Geoff Uglow is a son of the soil sired from hardy farming stock from North Cornwall. Where did his talent spring from?
Talent might be a mutation (for which we must be grateful: heaven protect us from dynasties) but much more, might be the natural inheritance of his history. He has the vision to see the potential in a field newly sewed, a plot of rough ground to take a barn to make a modern, fit studio, constructed by the family and community, with love, like the Amish. His prodigious supplies of materials: paint, canvas, medium (and wood for boxes for transportation) are the paraphernalia of optimism, of the possibilities of transformation.
The artist must of course be opportunistic; he must take advantage of inspiration as it presents itself but he cannot rely on the same sunrise every morning so must be methodical as well as inspired. Several times Uglow has diarised the passing year with painted colour notes expressing the passage of the seasons by pinning the essence of a particular day, even a dull unseasonal day, the work must go on. Elsewhere chance can also be embraced, a line can be taken for a walk, paint can provide its own, particular expression as it is manipulated but the artist has to have a vision and has to put seeds in the ground. So when Geoff built his studio he balanced the utility of the ambition with the planting of a rose garden. What is more ephemeral, more beautiful and poignant than a petal?
Today he has reaped the benefit of a new, extraordinary palette; he knew how the opening complexity of the bud would lend itself well to his oil medium but what is new is the colour: deep reds, (near black), brick pinks, every blue from velvet dark to sky pale, and yellows from white bright to apricot. In embracing this subject he acknowledges the history of artists who have captured the rose, from the Dutch masters, to Redoute and Peploe but he has undoubtedly found his own, glorious path.