And the pony was gone


Artist: Pete Gilbert
Location: Vascular waiting room, Level 3, SDH North

In this painting Pete Gilbert has depicted a scene close to his New Forest home showing a wooded glade under a canopy of small trees. The technique of bold brush strokes and strong unmixed colour gives the impression of an English broad leaf copse rather than a larger pine forest. Pete has used strong yellows to show light falling through the leaves and this colour is echoed in the flowers in the undergrowth. The viewer’s eye is drawn to the middle of the painting with a darker foreground diagonal that leads to the blue light filtering through the central contrasting dark trunks.

Colour has been used to create a sense of depth with warmer orange tones in the top right (foreground) through to cool blues for the sky and distant trees. this is an artistic technique know as ‘atmospheric perspective’. this is when an artist seems to create depth in a 2 dimensional landscape painting. usually the foreground objects are bright and further aya objects are duller in colour. this is a response to natural phenomenon that can be seen by looking are real landscapes with distant spaces appearing paler and bluer.

The title ‘And the pony was gone’ is anecdotal as Pete explains that he set up his easel in the wood when he saw a New forest pony grazing.  After spending time creating the scene and capturing the light effects the subject matter (the pony!) had wandered away. This story reveals the sense of humour of the artist and makes the viewer imagine the pony in the picture.

About the artist

From leaving school in the 60s Pete always painted but he did not take the traditional route through art college. He had many career changes from advertising agencies to restaurateur and night club owner but he always found the time to keep painting, exploring and developing his own style. Pete says, “Now living in the New Forest my passion for painting the landscape has rekindled, rejuvenated and increased year on year. I tend to work out on site to capture the immediacy of the moment with pastels and watercolour and then using those sketches I either finish them back in the studio or use them as reference for larger canvases in oil or acrylic. Although working in the moment I try to capture more than a snapshot. I want to feel the landscape.”

Pete is also a volunteer for ArtCare and has helped deliver workshops and participatory workshops.