I’m a painter with a past in furniture-making and BBC natural history radio.

In 2016 I finally closed the furniture workshop and moved home and studio onto a 63′ narrowboat called Rose Amelia to start on an exploration in paint of the landscapes of the English canals.

Rose Amelia at Knowle Hall Wharf May 16 - 1 (1)

why I paint

I began painting years ago because I wanted to bring the beauty of the natural world into my home.  I wanted to feel what I felt in the woods and on the hills when I was in front of the fire.  I wanted to capture the essence of a season, a place, a moment, and hang it on the wall.  I wanted to share it with others.  But in painting I found much more than a way of bringing nature home.  I found a new conversation, a wordless and spontaneous way of relating to and exploring the world.

I instinctively look for underlying principles, to look beyond separation for connection, beyond complexity for simplicity.  That search inevitably leads to an exploration not just of the exterior world, but also of the interior experience of it and the relationship between the two.   And this is where I think the source of art lies – at the meeting of outer and inner, of observed and observer, of visible and invisible, of the personal and the universal.  Here time stops, separation disappears, and wonder becomes apparent.

And so I paint – to sense the wonder, to explore the wonder, to express the wonder.


explore further

have a look at the latest ideas on the blog

and if you’d like to follow the geographical and creative journey do follow the blog

or like the Facebook page Grant Sonnex: art on the water.

Thanks, and I hope you’ll stay in touch.