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Cove Conversations - Moira Ladd

In this series of blogs we ask Cove Gallery artists to choose artists and artworks that have inspired them to give us a closer insight into the influences that drive their creativity.

Moira Ladd studied art at college in North Wiltshire during the 1970s before setting up as a mural/stencil artist. Now living on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, Moira is an established artist painting in watercolour and acrylic.


Painting on a black canvas, which gives her work an extra vibrancy, Moira loves to experiment with unusual formats, and unpredictable colours ... her trees are not always green and her sky is more than just blue!


A visitor to an exhibition once commented “your work is slightly nostalgic with a contemporary twist - you should call it contemporary nostalgia”. I thought it had a nice ring to it, making me wonder where it all came from.

Early Influences

As a child I loved to copy line drawings. I’m sure somewhere deep in my psyche lives the silhouetted book illustrations of W. Heath Robinson and Sir Arthur Rackham who I grew up with.

I am fascinated by old book cover illustrations, a big fan of the arts and crafts movement, and anything Art Nouveau. I love hanging out in the Russell-Cotes museum in Bournemouth!

Alphonse Mucha

Other memories of art inspiration came as a teenager, collecting the posters of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha, (1860 –1939) such as the 4 seasons below.

 


I love his bright colours and detail used in his poster adverts. His work still features on everything from prints, textiles and jewellery.

 C.R.W. Nevinson

I think my biggest influence came while searching for inspiration and my own style of work. It had eluded me until I came across a book on war artists at a car boot sale. It wasn’t the “war art” that struck me, but the bold cubist style of an artist called C.R.W. Nevinson, sometimes known as Richard Nevinson (1889 – 1946). I loved his bold use of black and hard lines, and it led me to question how much of this I could incorporate in my work.

 

I found his autobiography “Paint and Prejudice”, which he wrote in 1937, very inspiring. He rubbed shoulders with many famous poets, musicians and writers of our time, experiencing World Wars 1 and 2 as an ambulance driver, where he documented both with his artwork. It also told of his struggle to be accepted into the Royal Academy, and his work not being taking seriously for many years. He turned to gentle countryside subjects later in life which are still beautiful but less known.

 

 

Nevinson’s work helped me to continue in my own style and believe in what I was doing. So the mix of Mucha and Nevinson, along with music, has led me to the style I have today.

 

Musical Influences

I love various genres of music but classical music has always been a part of my life. I play the piano and have done from the age of 4 so Classic FM is always on in the studio, and I find it helps me focus.

I like many classical composers including Vaughan Williams, Rachmaninov, and Debussy. But when I hear work by later composers like Eric Coates, or in particular “Sailing By” by Ronald Binge, it really makes me smile and helps take me back to those halcyon slower paced times (we oldies remember it as British light music!)

 

 I think music and the arts often go hand in hand, helping us all to be inspired and be taken to another time and place.

Click the links to view Moira Ladd’s collections of original paintings and prints.

Links to Further Information
Artist Profile – W. Heath Robinson
Artist Profile – Arthur Rackham
Museum – Russell-Cotes Museum
Artist Profile – C.R.W. Nevinson
Artist Profile – Alphonse Mucha
Composer Profile – Eric Coates
Composer Profile – Ronald Binge

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