Victoria Sebag-Montefiore
Home | Words | Gallery 1 | Gallery 2 | Biography | Contact


My work as an artist is preoccupied with nature and the natural things that surround me. With these things I make up my compositions and still life paintings. Inspiration can come from many places - a trip to the local vegetable market, a wild verge or an elegant florist.

The rhythms of nature and the passing of time are the themes of my work and I observe the seasons as they come and go, painting first joyous blooms and then fading branches and ultimately death, with my paintings of game birds and hares. I spend a lot of time in the countryside, in Spain and in Suffolk, but also in London where there are many wild corners too. I feel most alive watching nature and being surrounded by it. We become so forgetful of its power when we’re in the city; painting natural things is a way for me to reconnect with the countryside even when I can’t be there myself.

When painting I build up the oil paint in layers, which aim to invoke in the viewer the passage and passing of time and allude to the timelessness of the subject matter. I work on the paintings until there is no more room for the image to move and grow. The image and the background become fused in a battle for supremacy on the surface. This is when the harmony is achieved that creates the settled contemplative nature of the work, but also the vibrancy.

I have often gone back to the paintings of early Renaissance artists like Giotto, whose beautiful colours and emotive figures rest almost awkwardly on their landscapes but are so lovingly and devotedly painted that they feel absolutely right - in the same way that each section of a Mondrian painting is settled but alive in its place, sometimes almost visibly battling its neighbour. A complex relationship exists between two areas - it is the line between where all the excitement happens.

Colour is immediately present in all my work, defining each piece. I have a deep love and belief in the strength of colour. Colour is something that I am continually experimenting with; using different pigments, playing with tone, texture and combinations. I find colour endlessly exciting and interesting. The colours on my palate are forever changing according to my mood.

I strive to create work that is a delight; its potency working on all our senses and the harmonies calming to our spirits.

May 2010