As a Sussex-based artist, I am inspired by the strong historical connections between the South Downs and the radical mid 20th century artists and designers who were drawn to the area. The ‘Bloomsbury Group’ included Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and elsewhere in Sussex Eric Ravilious, Eric Slater and Eric Gill practiced their art.

Consequently, it was a dream-come-true to be invited to take part in the South Downs episode of BBC Countryfile filming at Charleston Farmhouse, the country home of the Bloomsbury Group. Inspired by Vanessa Bell’s painting of Charleston (c.1950), I chose to paint a modern-day version of this viewpoint, so on the day of filming, I set up my easel on the south side of the pond and set to work drawing and painting. The Countryfile team had asked for a work-in-progress-style feature, so it was a delight to work with the excellent BBC film crew and to be interviewed by ‘TV legend’ John Craven. Since the broadcast of the episode on 5th March, I’ve received lots of lovely feedback from Countryfile viewers - and friends and family!

For those of you who are interested in the work of the Bloomsbury Group, I’d warmly recommend a visit to Charleston, ‘A spiritual home for artists’. For further details visit:

As part of my research into the work of the mid 20th century Sussex artists, I recently visited current exhibition ‘Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion’ which explores the attraction and the influence of Sussex on the modernist movement. The exhibition is open until 23rd April 2017 at Two Temple Place - a stunning neo-Gothic mansion, which is well worth a visit in it’s own right. For further details visit:

That’s all for now, until next month.

Thank you for reading.


Photo: Andrew Testa for The New York Times