9th March - 30th March
Works of Veronica Charlesworth & Michael MacDonagh Wood
"Recent arrivals to the South Devon area, distinguished artists, and husband and wife duo, Michael MacDonagh Wood and Veronica Charlesworth, offer their first Devon exhibition since 2006"
Recent arrivals to the South Devon area, expert watercolourists, and husband and wife duo, Michael MacDonagh Wood and Veronica Charlesworth, offer their first Devon exhibition since 2006, curating a selection of stunning watercolour and oil works that the pair are internationally renowned for.
Married in 1979 having both studied techniques across painting, etching, printmaking and graphic design, they spent several years honing their skills and following careers producing original lithographs and screenprints, with Veronica having set up a workshop in 1974 with two fellow artists. Both now work primarily in watercolours, finding the medium suits their respective focuses; for Veronica, this is capturing the natural world in vivid still life, floral works and landscape paintings, whilst for Michael, it is the capture of the fluid spaces where architecture and water meet in stunning Venice scenes that he has become widely known for.
Together and individually, they have exhibited extensively across the United Kingdom, Europe and the USA and supply galleries nationally with high quality, signed, limited edition prints. This exhibition offers the unique opportunity to view a curation of original works from both artists including a range of European and local scenes.
Veronica Charlesworth was born in London, England in 1952. Her family were not in the least artistic but from an early age Veronica developed a love of and a skill at drawing and painting. Her foundation studies at Hampton Art School provided her with excellent tuition in drawing and design and at the London College of Printing she learned the techniques of printmaking and obtained a BA in Graphic Design.
In 1974 Veronica began her career as a professional artist and became the manager of a printmaking workshop in London producing silk screen prints and lithographs by herself and fellow artists. In 1979 she married the artist, Michael MacDonagh Wood and together they set up a printmaking studio in Stroud Gloucestershire printing their etchings and silk screen prints. During the late 80s Veronica began painting in watercolours. “I had enjoyed drawing plants at art school, but watercolour was a new medium for me. It is perfectly suited to working in the open air and I used it to paint my favourite flowers, peonies, poppies and particularly irises.” Veronica's vibrant paintings capture the delicate fragility and intense colours of these spectacular flowers which she exhibited annually at the Chelsea Flower show and the Hampton Court Flower Show. In 2003 Michael and Veronica bought a house in the idyllic Lot region of France resulting in many scenes of ancient villages and farms. More recently, Veronica organised an exhibition to celebrate Stroud's award-winning farmers market. “I aimed to show the beauty and variety of our local produce throughout the four seasons. The project was great fun. I loved searching for the most visually exciting fruit and vegetables and then arranging an interesting composition for each month of the year.”
Veronica and Michael moved to South Devon in 2016 and she has found a new source of inspiration. Slapton Ley at Start Bay and the River Dart are her present subjects. “I am fascinated by the relationship between the trees and the water and spend a long time studying their reflections. The shore line is my territory.”
Whether still life, floral or landscape, Veronica's watercolours and acrylics celebrate the beauty and drama of the natural world.
Michael MacDonagh Wood
Michael MacDonagh Wood was born in London, England in 1952. His father was the highly respected marine artist, Peter MacDonagh Wood so he grew up surrounded by his father's paintings and with access to an extensive library on art and artists. Michael's studies at Hampton and Hammersmith schools of art provided him with excellent tuition in painting and drawing. He also spent a term at Gorham College, Maine, USA specialising in photography.
In 1979 he married Veronica Charlesworth, also an artist, and together they set up a printmaking studio in Stroud, Gloucestershire printing their etchings and silk screen prints.
On a visit to the beautiful Greek island of Paxos in 1979, Michael rediscovered his love for painting producing a series of evocative sunlit watercolours. Although very detailed, his paintings are fresh and lively with layers of pigment resulting in intense colours. Following the success of his Greek paintings, Michael has travelled widely in Europe capturing images of vernacular architecture and ancient villages. He has become renowned for his stunning views of Venice. “I am particularly interested in painting architecture and water, so Venice is an enduring inspiration” he reveals. “I love the dilapidated surfaces of the grand palazzos reflected in the canals. I prefer to paint the backwaters away from the bustle of the tourist hotspots.” The beauty and mystery of the glorious city are captured by Michael's accurate draughtsmanship and masterly rendition of the reflected architecture.
A trip to Cuba in 2012 resulted in a body of work based on Havana, it's attractive colonial architecture and exciting vintage cars. “When I'm travelling I make watercolour sketches of subjects that interest me and take a lot of photographs” explains Michael. “Back in the studio, I study this material for a long time before deciding what I will work up into a finished painting, usually in watercolour but sometimes in oil. I work on my paintings for weeks, sometimes months.”
Michael's has exhibited widely in Britain and in the USA.
Exclusive early access to exhibited works from our March exhibition.