Liz de Planta


b. 1964

After a degree in Modern Languages and a 25yr career as director and camerawoman in television and documentaries, I started painting again in 2016.

The complexity of film shoots and editing was in stark contrast to the immediacy of a paint brush, oils and canvas which has a simplicity I’ve always found compelling. But like film, for me it’s all about the light, its interplay with the subject matter and the resulting dance of colour which evolves into a painting.

As a self-taught painter, I soon realised that I needed to better understand the principles and practice of drawing so I enrolled on a series of courses at the Royal Drawing School in London.

When I started painting again, (the first time seriously since A level) I understood the importance of colour for creating that impression on the canvas and as I’m surrounded by nature where I live, I decided to start painting trees which forced me to mix my colours, greens specifically, which I figured was a good place to start.

I chose to paint from photos initially so that I could get the angle I wanted: looking up into the tree canopy from below, a universal childhood memory, with the added layers of light, form and perspective. With their endless variety of species and seasons, it was, and continues to be, a constant education.

These paintings led to my sell-out solo exhibition “Look up in Wonder” at The Tabernacle in London in Nov 2019.

A pivotal moment came during Lockdown l. when I signed up to a global, online, live, multi-disciplined art course called Plein Air Live. It was an intensive 5 days of tutoring from a vast array of generous practitioners who shared so much of their knowledge, advice and practical experience which has already enriched and expanded my work and curiosity.

I continue to explore painting and deliver commissions from my studio at Old Jet, a disused US Air Force base near Rendlesham, Suffolk.

I’m looking forward to spending more time outside plein air painting this summer and building towards another show in the future.