Mary Beaney and the Byzantine inspiration
Water - back to painting with the elements

Viv Cecil and painting with the elements

What would you say if I tell you that I became aware of "the elements" while living in England? Yes, earth, fire, water, air is everywhere ......and they were in my home country too but we did not spend a long time thinking about them. We used to take them all for granted and ignored them. Life was  too busy, people were  too consumed by the crowded buses, and the trams, and the heat, and the cold, and the occasional earthquakes and the queues, and  .................

It took me 4 years in England to get used to the idea that I have a garden, a smallish one where I can stop and sit on a chair and enjoy the plants around me. It took me 4 years to acknowledge that the garden is not a space between 2 doors to be crossed quickly but one to dwell in, to be enjoyed. It took me a while to "stop and smell the roses". It took me a while to become truly aware of the elements!

Viv Cecil grow up among the hills, and the plains, among the rich, vibrant, earthy colours of India.  Seeing members of his family paint, kicked off the idea of expressing himself artistically as well. He grew up feeling, knowing, wanting to become an artist.

For some people, painting is a Saturday hobby, something one does once in a while, opening the tubes of paints, picking up a brush and voila ....the "play" time gets going. For others, painting is a burning desire to communicate, to express ones feelings ..... through images. It's about pushing the frontiers .........pushing the frontiers of experimentation, transferring the daydreamer's world onto the canvas, again and again and again.

7-Darkmoon-No3 Viv's paintings are a dedication to the elements, a recognition of the fact that art and nature are one. Do not be surprised to hear that soil, and leaves,and imprints of rocks are used regularly on his white canvases. Taking a bit of nature with him begins a new idea. Just the beginning because "if you think you know where the painting is going you are kidding yourself".  The truth is that each painting has a life of itself, a personality that emerges slowly, through layers and layers of paint, totally, entirely absorbing.

If you like to be challenged by paintings, if you like to wake up in the morning and discover another element in the painting you  bought the other day, Viv is your artist. His paintings will make you think, his paintings will invite you to join him in the conversation he constantly has with the elements, even with his past.


Trained as an illustrator and draughtsmen, having to reflect the detail of a subject made him want more and more to break through the straight lines, break free and express himself freely with fluidity.  Who knows, maybe this is why he loves abstract expression, maybe this is why he is all in favour of the "controlled accidents" on the canvas.

His attitude to painting is clear "the more you put off starting to paint, the more afraid you are of the white canvas".  It is so true! I know it .. its why I'm going right now to paint on the big canvas waiting for me on the easel. Right now, I'm starting with a dot, an elemental object! Thank you Viv!

You can meet Viv and enjoy his  art in August,  together with other members of Artflow and also by visiting his website  Artflow is a recently formed group of semi professional artists living and working in the Sussex region. The members of the group also exhibit individually and with other groups and galleries. For more information visit



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