Bradness Gallery, in the heart of the Sussex countryside, is the home of artists, Emma Burnett and Michael Cruickshank. Michael moved here in 1984 when it was a farmhouse with outbuildings, a paddock and lots of potential. With their joint love of landscape, nature and gardens they have created a rural retreat with a natural and beautiful garden full of wildlife. All visitors to the gallery are guaranteed a very warm welcome.
Michael Cruickshank has been a professional landscape painter since graduating from Exeter College of Art in 1980 with a degree in Fine Art-Painting.
His love of the countryside was formed during childhood visits to his grandmother in rural Lincolnshire.
At Bradness, he has been able to immerse himself in the ever changing moods and seasons of his surroundings. Living, working and walking in this environment enables him to observe and capture those inspiring but fleeting moments of cloud formations, sunsets, milky moons and early morning mists.
Michael works in oils and watercolours and particularly likes painting oil sketches on location which he then develops further into larger finished works in his studio.
His paintings are widely collected at home and abroad and have been reproduced as limited edition prints and cards.
His work has been purchased by private collectors and corporate clients including Toyota GB, RBS and Inchcape and has sold through many galleries and the National Trust.
Emma Burnett is a contemporary British artist. Her work in held in collections worldwide. She trained in Brighton, England and has been a professional painter since 2008. To achieve the depth of colour and interest in her paintings she works with layer upon layer so that elements of colour glimpse through from below. Inspired by great painters such as Bonnard, Cavailles, Hitchens and Dufy, she is known for her use of colour. Her colour mixing and application of colour are designed to create depth and joy and elements of surprise. Her paintings are created to lift the spirits and the places in which they hang.
I have been absolutely passionate about creating art for several decades. Colour is a driving force for me and painting allows me to explore different ways to bring out subtle and dramatic combinations and layers. Mixing the right colour to give a painting the kick it needs makes my heart beat a bit faster. I try to create a depth of interest so that over time the viewer sees things that they might have missed at first.
I stand to paint as it frees up my arm from the shoulder to allow for loose and free brush marks and the ability to relax my wrist and add movement to the paint. My dream would be to time travel and watch how Van Gogh held his brush and moved around the canvas. His brush strokes are sublime. Every day I get up and hope to catch something new in my painting today. It is a forever journey.
Apart from paintings and hand painted lampshades, I teach art classes in flower painting, colour mixing and theory and abstract painting. I love the buzz of teaching and building confidence in others because a lot of people are so keen to paint but are shy of it.
I am also a very keen gardener and the starting point for my flower paintings are growing seeds and designing our wild garden. A keen and active environmentalist, the garden is wild and organic and planted to feel, smell and sound like a little spot of heaven. Large trees, scented shrubs, flowers, ponds and a stream are designed to feel undesigned and to encourage birds, insects, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs and toads. This structure that is unstructured is reflected in my painting style. Do have a look at the garden video. We love to spend time visiting other gardens and have been many times in our little camper van to Great Dixter, Monet’s garden at Giverny, Gravetye Manor and Chenonceau in the Loire valley. In addition small, loved Sussex gardens are a great source of ideas and inspiration.
Especially in recent times, the natural world has provided simple pleasure and solace. A place to find joy.
My family, art, the garden and wild sea swimming feed my soul.