En plein air – Paintings by Neville Cox

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For our upcoming spring exhibition we will be exhibiting original paintings, pastels, mixed media work and original prints by Neville Cox and David Hunt. Both artists are highly accomplished at painting ‘en plein air’- a phrase borrowed from French which simply means outdoors.

Painting outside immersed in the landscape first became popular in the 19th century, starting at end of the romantic movement with it’s emphasis on the glorification of nature, and continuing with the French impressionists and their fascination with light. The challenge of capturing the colours and atmosphere of a scene, and the subtleties that often don’t come across in a photograph is something that still fascinates artists today.


Neville Cox is a self taught artist, whose passion for the landscapes of Exmoor, the Quantocks and further afield has led to him developing a distinctive style and an amazing ability to interpret colour and light.


Left: Cornish Tin Mines Oil on Canvas 40cm x 30cm
Right: Exmoor Cattle Oil on Canvas 100cm x 80cm


For Neville, working outside is vital to observing and understanding a scene;-

“Working outside immerses you in the environment of the subject of your painting. You hear things, the weather changes, people enter and leave the scene. You can include any of those changes which contribute to a better painting. Extended study of the scene improves your understanding of the tones and colour as well as detail… Photographs are very useful to carry the view back to the studio, but my best work is usually started on site.”


blog_porlockvaleNeville Cox working on Exmoor, above the vale of Porlock.
Vale of Porlock Oil on board 30.5cm x 23.5cm



Neville finishing a painting in his Watchet studioproductspacer


Neville has in innate understanding of colour and composition, and when painting a scene uses this skill to simplify certain elements to emphasis others, a process which is greatly helped by extended outdoor observation. The colours he uses are both expressionistic and realistic- from the reddish earth of Exmoor to the turquoise seas of Cornwall, he captures both the visual beauty and his experience of the landscape. productspacer


Left: A paint colour chart in Nevilles studio
Right: Autumn Scene Oil and Acrylic on Board 30cm x 26.5cmproductspacer


Neville has truly mastered the medium of Oil paint, having worked through an experimental process over the years to arrive at his current distinctive style. Despite this, Neville often works in other mediums and subjects to keep his work fresh and exciting- in our upcoming exhibition we will be exhibiting linocut prints along with his paintings, which show his understanding of graphic bold lines. We will also be showing some figurative paintings which whilst different from his landscapes show the same observational skills and talent with colour.productspacer


Left: Two Choughs Linocut  20.5cm x 15.5cm
Right: Nude studies in Neville’s studio


We will be exhibiting paintings by David Hunt and Neville Cox in our upcoming spring exhibition, which opens on the 20th March and runs till the 16th April. If you can’t make it to the gallery, all of the work will be available to view online from the 20th.


  1. Sarah K

    I love Neville’s use of colour and his Somerset paintings bring out the magic inherent in local people, places and livestock. Can’t wait for the forthcoming show!

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