An exhibition of watercolour landscapes inspired by the changing seasons of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds will soon be on display in Chipping Norton.

A Brush with Colour features recent work by Oxfordshire artist Rod Craig.

Among the collection of paintings are watercolours including The Colour of Spring, a wonderful painting of Bliss Mill.

Rod said: “Bliss Mill is the iconic building that springs to mind when you think of Chipping Norton. It’s Grade II listed and formerly used for manufacturing tweed. A beautifully proportioned piece of architecture that just looks perfect nestling in the valley on the outskirts of the town – so my painting is as much about the surrounding countryside as the mill itself."

During lockdown, Rod spent much of his time painting close to his home in Woodstock and completed many paintings of the town and the local water meadows.

"The meadows are very special to me, often deserted with the River Glyme twisting through the willow trees creating a mysterious light," he said.

“I’m probably most comfortable painting in woodland locations. I try to create a representation of the trees by suggesting the way that they bend and move, hopefully to capture their personality with just a few studied flicks and splatters of my brush."

Rod is interested in painting winter trees but will have paintings from all seasons in the exhibition.

He said: "Springtime in Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds presents the perfect opportunity for colour - the vivid yellows and shades of lush greens in the watercolour palette are a delight to work with, in an attempt to capture the magic of the season as nature re-emerges. The Cotswolds are just magical in spring time."

Rod is a watercolour obsessive, loving the immediacy and unpredictability of the medium, claiming "it’s harder to control than a small child".

“I'm inspired by a passion for landscape but ultimately it’s all about it’s all about the composition and the light in order to produce an interesting image on the paper," he said. "What interests me most is trying to create a sense of time and place rather than totally representational studies.

“Watercolour is a very exciting way of exploring visual techniques and feelings.

"Watercolour painting is often regarded as rather unfashionable by much of the art world, yet it can be the most vibrant and expressive of all painting media. I find it totally compelling, challenging and exciting as a method of working. It is a real privilege to be able to spend my days as I do."

Rod vividly remembered attempting to capture the light after his father gave him a present of a book called 'How to paint skies' by English landscape artist Rowland Hilder as a child.

“That book got me into water colour painting," said Rod. ‘I can’t remember a time when art was not my main preoccupation. I was always drawing as a child, right through my schooldays until I attended art college. From that point on art and design has been my life.

Rod has lived and worked in rural Oxfordshire for most of his adult life and believes Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds are an artist’s paradise with the wonderful rural landscapes and honey-coloured Cotswold stone.

He said: “I spend my time working between Oxfordshire and Bath - both are blessed with inspiring, elegant architecture with wonderful warm stonework. The contrast of the countryside and the city is a constant inspiration to me.

"I try to keep reinventing myself, moving between subjects and approaches rather than becoming too entrenched in one style.

“I¹m thrilled to be exhibiting at Kingfisher Art again and hope that my new paintings will do justice to the wonderful countryside surrounding it."

A Brush with Colour by Rod Craig is at Kingfisher Art, 14 New Street, Chipping Norton OX7 5LJ from March 5 - 20.

Open 10.30am – 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday; 11am – 3pm Sunday (closed Mondays)