Artist’s Statement

I was born in Glasgow, Scotland, where I was very fortunate to be able to attend Saturday art classes for children at the Glasgow School of Art. Spending time in such a wonderful building—one of Charles Rennie MacIntosh’s masterpieces—and seeing art on the walls at an early age had a profound influence on me.

After moving to London at the age of thirteen, I studied Art at Scholarship Level at school, but decided to go to University rather than pursue a career in art, though I always drew and painted in my spare time. I studied Philosophy and Psychology for two years at Bedford College, University of London and then transferred to Harvard. After graduating I established my own business buying and selling art and antiques, from which I learned a great deal about art and design in all its forms.

About twelve years ago, it became clear to me that what I really wanted to do was to create my own works of art. I was introduced to painting in oil for the first time at the Community School of Music and Art, where I studied with Bill Benson, among others. I immediately fell in love with the medium: the tactile quality of the paint, the brilliance of the color—even its smell!—were totally enthralling.

At first I concentrated mainly on traditional plein-air landscapes and still life paintings, but in 2010, after discovering the extraordinary clarity and range of color and form in the pre-dawn sky, especially in fall and winter, I began the Aurora Series, which I continue to work on today. In these paintings I try to capture that clarity, not photographically, but by abstracting the essence of the sky’s light in the short period of time before the sun rises over the horizon.

Celia Bowers