Yvonne Coomber: My Favourite Places
Artist Yvonne Coomber is clearly a woman with a cheerful outlook on life, which is why I thought it would be great to pick her brains for the latest instalment of 'My Favourite Places'.
I’m not going to beat around the bush; I love artist Yvonne Coomber‘s work, it’s so blimmin’ happy! You’ve probably seen her colourful signature paintings of meadows, woodland and wild places somewhere on your travels in Devon and Cornwall and, once you do, you don’t forget. I’m always amazed at how she manages to capture the best of what’s, probably to you and I, a fairly nondescript landscape. So, of course she’s got plenty of lovely things to say about her favourite places. Don’t thank me, Yvonne, thank you!
When asked to talk about my favourite places my first reaction was ‘but there’s just so many’! Then I thought about what actually made a place special or important to me, and it was not unlike the qualities that I looked for in my friendships; peacefulness, inspiration, wisdom and fun!
So, with that in mind I selected a handful of places that evoked these feelings.
Firstly, The Curator Cafe in Totnes; a small independently-run Italian cafe with exceptional fresh roasted coffee, handmade cakes and a relaxed atmosphere. I meet my girlfriends here every Friday where we share what’s going on with our lives. Sometimes this is a space talk through both our struggles and celebrations, often it’s simply time to have a bit of a giggle. No matter, it always fills my heart to spend time with these remarkable ladies.
The Scarlet Hotel in Mawgan Porth in Cornwall is also woven deeply into my heart. I was involved with the hotel before it was built when i was commissioned to create a large painting for their reception area. This is a hotel with a strong environmental commitment it is a manifestation of the young owners dream to create a space full of peace, beauty and nourishment. My husband Mike and I go each year in early winter to walk the wild cliffs, eat exquisite food, deeply relax and reconnect with one another. To me it represents a true haven for body and soul.
Another favourite is New Bridge on Dartmoor. Following the River Dart along this path is one of my favourite things to do. Throughout the year, it is a feast for the eyes and always inspires me. Full of ancient magic and untamed wildness, it reflects an energy that I eternally strive to weave into my paintings. In the summertime, kaleidoscopic flowers tumble and spill all around sparkling water, whilst in winter there is a quiet frozen stillness. It is truly a special place.
Another treasured place for me is the Tate Britain in London. It’s broad and rich historical collection and the visual journey from the sixteenth century through to the present days is impressive, frequently breathtaking and often thought provoking. I particularly love to saturate myself in Turner’s dreamy celebration of light, Monet’s impressionistic tenderness and the huge bold colourfield paintings of Rothko. As an artist, it is fascinating to observe how the boundary of painting and what it means has been nudged and occasionally shoved throughout the ages. I always leave humbled and deeply inspired.
Last but not least a place that always makes my heart skip a beat is my own studio. Nestled in the soft rolling hills of the Devon landscape it is a true haven. I really am so deeply grateful to have the opportunity to pour beauty and spirit onto canvases for my job and then to be able to share this with the world. It is a profound blessing.
Thank you muddy Stilettos! xxx