British artist, John Hitchens, studied Fine Art at Bath Academy of Art at Corsham from 1958 – 61. He now lives and works near Petworth, West Sussex.
Over the years, Hitchens main focus has been capturing the South Downs and the surrounding countryside of West Sussex, as well as scenes from North Wales and North West Scotland where he has spent extended periods time.
While landscape is the original source of his paintings, his recent work is primarily concerned with expressing its patterns and textures, which have led him towards a more abstract style. This development was greatly influenced by a period spent photographing landscape elements from the air, which enabled Hitchens to gain an awareness of the land as a two-dimensional composition. He translates these elements into motifs that echo the land below, explaining that the paintings are therefore "sometimes nearer, sometimes further, from the subject characteristics”.
Other elements, such as the strong earth colours, have come from observing bands of natural dye colours, in hand woven rugs, which “parallel the browns and ochres of field lines, linking back to the land itself”. The sources remain, but the paintings themselves are the reason for the journey”.
His work is represented in several public and private collections across the world, including Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, The Towner Gallery and Ferens Art Gallery.
Both his father, Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979) and his grandfather Alfred Hitchens (1861-1942) were also prominent British painters.