Celia creates work infused with the colour and vitality of the natural world. Abstract motifs are juxtaposed with figurative characters, her expressive depictions of birds, insects, farm animals and flora are enriched by the interplay of pattern and design, the real and the fictive. She is one of the country’s foremost exponents of linocuts a modern British tradition going back to the likes of Cyril Powers and Edward Bawden. These new works combine linocuts with original watercolours to wonderful effect. Celia captures the characters of these animals, personally known to her, placing them against her linocut backgrounds to lustrous effect.
Celia Lewis takes inspiration from her surroundings – whether it’s the tranquil beauty of the Surrey Hills, or her garden where she keeps chickens, turkeys and the occasional Gloucester Old Spot pig. She creates work infused with the colour and vitality of the natural world. Abstract motifs are juxtaposed by figurative characters, her expressive depictions of birds, insects, farm animals and flora are enriched by the interplay of pattern and design, the real and the fictive.
Celia is an accomplished printmaker specialising in linocuts. She enjoys the physical carving of her designs and the anticipation of success or disaster when the first print comes off the press. She has developed a unique technique of combining other mediums with linocuts to produce these stunning recent works which capture the animation and character of the animals depicted against her vivid printed backgrounds.
In 2019 three of her Orchid Series linocuts were hung at Plantae, the Society of Botanical Artists’ exhibition at the Mall Galleries. A recent painting was auctioned in aid of Marie Curie at a Private View of the Summer Exhibition at the RA. She also recently held a sell-out exhibition at Watts Gallery, Compton.
Celia studied with Signorina Simi at what is now the Charles Cecil Studio in Florence. She has taken part in national exhibitions and has won several prizes including the 2005 Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour (RI) medal and the Winsor & Newton Prize at the RWS Open Exhibition 2010. In 2016 she achieved a Diploma from the Chelsea School of Botanical Art.
Celia has published several books including The Illustrated Guide to Chickens, 2010 with a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales and she has since written three other Illustrated Guides which all include rare and endangered breeds. She feels strongly that they should not be lost to future generations.