Words: Fiona Cumberpatch
Photos: Lesley Anne Churchill
René Viner, Artist at work
“My inspiration doesn’t come from my studio, it’s from the sky, the sea and the seasons,” explains René Viner. “But I don’t work in a literal way, it’s always an impression of what I’ve been inspired by.” Her large, semi abstract canvasses are extremely atmospheric. “I like flow in my paintings, and the freedom to make changes if I need to.”
René’s studio is in the middle of a peaceful garden in central Peterborough. “I get incredible light here, the afternoon sun streams in,” says René. “If my children are in the garden, I am still engaged with them, and I can see the butterflies, birds and bees. It’s insulated, and I have electricity. Having this space gives me a kind of privacy.”
Growing up by the coast in South Africa, René still feels an affinity for the sea. “We’re landlocked in this area, but I can’t help being influenced by
my upbringing,” she says. “When I go to the coast, I bring bits back with me and I like to have all my stuff around me in my studio.” She often uses texture in her paintings, to create shadows, adding it as she goes along: “it makes the painting more alive.”
During the Open Studios, René will show her own work in her home, and she’ll be joined by ceramicist and jewellery maker Denise Brown, and ceramicists Helen Roberts and Christine Withall. There will be demonstrations of raku pot firing outside, and coffee, tea and cakes on sale.
Open weekends one, two and three.