Artist captures colours of Cumbria

Sarah Reid
Photograph by Phil Rigby

Sarah Reid’s striking abstract and semi-abstract works are inspired by the light and colour of the Lake District, Eden Valley and, particularly, the Solway coast. “I love the huge skies and big beaches,” she says. “It’s a very real place, a bit rough, and it frees my mind.”

Sarah, 47, belongs to Eden Valley Artistic Network (EVAN) and shares one of the studios in its spacious new gallery and studios complex in Corney Square, Penrith. She and her husband Martin live in the town and also rent a cottage in Allonby, where Sarah finds the beach and its ever-changing ln ight irresistible.

“This is typically me,” she says of a shimmering painting of a sunset and wet beach. Sarah is fascinated by West Cumbria’s old buildings, too – their emotional quality and how they look as if they have faces and a story to tell. Her painting of Allonby Bridge, based on old illustrations and displayed in one of the three gallery spaces in EVAN’s Penrith home, is “an expression of how I feel about it rather than how it looks”, she says.

Sarah exhibited at Cumbria Life Home & Garden Show at Rheged, near Penrith, in March this year and was one of 18 artists chosen to illustrate Andy Wild and Mike Healey’s book, William Wordsworth’s Best-Loved Poems, which was published last autumn. She chose to illustrate the poem It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free, which, she says, sums up her painting perfectly.

Sarah moved into her studio last November and has just taken the plunge into working full time as an artist. She also curates EVAN exhibitions.

“Having the studio has opened up so many opportunities,” she says. “We learn from each other all the time and it’s a fantastic experience to be part of the gallery and the team.”

This full version of this feature appeared in the June edition of Cumbria Life

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