“For millennia the country lane has been an integral part of English culture and has
figured prominently in art, poetry and music.We bring a ‘romance’ to the idea of the
country lane as we have done with the rural landscape, perhaps harking back to an
imagined ‘arcadia’, a time of peace and simplicity. When I walk through these lanes,
I feel that ever-present history and peace.”
We can ask little more of an landscape painter than to provide in paint not only what we
have seen with our own eyes, but to capture the very essence of a scene – to feel when we
gaze upon a painting the warming sun on our face and to hear the sigh of the wind distant
in the trees.
In Down an English Lane, Richard Thorn has chosen that most iconic feature of our rural
landscape to remind us how delightful and inspiring even the most familiar scenery can be.
Whilst the majority of paintings included here represent settings from his native Westcountry,
the imagery will be familiar to all of us who share the artist’s enjoyment of
wandering down our country lanes.
Here history and nature are entwined among the
rambling hedgerows and winding roads that stamp upon the landscape an unruly maze of
byways, marking it as unmistakably English.
Through each season the artist charts the annual changes that transform autumnal rust
to winter’s steel, then change again to the first fresh greenery of spring and on to golden
For all those who love the countryside, for those who appreciate the artist’s skill in
capturing in paint the quintessence of a scene, this book will prove a lasting treasure.
Richard was born in the South West of England in 1952. He grew up living close to the sea
and amid the beautiful Devon countryside. As a result the sea, coastal and rural landscape
have been an ongoing inspiration for his subject matter. Although he formally studied art
at the Newton Abbot School of Art, he is a naturally gifted artist and prefers to create paintings
from ‘feeling’ rather than an academic standpoint.
Early influences were the artists
Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper and Philip Jameson.
Richard began painting professionally in the 1980s and since then he has produced many fine paintings and
limited edition prints celebrating the commanding Devon and Cornish landscapes and coastlines.
The Westcountry has a ‘quality of light’ that attracts many British artists and Richard Thorn is no
exception. He is drawn to the intensely bright and suffuse light which, together with the many variations in
the coastal and inland landscapes of the area, are the qualities he successfully captures in his paintings.
Historically Richard’s preferred medium has been watercolour, but more recently he has been producing
art works in gouache and acrylic with equal success.
Imprint: Halstar. ISBN 978 1 906690 61 8, hardback, 238x258mm, 144 pages. Published May 2016.