Guy Warner is a self-taught landscape painter working from Swift Studio, his studio-shop in Winchcombe in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds. He produces vibrant depictions of his local landscape, working mainly in oil on canvas.
Guy was born in Birmingham, England in 1985 and he has been drawing and painting all his life. Guy's career selling landscape paintings started in his teens when he was lucky enough to be given studio space in the tack room of a tumbledown Victorian stable block owned by friends.
He decided to eschew college and formal training in favour of painting madly away, learning by trial and error and supporting himself on part-time jobs and the charity of others. Whilst this approach certainly had its downsides, Guy pulled through and, with his partner's support, has been painting full-time since 2018.
Swift Studio launched in February 2022.
Inspiration and Process
“I am in love with the ancient landscapes of the British Isles and in particular my local countryside in the Cotswold Hills. I love to capture the countryside through changing light, weather and seasons and the vibrant colour palette I use is my way of conveying the joy I feel being out in nature.
I take great inspiration from the art and design of the early twentieth century when stylish depictions of rural Britain flourished, especially in the form of tourism posters. Those designers used colour and form in a pure and powerful way and I wish to do the same, creating paintings that are, I hope, uplifting and evocative of time and place.”
"My artistic process begins when I set off along a footpath, leaving the town behind me and entering the lush, green embrace of nature.
A move to the Cotswolds in my twenties, and this newfound opportunity to lose myself in greenery, cemented my fascination with the rural landscape. One remarkable feature of the Cotswolds is that it is often possible to find a view where the modern, industrial world is absent so the imagination can take hold and one’s sense of time is lost.
As I walk I take photographs which will later act as sketches as I interpret them in the studio. This reflects a certain impatience in me; often not content with sitting in one place and absorbing the scene slowly I would rather keep moving in the hope of discovering something new around the next corner.
I like to explore the relationship between the hard lines of the manmade, in the form of tracks and buildings, and the billowing softness of vegetation on an ever expanding scale, from cow parsley heads through shrubs and trees to towering clouds. The link between these natural forms is of great interest to me; the way sheep reflect clouds and clouds mirror trees and the umbels of cow parsley, hogweed and wild carrot have echos of all three.
My colour palette has been influenced by diverse sources starting in France with the impressionists, post impressionists and fauves. My style, however, has been most influenced by the continuation of the above movements in the British art scene, most notably the Bloomsbury Group and the various poster artists of the 1920s and 30s.
The way nature dominates a scene and seemingly threatens to overtake manmade elements is also of central importance to me. This quality can be seen in the railway poster art of the 1930s where the grandeur of nature is paramount and the trains and railways themselves are relegated to minor details or absent entirely from the scene.
This theme of predominant nature is also crucial in the pastoral and romantic traditions in British art and I see my work as a continuation of this thread, taking further inspiration from artists such as Samuel Palmer and Paul and John Nash.
In line with the romantic tradition my paintings occupy a space between reality and the fantasy world I inhabit when out walking, where nature threatens to overtake the human world, rather than the other way around. I will edit out details such as road signs or electricity pylons as they clutter a scene, although I do not entirely see this as harking back to times past. I feel that whilst I am not representing the modern world with all the details exactly as they are I am still giving my interpretation of rural England as it is in the here and now.
A final and crucial aim of my work is to try and recreate the sense of excitement and discovery I get when I head off down a new path. I want the viewer to feel they could walk into the painting and experience the freedom and joy I feel when I am out in nature."