The environments we encounter in our early years often become the most evocative, lasting and inspiring later in life. This is the case for the painter Alex Appleby, whose work is inspired by the “rugged terrain, subtle textures and vivid colours” of the northern English landscape, specifically his home town of Lancaster.
With his paintings, Alexander aims to show what makes these landscapes “so special”, and in tandem, his close focus on various greenery is a way for him to demonstrate his respect for the environment. To elevate aspects of nature, Alexander “beautifies the trees and plants I see that might usually be overlooked”. What may once have been a ‘simple’ tree is transformed with a bulbous interpretation of its leaves and dainty daisy-like flowers blow dramatically in the wind, the pointed shape of their petals accentuated by movement. Despite his style veering toward naturalistic imagery, one form Alexander has never found himself “restrained” by is realism. Instead, he likes to place his plants in “imagined scenarios”, which not only allows him to explore more interesting visual territories, but makes his painting process a lot more fun.
Alexander’s work is currently showing in Studio West’s online group exhibition, Sunburn.
Alex Appleby: Lancaster Meadows (Copyright © Alex Appleby, 2023)
About the Author
Olivia (she/her) joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021 and soon became staff writer. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in photography, publications and type design.