Contemporary artist and author

My paintings are images of my experiences of daily life. Fleeting sensations are made tangible and celebrated using rich and varied marks and the tactility of the materials that I use. The work is a combination of observation, sensation and invention to create a language that creates a palpable equivalent to my sensations. My current work is about my drive to work; the road, shadows, light, road signs, pilons, wires, the trees, spaces between and movement through the space. Whilst being driven I make drawings. They are urgent, layered, surprising and strive to create movement and a fresh engagement with the landscape. My paintings become improvisations using this theme. Colours are heightened and motifs repeated. These then converse with each other in surprising combinations to create the tension, mood and movement of my experience.


I have published two books. The first gathers together many years of teaching and painting experience to offer other artists processes and ways of thinking to revitalise their work when they are stuck. It includes exercises and examples of lots of work by other artists. The second is all about the development of my own painting over 25 years; from 2014 and the Swimming Paintings, back to the final pieces created for my degree show in 1989. .

The Swimming Pool paintings

These paintings are my largest body of work to date. Inspired by watching my young children learn to swim, I quickly became captivated by the interaction between the figures and the water surrounding them. Made over five years, these paintings have an ambition and confidence that comes from an instinctive approach; creating my own painterly language that meaningfully captures the essential qualities of this subject. The resulting work has a gravitas and weight to it, so that whilst colours may zing and leap on the canvas, and subjects may be full of joy – the paintings themselves are anything but lightweight.

The Road

This short film was made to give an insight into a series of drawings and paintings made by Emily Ball in response to her journey by car to the studio in Partridge Green. The dazzling light, road signs, changing glimpses of the landscape seen through the car windscreen were all inspiration. Emily reads a poem that she wrote, inspired by the paintings and the journey, that celebrates the experience of looking with fresh eyes at an everyday occurrence. Language, movement and poetic invention are at the heart of what matters to Emily in her work and this subject provided an exciting challenge to explore it in a new way.


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