Dartmoor continues to inspire artist Jim 14 years after charity walk

Dartmoor- The Big Sky 2, oil on canvas.

Dartmoor- The Big Sky 2, oil on canvas. - Credit: Jim Doran

A deeply held fascination with Dartmoor still continues to inspire South Devon artist Jim Doran as he returns to Torquay's Artizan Gallery with his new exhibition, “The Colours of Dartmoor”.

The experiences of a charity walk undertaken across the moor for the NSPCC is continuing to inform Jim’s work over a decade later.

The Colour of Dartmoor, oil on board

The Colour of Dartmoor, oil on board - Credit: Jim Doran

The seven days and nights spent in Dartmoor’s wilds in 2007 have been added to with more recent visits, but this immersion in the landscape, taken in solitary isolation with just a sketchbook and painting materials for company, left a lasting memory that continues to provide fertile source material for the artist’s work.

Recent works have continued to explore different aspects of the moor, and the various guises this temperamental wilderness can take on.

A spokesperson for Artizan gallery said: "Day-trippers delight or the devil’s backyard? Well, it’s a tricky one because it’s neither one completely, but rather both at different times.

"Spend the day on the moor and more than likely you’ll enjoy the stunningly beautiful views in all directions breathe fresh clean air and feel the breeze on your face and go home having had a lovely day on the land.

"This everyday image of Dartmoor is real enough, but it is nowhere near the full story.

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"The moor has a Jekyll and Hyde nature, it’s a very strange place, not-withstanding the folklore and mythology, it just feels strange when you’re on it and the longer you stay the stranger it gets!" 

‘The Colours of Dartmoor’ is the first of two exhibitions. Works featured are simultaneously representational, capturing the visual characteristics of the moor, its skies, undulation, and atmospheric light, and expressively portraying the essence and spirit of the place as Jim has experienced it.

Jim has been a practising professional artist on and off for 35 years.

Originally from the North East, he has won many awards for portraiture and other subject matter during this time and has exhibited extensively.

He ran his own gallery in Newcastle for eight years before moving to Devon.

In 2003, following completion of a BA (Hons) degree, Jim was invited to take up teaching and developed a new art course for Plymouth College of Art and Design. 

“The Colours of Dartmoor” will exhibit at Artizan Gallery, Lucius Street, until August 28.

For more information , log on to www.art-hub.co.uk/ex/aug21