Although there are definite definable links to what is known as the St. Ives School - Heather Bray’s heroes being Ben Nicholson, Brian Pearce and Alfred Wallis - her work remains uniquely individual and firmly her own. A self-taught artist and tutored musician of Cornish ancestry, Heather started painting more than 25 years ago. Her studio is perched high above the shoreline in Marazion and the seagull’s eye view it affords is often reflected in her paintings, many of which appear to be painted from a height.
“My art is expressive of a feeling towards life, of a feeling rather than an idea of life, and not merely a passing sensation. I particularly focus, a bit like Alfred Wallis, on the Cornwall of my youth, a Cornwall remembered. I want my work to be comfortable, precise and clear, a place to relax and recuperate. As Matisse, another of my artistic influences, said: ‘An armchair for the soul.’
“My inspiration is clear. As Roger Hilton once said, ‘If I do not get a clear message I stop’. As I lay down one flat wash of colour against another I feel that it will work. Of course occasionally it does not work in the final analysis and then because I usually work in either oil or gouache, I can adjust the coloured flat plain of colour to settle in beautifully with its neighbours. I strive for clarity, form, and above all, simplicity in my work. I am an intuitive painter, working ‘almost without thinking’; having a strong sense of design and a joy in the act of painting. In the final analysis it is whether the painting pleases me or not. When it finally releases me, when I am no longer caught up in it, then I know my painting is ready to leave.”