My favourite painting: Humphrey Berney

'Molly brilliantly captures the magic of those great Norfolk skies '

humphrey berneyA New Start, 2015, by Molly Garnier (b.1981), 19½in by 19½in, private collection

Humphrey Berney says:
The joys of owning a piece of art are the memories and emotions evoked by it. This piece was painted by my childhood friend, Molly Garnier, and was a wedding present from my best men. Every time I look at it, I not only remember my wedding day, but am also transported to one of my favourite places in my home county of Norfolk, Blakeney Point. The light, the sound of calling terns, halyards clinking on masts and childhood memories of learning to sail. Molly brilliantly captures the magic of those great Norfolk skies .

Humphrey Berney is a member of the classical trio Blake. After 10 years together, the band recently released The Anniversary Album and will be touring the UK until September 29.

John McEwen comments on A New Start:
I love painting, the smell of paints, new brushes, going to art galleries, photographs and studios. I love travelling, watching ballet, reading, interior design, long walks, trees, light rays, moody skies and bird song,’ Molly Garnier declares.

The artist’s father worked for the National Trust; her mother is a solicitor. The family moved to north Norfolk when she was three. She always ‘loved painting and scribbling’ and thrived at Gresham’s, where ‘there were some great art teachers’. As a teenager, she saw London exhibitions with her mother and was particularly impressed by Rothko’s ‘Seagram’ murals. An A* in art at A-Level was followed by study at the Edinburgh College of Art and a first-class honours degree. The college emphasised life drawing, and she won the two top awards at the Royal Scottish Academy’s students’ exhibition.

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After graduation, she remained in Edinburgh with her future husband, a chef from Norfolk: ‘A lot of the colour palette, rusty hues, orangey glows, are a result of Edinburgh light.’ In 2006, she was runner-up in the Lynn-Painter Stainer Young Artist Award in London and, in 2008, she returned to north Norfolk, where she has a coastal studio.

‘I try to play upon the ethereal qualities of the light affecting the landscape.’ This view from Blakeney Point was done from photographs and memory. ‘I often watch its everchanging skies from our boat, glass of wine in hand. Humphrey has been a dear friend since I was little, so it was a great honour to be commissioned by him to paint such a special view.’

She will be showing in the Summer Exhibition, The Lime Tree Gallery, Bristol, June 14–August 14 (0117–929 2527;

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