Studio Insights | Alex Knubley

20 Feb 2020

Alex Knubley - From Harris to Humbie

Christina Jansen visited Alex Knubley in her studio near Dalmeny on the 16th January in advance of her upcoming exhibition in April - From Harris to Humbie.

I Work from a small shed/studio (shedio!) at the bottom of my garden, weaving from memory, sketches and photographs - paintings that explore the natural world as it changes colour, season and weather around me.

Studio Insights | Alex Knubley
Alex's 'shedio' (with Barley the dog)

My paintings are created with pigment mixed with oil and beeswax which imbues the surface of the paintings with a thick and buttery consistency, lending form, texture and presence to the places I portray. I layer the paint using pallet knives, thick brush strokes and translucent washes, peeling back layers of accreted media in an attempt to reveal an essence of the scenes and it’s place in my memory.

Studio Insights | Alex Knubley
Studio Insights | Alex Knubley

I have physically deconstructed and re-assembled certain paintings, creating an architectural patchwork of the natural world in the pigmented wax ground. This time-intensive process not only gives the pictures a sculptural quality, but also evokes decay and rebirth: the landscapes are ever-changing, evolving forms.

Studio Insights | Alex Knubley
Works in progress
Studio Insights | Alex Knubley
Forrest High Summer, 2019, oil and beeswax on canvas, 9.5 x 10 cm
Studio Insights | Alex Knubley
On A Clear Day, 2019, oil and beeswax on paper, 9.5 x 9 cm

Having turned 50 recently, this last year has been a period of self discovery, and by immersing myself in these surroundings, I have had time to re-engage with the landscape around me throughout the changing seasons.

My work is loosely based on the fields, forests and beach walks I take with my family and our dog. From our summer hoildays exploring the Hebrides to weekend jaunts to the borders we have travelled the length and breadth of scotland. I walk regularly around the grand estates in my local area enjoying the changing seasons and how the same view can differ from day to day, depending on light, temperature and season.

Studio Insights | Alex Knubley
Alex working in her studio

I trained as a horticulturalist fourteen years ago, and have worked as the gardener for The Scottish Gallery for the last five years. I love working with and in the Gallery garden, It is a peaceful, thought provoking space, and easy to lose oneself in, much in the same way as I feel when I paint. I’m so happy that From Harris to Humbie will overlook the Gallery garden as rather fittingly, the garden is a continuation and a reflection of my paintings inside.

Watch the video below to hear more from Alex Knubley as she discusses how she has transformed The Gallery Garden.

From Harris to Humbie will open Wednesday 1st April at The Scottish Gallery.

More News