In the studio with Neville Cox

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nev1In our upcoming Spring Exhibition, we will be showing new paintings by Neville Cox, a Watchet based artist who is a regular exhibitor at Churchgate Gallery Porlock. We visited Neville in his studio to find out more about his painting process.

For Neville painting has been a lifelong interest, but since retiring from his day job he has been spurred on to dedicate himself to painting full time. Having time to experiment with different subjects and media has allowed him to develop a distinctive style, which continuously evolves and develops.


nev2A striking feature of Neville’s work is the way in which he captures light and colour in an impressionistic way, drawing the viewer in to share his experience of the atmosphere of the landscape. Working outside ‘en plein air’ is vital to Neville’s painting process-

“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.”


nev3The artists who have had the most influence on Neville as a painter are those who have also worked outdoors, such as Trevor Chamberlin and David Curtis.


There is no shortage of subject matter for Neville to paint, with the stunning and varied
landscapes of Somerset and Exmoor right on his
doorstep. However, creating a successful painting comes down to how the scene is interpreted-

“Good composition and often simplification is required to make a good painting.”



nev4Certain places can also be mines of inspiration, with the dramatic topography of the Valley of the Rocks near Lynton in Devon having an enduring appeal.

“It has the grandeur of the rock pillars plunging down to the sea. Having fine-tuned my painting gear, I can walk up the rocky paths to see and paint staggering views.”

Neville’s work is constantly evolving, with his most recent series of paintings being inspired by Cornwall, and the unique colour and light and coastal villages that can be found there.

“I love harbour scenes and the further west you go the better it gets. The beautiful little coves of Cornwall with a few boats pulled up on the shore, that’s what I love the most.”

nev6Despite sometimes experimenting in different media and techniques including acrylic, pastel and mixed media, the versatility of oil paint is something Neville always returns to.

“When I look at work that I painted twenty years ago I can see that my style and painting technique hasn’t changed that much over the years. What has changed is my understanding of the painting process, composition and particularly the use of colour. These are the areas where I hope to develop. Other media, such as lino-cut, also interest me and I will be exploring these methods.”


Originally posted March 26th 2016

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