Jeffrey Pratt Local Figures on a Beach Oil on Panel 25 x 34 inches

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Local Figures on a Beach
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A Summer Day in Oxford

The painting above depicts a scene by the beach with four local figures in the foreground.  The vibrant colours exhude an atmosphere of heat, warmth, and sun.  This is a strong, rich painting, reflecting Pratt's ability to capture life through paint.  

Jeffrey Pratt is a contemporary British artist who specialises in “plein-air” painting.  He is considered to be one of the most distinguished British colourists of the 21st century.  Pratt was born in 1940, and despite early signs of talent for art, a disapproving family background prevented him from pursuing traditional art school training.  After attending a part-time foundational course at St. Martin’s School of Art, and along with huge freelance effort, he managed to successfully establish himself in the art world by 1986, with regular exhibits in America.  It was only once his family had fully grown up and his business had passed onto his son Dominic though that Pratt began dedicating himself entirely to his art.  He now lives as a full-time painter. 

Pratt enjoys huge popularity amongst the modern art world, with exhibitions in the USA to Singapore to the West Indies.  Pratt has also had multiple solo exhibitions, from his first private exhibition at Lloyds London in 1992 to Clarendon Fine Art most recently in 2013.  Prominent collectors of his work include the influential jewellery designer Elizabeth Gage and the celebrity chef Rick Stein.  His rural home in Oxfordshire boasts three lakes, extensive woodland, lily ponds, and outdoor sculptures.  The tranquil retreat keeps him inspired and faithful to his “plein air” painting in nature, but Pratt also loves to travel, taking frequent painting trips to Europe, Africa, India, and Turkey. 

As an artist, Pratt’s style is characterised by an unquenchable passion for colour and light.  His “en plein air” painting gives full reign to bold brush works and vibrant crescendos of excitement and colour.  Indeed, Pratt paints directly outside in nature, and the consequent spontaneity and honesty of the work radiates from the canvas.  Although Pratt’s style is authentic and distinctively 21st century, his technique is firmly rooted in impressionist traditions of attention to colour and compositional economy.  In fact, his dedication to artistic history is enhanced by the presentation of each individual oil painting in a finely wrought handmade frame. 

In the words of Pratt: “I enjoy the thought that people trust my eyes, that they can sense the inherent truth and can be confident that I have identified each and every brush stroke to paint a faithful précis of all those subtle hues and tones that my eye can identify, but only in that very moment, on that day, in that hour, as that particular cloud is speeding by…here, now, real.” 

 

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