Ophelia Redpath

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ABOUT OPHELIA

 

Ophelia has had a career spanning over 30 years.  During that time she has exhibited her work in over 100 shows in Britain and overseas, painted several murals and produced two books.

 

She was born in 1965 in Cambridge, where she still lives. From 1983 to 1984 she attended the Art Foundation Course at CCAT where she studied under the tutelage of the acclaimed illustrator, Warwick Hutton and the highly respected painter, Julia Ball.  After further studies of Music and Education at Homerton College, she took up painting full-time.

 

She lives in a village near Cambridge with her daughter Sally.
 

Ophelia Redpath

ART

 

Ophelia's oil paintings are best known for their connection with jazz, literature their surreal qualities and for deep undercurrents of humour and joy. She is currently immersed in work exploring the relationship between the human world and the diminishing natural world, highlighting both the negative dilemmas and the possibilities for change.

 

Besides working in oils, Ophelia works graphically in pen and ink, producing detailed designs for posters and illustrations for authors and musicians. 

 

She has written and illustrated a children's picture book of her own, "The Lemur's Tale" which was nominated for the 2014 Kate Greenaway Medal and reviewed in The Times as Book of the Week. She has also written, illustrated and published an adult's coffee table book, "An ABC of Cambridge Professors".

 

Many of her images are available to license out to other creators including authors, actors and musicians for use as album covers, book jackets and posters.  

 

You can buy her original paintings, signed limited edition prints, open edition prints and book publications on this website.  Her prints are reproduced to the highest quality by Redcliffe Imaging.  www.redcliffeprint.co.uk 

 

If you are interested in commissioning a painting, please send an email to: ophelia@opheliaredpath.com 

 

At this very moment in time, she is participating as a competitor in Landscape Artist of the Year on Sky Arts which you can watch, both as a Sky Subscriber, and on Freeview.  The series began on 13th January 2021 and will continue to run on Wednesdays at 8pm until the 8th March.  
 

TECHNIQUE

 

"The initial focus for any of my pieces is its composition as a backdrop to offset the ideas.  

 

In the first stages I draw out a piece to scale, positioning and repositioning lines, viewpoints, expressions and shapes, often using a rubber more than I use a pencil!  Once the scene is set, the colours and application of paint decide themselves.  

 

When I paint in oils, I either work on gesso-primed paper, or on canvas.  I work in layers until there is a richness and fullness I'm happy with.  I paint many of my figures and objects onto tracing paper which I print onto the backdrop.

 

When I work graphically with pen and ink, I make a detailed plan first, after which I wash on the ink without too much fuss, highlighting the important details. 

 

A recent development is my use of linocuts as a medium which lends itself to strong shapes and lines.

 

All these techniques are adaptable for my work on book illustrations and posters."
 

Ophelia Redpath
Ophelia Redpath

INSPIRATION

 

"Ideas approach artists in mysterious ways.  They never seem to arrive on time or in the place we look for them.  But we need to look, and we need to arrive on time just in case one turns up.  

 

When I hear something on the grapevine which gets a narrative going, I find a scene within it and let it grow.  As a result, much of my work is based on hearsay, via friends, films, concert, poems, adventures, something I stumbled upon on the street, or an inner vibration which needs to turn into something living.  Perhaps my work is a form of painted gossip.  

 

There are special influences, such as jazz, which I have always loved. When I listen to the great pianist, Herbie Hancock, for example, the chords changes set certain colours off in me; the melody affects my lines; the mood or message helps structure the composition and subject. 

 

My deepest passions, though, stem from the possibilities offered up by the Natural World.  At a time when life for many species of plants and animals hangs in the balance, I feel impelled to celebrate its existence and to question the relationship we have with it. 

 

When I work, there is always an initial struggle to work out exactly what I want to say and how to say it.  But there are those rare times when, once in a blue moon, a complete painting quietly appears in my head, fully detailed, with no apparent logic or meaning. This hardly ever happens, but when it does, I copy it down immediately!"