Pippa painting on the roof terrace of Les Tourelles

Pippa Darbyshire is Scottish, born in Malaysia in 1951, into a naval family. Her formative years were spent traveling the world and living on the coast. At the age of 40 she went to Art School in Ipswich and then on to do a Fine Art Degree at Norwich. After college she had immediate success as an artist and had many solo shows in Suffolk as well as London and France.

In 1990 she opened her own art gallery with a small private art school in Suffolk called Artworks and at the same time taught ‘Life drawing’ on the degree course at Suffolk College under Ken back who had been her revered tutor.

In 2001 Pippa and her husband Peter moved to France and opened an art gallery “Relais de la Baie” mainly as a platform for selling her own work. It has been a great success and marks a turning point in her art career. She has been exhibiting almost exclusively “chez elle” for the past 10 years enjoying the independence and the contact with her customers who come from all over northern Europe and particularly from Belgium, Britain, France and Paris. Here in France she paints mainly La Baie de Somme and the surrounding countryside which she adores for its calmness and light.

There are varied but recurring subjects/motifs for Pippa’s paintings, but whether the sea or landscape, a brick wall or still life, her interest and preoccupation is the underlying geometry.

In the bay she finds rhythms and patterns in the horizontal lines of sand and sea and in the landscape, fences or telegraph poles, are used as excuses for dissecting the pictorial plane and providing the tension and dynamic she is looking for to contrast with the softness of the morning mist.

“My work is figurative but I am constantly experimenting and playing with space, which is becoming flatter. I am becoming more interested in texture even though the paint surface is smooth. Lately with my landscapes I am painting the rain on the car windscreen to almost obliterate the view and the real space beyond.

I often purposely leave obvious errors in my work and the remains of underlying drawings and calculations which give an ‘open’ and rather unfinished appearance.”