Tobit Roche

There is something beautifully simple and symbolic about trees and clouds. They have the power, if we let them, to release and take us away from our stressful lives, almost like meditation. Both are key ingredients in the English landscape, and both take prominence in this exhibition. For many years I have been thrilled and inspired by the landscape oil sketches of Constable and William Nicholson, two very English painters, one from the early 19th century and the other working in the first half of the 20th. Both had the most exquisite touch and economy of means - the confident, inventive strokes and paint handling of true masters. I have tried often to emulate these two artists and take that as a starting point for the paintings in this exhibition. As the paintings are done en plein air, in front of the motif and in one sitting, and because of the restricted dimensions of my pochard paint box, the paintings are modest in scale. One also has to contend with blazing sunshine, fleeting rapidly changing skies, shadows and lighting conditions, as well as pallet rattling winds which will frustrate the steadiest of hands.

Born in Manchester in 1954, Tobit grew up in Hong Kong, Canada and India. He attended the Ontario College of Art from 1974-6 and Camberwell from 1977-80. Tobit then spent a year working alongside Duncan Grant at Charleston. Tobit exhibits regularly in London and India.

Scene from a Train with Sunrise
oil on board
30 x 46 cm (image)
Mindscape I
oil on canvas
70 x 48 cm
Shekawati, Rajasthan
oil on canvas
26 x 36 cm
After Ken Kiff
oil on board
34 x 25 cm