For all of us painting is still the great art – it speaks of thoughts and insights otherwise inaccessible.
Robert Organ Mai 2010
In the late summer of 1971 two young British painters were exploring south-west France when their Bedford van broke down in the village of St. Martin de Vers. The van being decrepit beyond repair, they were stranded, but the local mayor, on learning that they were painters, at once offered them a home in the disaffected village school.
They have been in the Lot ever since, where their success as artists eventually enabled them to buy a charming house in the riverside village of Vers. From this house, with its Bohemian garden where the flowers scramble over one another in a benevolent rampage, Sally and Jeffery Stride have over the years produced a body of work that has brought them international recognition.
Sally Davies Stride
When I tend my garden I move instinctively from one place to another. Like all the other creatures who inhabit and visit the garden I am participating in the creative energy of this little cosmos. I try to be methodical and plan but it’s not so easy as the garden has a way of imposing its needs.
I think that I am painting when I garden.
Of course, there is an initial overall approach which respects the inherent architecture contained within the four walls like the confines of a canvas. Then I let the painting grow. My eyes, leading the paint-brush, move constantly through the spaces, tracing paths, finding the roots of plants looking through the leaves and stems diverted by a sudden flash of colour; trying to comprehend the space the flowers inhabit, the air they breathe, their relation to each other. Finally a painting germinates. It grows slowly, reaching up, expressing rhythms and pulsations, weight and suspension, passing through depths and silences, seeking the light through texture, tone and colour. Eventually it breaks through the limits of the frame-work to find it’s own poetic space.
I should like my paintings to express the time they take to unfold because – like music – each painting is composed in the “passing of time” ; the time of looking, listening and feeling.
The world we inhabit is in constant movement. It dims and brightens with the passage of clouds. Tides of shadow are drawn up from valleys by the slow spin of the earth. Windy hayfields undulate like the sea, buds burst, corn ripens, flowers bloom and fade and leaves drop during the time it takes to make a painting.
My painting is a reflection of this physical world but it also speaks of other non-visual things: of birdsong in the canopy or the splash of a leaping carp, the smell of the river in the early morning or of damp autumn woods.
The landscape is transfigured by this everyday magic. There’s quietude in the movement and the sounds define the silence.
The quiet river
If you would like to see our paintings …
Our house/studio in Vers, France.
Place du communal, 46090 Saint Géry – Vers
Our home and studio is open during the summer months and for the rest of the year by appointment only (+0335 65 31 43 43 or +0336 76 61 49 99).
In Paris and the Parisian area we have two permanent exhibitions.
12 rue Croix des Petits Champs,
Centre d’Exploration de la Vis
4 rue des Grands Terres,
Maison Galerie Artuoz
29 avenue Maurice Maunoury
28 600 Luisant – Visits by appointment by calling 06 89 41 15 26.
If you would like to buy a painting …
Please contact us directly by email:
or by telephone +33 (0)565 314 343
We’re quite used to packing our paintings and sending them across the world by shipping agent. Delivery takes about one week. There is no extra fee for this service for oil paintings. Contact us for pastels, which are more delicate. Payment can be made by cheque, PayPal or direct debit (£ ou €).
You may also purchase the book “The quiet river” 25€ – £20, including shipping cost.