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Pandora Butterfield's dramatic Suffolk paintings

PUBLISHED: 11:57 30 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:38 20 February 2013

Pandora Butterfield relaxes in the pretty garden of her Shimpling home

Pandora Butterfield relaxes in the pretty garden of her Shimpling home

Created at her Shimpling studio, artist Pandora Butterfield's paintings of the Suffolk sea and sky are proving a big hit across the pond

Created at her Shimpling studio, artist Pandora Butterfield's paintings of the Suffolk sea and sky are proving a big hit across the pond

Just occasionally a name can conjure up the work, or interests, of a person. As such, its perhaps not surprising to learn Pandora Butterfield is a free-spirited artist living and working in the Suffolk countryside.
My mother liked unusual names and mine came from a film called the Flying Dutchmanmy brothers called Tristan, says Pandora as she welcomes me into her light-filled home at Shimpling, near Bury St Edmunds.
Plymouth born, and with a father in the Royal Navy, you might expect Pandora to have an affection for the sea, and while she has moved a lot in her career, her 12 years settled in Suffolk have given her the opportunity to really get to know and love our coastline.
The coast is beautiful here, really inspiring, yet at the same time, at places like Shingle Street, it can be an unknown place, she says.
She works in pencil drawing is essential when you first want to capture the lines of the coast oils and watercolours. Even in oils she uses soft brushes, thinning down with turps for a translucent effect.
My inspiration is the light, atmosphere and drama of the Suffolk and Norfolk skies and seascapes. Turner and Constable are just two of the romantic painters with whom I feel an affinity, she says.
I endeavour to capture movement, atmosphere and the drama of the coast. To me the dappling and shimmering sands, the emptiness of the seas and openness of the landscapes fascinate me.
And now this Suffolk artist is hoping to make East Anglian skies a hit in the United States.
I was commissioned to paint some coastal scenes for Kohler, a bathroom and kitchen interior design company in Chicago, explains Pandora.
I had originally painted them for my brother who works in the States and when Kohlers creative director saw and liked them he asked if they could be used for a photoshoot.
They are oil on canvas, 7ft x 5ft and 6ft x 4ft and encompass what makes East Anglia so special its light.
Might they be the start of an artistic/business opportunity in America? Who knows.
Of course I want to sell more artwork and if I can do this as a distinctive landscape painter within the English tradition, I will be delighted.
She certainly has a lovely vantage point from which to work . . . a studio at the bottom of her garden which is self-designed with a similar tonal palette to that she uses in her artwork. This workspace is both calm and inspirational, merging seamlessly into the open fields beyond.
The view, and Pandoras intention to get out and about more on her bike to sketch, could mean a few west Suffolk landscapes to go with her collection of striking seascapes. Interview by Richard Bryson

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