paper, feeling life, listening to the sound of my breathing … and I drew breath. A change of direction for me, working alone and zooming fellow artists. But I do not forget my previous work, my mission, pondering if we been misled about what is beautiful? Bombarded by images of apparent perfection, we have for centuries missed the beauty of soul. My work has looked back over figurative representations to re-evaluate the place of women in societies that demanded beauty from them. These new portraits seek to free the sitters of Holbein, Vermeer and Klimt from the constraints of corsets. The corsets are off, and they are not going back on. We still face stilettos, long nails and perfect hair, all self inflicted corsetry in my eyes.

I work as an artist and an actor. Following a study of drama, film and art, both at Exeter University and the University of California (Santa Barbara) I now have the Teign Estuary outside my studio balcony and the salt air blowing across my face. I still struggle to find a toned down palette more suited to Devon. A member of the Maison des Artistes, I now paint and illustrate from my Devon studio … Atelier Avenda … overlooking the sea at Teignmouth. The first two Ateliers were galleries in France.

UNEARTHING DARTMOOR FIELD TRIP observations of a markmaker

Spectacular fairy ring of rabbit pooh and tender heather

Rusty heifers with mismatched horns, the young ones skittering and
scampering in playful uncertainty

Pale yellow slender grasses growing strangely brighter, glowing even, as
sun fades at the close of making marks

Gorse scratching, gouging, mark making our thighs

Hastily tucking trouser legs into socks for fear of ticks, spiders,
lizards and adders

The magic of fading sun and clouds on dark water pond, that stares back
at us as we stand and look, and stand and look, and then get bitten

Still scratching at imaginary ants in pants, must investigate that later

The path is there, we see it easily on the back track, the light now
faded, but the path still glowing sandy bright, laughing smug at us who
missed it hours before and scrabbled long through thick and thin, rough
and tougher, sticky and prickly, tender lichens pale and magic, heathers
new and shouting colour, embryonic spruce trees fledging their tiny

We saw it all

We saw and sought to make our marks

And marks escaped us, but we found one or two and caged them in our

Jane Beatrice

Jane Beatrice

The focus of my writing and painting is to reclaim the Divine Feminine as the source of all creation challenging the assumption of a male God. My view is that patriarchal religions across the world have usurped the power of the Divine Mother, Gaia, who predates traditional world religions by eons.

I see the cosmos and life upon earth as interconnected. I believe everything is one organism, indivisible from the source.

This view of the world seems to me to be particularly potent in the light of our current planetary and human suffering, when the need for healing, love, compassion and a revolutionary change in life-styles seems our only hope for survival. Structures, with an emphasis on power, hierarchy and empire have led the world to the brink of extinction.

I walk along the coast and through the green fields and look and see and feel nature. I write, I draw and paint.

Through the Markmakers workshops I have been exploring the recycling of materials, such as discarded paintings and old magazines transforming them into new images, waves of colour and collage and connecting these images to poetry.

Throughout lockdown, Markmakers has brought me opportunities to play with shape, colour, words and materials through the technology of zoom. I feel COVID is partly responsible for the unexpected gift of saying yes to joy through art making.

Your Beloveds Are With You

Tell me, is this the parable of the 

Prodigal Mother returned 

After forever in the wilderness?

Mother of falling stars

The Great Universal Mother 

The Goddess of all

Shut out, sent down, called witch,

As if that’s a bad thing.

The Great Mother laughs

The cosmos ripples

Whole galaxies fall apart.

From Her bones chaos, 

The universe, the stars, the planets 

Were all built 

Waltzing the earth awake

On the rhythm of Her feet

Fermenting the stars alive

She breathes 

Verdant green and

Gentle words into lush grass,

The warmest chestnut,

Bold azure and soft cherry blossom.

Inside us She grows a soft meadow of magical 

Chamomile, poppy and calendula.

Yours is the tenderness of the way

Where the darkness takes the night’s hand.

You are where salt water meets sweet

Great Creatrix of fragile fluid things,

Wild woodland nymph who spilled

Whole forests from Your tongue.

The great grey cities are all You too

The jewelled throat of The Queen of Heaven.

You are the miraculous day,

The dark of the singular night

And as you rise

Your beloveds are with you.

Jane Ellis

Jane Ellis

I live on Dartmoor. I walk. I see colours. I paint.

Andy Coldrey

Andy Coldrey

My life as a woodworker requires a highly focused, concentrated and meticulous attention to carefully planned detailed accuracy, and a conscious effort to best the medium I work with.

My life as a painter allows me to loose these shackles, and delve into the unknown. Those worlds of the dream, of spiritual belief, of pure imagination, those are the realms I navigate as an artist. Where once much of my work was portrait based, lately the figures, the faces have become more ephemeral, more liminal, less categoric.

Primarily, I work in acrylic paint, using layering to reflect the layering of meaning. Right now, white is my goal. To produce a misty swirl of cloud and fog, a world of mysterious white paint, almost hiding the figure, that’s my current dream.

Polly Delahoy

Polly Delahoy

Polly marks inviting tracks and sometimes rosy paths throughout her work.

“I have been drawn to the sea, mountains and hills since I was a child staying with my grandparents in Ireland. I spent whole summers there, looking at the sea from the garden and the mountains behind, pondering and wondering. It often felt eerie, and I felt a sense of solace, though I did not comprehend that at the time as a child.

I have also spent many an hour hillwalking and camping in the UK and abroad. There is something about being in that environment, about engaging with an ever-ending view that is really important for me and feels mysterious/enigmatic, wondrous, somewhere to escape, a journey to the unknown. When I paint, I escape. If other people escape when they view my paintings, then that would be a bonus.”