Debra Stroud

Azure by Debra Stroud
Shockwave by Debra Stroud
Atlantis by Debra Stroud
Breaking Through by Debra Stroud
Terra Firma by Debra Stroud
Planet Waves by Debra Stroud
Fired Earth by Debra Stroud
Starburst by Debra Stroud
Wild Winter by Debra Stroud
Quantum Leap by Debra Stroud
Free Spirit by Debra Stroud
Astral by Debra Stroud
Quantum by Debra Stroud
Infinity by Debra Stroud
There’s something other worldly and enchanting about Debra Stroud’s hallmark illustrative works, as if she’s visually capturing the moons of Jupiter or another distant planet and constellation; or perhaps even affording us a glance of vistas 20,000 leagues beneath the sea which covers our own planet, Earth. There’s the explosive, volcanic colourations contrasting the deep blue yonder, amid violently saturated and turbulent hues elsewhere on a Stroud composition of note and enrapture. Which pretty much describes most paintings that have come from the much celebrated brush strokes of one of contemporary landscape’s most popular exponents of the sublime craft. Stroud’s swirling, alien skies and torrential graphic downpours which run amok across her each and every piece not so much bring an urban living space to life as much as the entire property, as the pictorial commands and demands the attentions of everyone who witnesses its almost ethereal presence.
Stroud speaks with child-like enthusiasm on the subjects of her greatest painted inspirations, with particular praise and verbal relish reserved for the ever-influential part the sea has played in her artistic education and life in general and away from the palette. Citing the perpetually changing moods and ambience forged by the alternating tides which crash into our coastlines, we learn, perhaps unsurprisingly, that these vistas form and forge many of Stroud’s earliest childhood memories. But for Stroud it’s not necessarily the blood and thunder of physical and visually emotive sea-changes which fire her own creative imagination most, but the periods of calm, tranquillity and suspension of animation; which then Stroud enlivens with her timely introduction of such vibrant colours blocks and pretence.
There’s no end to Stroud’s lyrical waxing on her apparent favourite subject, which in turn affords us an ever present visual insight into scenes that we’re seldom privy to were it not for the illustrative interpretation by one of the UK’s leading lights in a contemporary landscaped genre. “The sound of the waves crashing, that distinctive smell and the wind on your face – in fact the whole 3-dimensional experience”, Stroud muses, before going on to add; “I can never tire of it and it still evokes the same excitement now as it did when I was a child – running over the pebbles and sharp shells to be first to get to the sea. It is so evocative that it drives me to try to re-create it in my paintings”.
But then it’s easy to see just how inspiring these panoramas and recurrent vistas can be when you spend time in their presence and as an individual you’re party to that wonderful luminosity and reflective light quality that surrounds Britain’s coasts. And when Stroud suggests that ‘Everywhere else is very flat by comparison’ you kind of understand and appreciate what she means. The quality and abundance of natural light near the sea’s edges is like nothing else and shows off land-break in a manner rarely observed the further inland you travel. In terms of Stroud’s principal artistic hunting grounds, and we’re talking about her near native Holywell Bay and Sennan Cove discovered in Cornwall, where landmass meets the acquaintance of the wild, white breakers of the great Atlantic Ocean. And then there’s the translucent azure aquamarine tints indicative of Studland in Dorset and Salcombe in Devon, as Stroud is spoilt with a decadently visualized South West coast on her doorstep. Elsewhere and Stroud has journeyed further afield on many an occasion to live and breathe the air (and subsequently inhale the artistic majesty) of other locations such as the Seychelles, California and South Africa.
In terms of Stroud’s starting points, she’s a great one for photographs and relies upon this visual, after-the-event circumstantial evidence as much as notes and sketches taken down at the scene, before they’re manifest as these powerful and vividly portrayed oils and watercolours. Stroud mentions how the strong, chromatic colours which emanate from transparencies help her to instantly process and translate those dramatic colourations to which her work has grown synonymous with, whilst she also admits to having been influenced by minimalism – clean, clear lines, uncluttered, and un-chaotic – and various aspects centering on symmetry.
Harking back to her childhood (she was born in Guildford in Surrey) and formative years again, Stroud recalls her very first creative attempt at the precocious age of just two and a half; and when she announced her arrival on the art scene by peeling off the nursery freeze that her mother had applied to the wall only minutes earlier. Stroud believes her mind was always of a creative orientation, constantly seeking to invent and/or discover. Indeed, as a child Stroud would often forward her ideas, solutions and ‘inventions’ to leading toy manufacturers in the hope that one might pick up on her concept. Of those rudimentary early design concepts, Stroud recounts one for an all-enclosed sledge which was encapsulated in a gyroscopic pod, which essentially resulted in the ‘rider’ remaining in a stable sense of equilibrium as they hypothetically hurtled down a snowy hill. The toy manufacturer on the receiving end of Stroud’s creative endeavours was Triang, who were so impressed with the budding product designer’s blueprints that they sent her a kind letter in the return post as well as a doll’s cot for her troubles. Which of course we’re classed as ‘troubles’ to Stroud, more labours of love.
Thankfully creativity was embraced at Stroud’s first school in Guildford, where daily activities included music, art and drama. Sadly the school closed when Stroud was nine years old and subsequent schools simply failed to nurture the creative spirit. A few years later Stroud happened upon leaflets and information about the Guildford School of Art’s Photography course, and excitedly presented her finding/detailed her new plans to her parents, after attending a careers fair. Met with discord, with Stroud’s father going as far as to respond, ‘No way!’ Stroud consequently turned her back on a more artistic vocation then and there. Obviously something happened to reverse this mind-set along the way, but not before the budding artisan had experienced/held down various alternative careers first and in the aftermath of her revised study path which included reading Psychology at Sussex University, followed by Philosophy in London. Stroud was employed as a freelance photographer, a courier to New York, an executive in sales and marketing, and in Noise Pollution for a local authority during her time before she eventually answered the biggest call and established herself as the hugely popular contemporary landscape artist we now know and love.

View All Art Works By Debra Stroud