I was born in Ashford, Kent, in 1946, and have been drawing and painting since childhood. Despite showing significant artistic ability from an early age, I was not sufficiently confident to pursue art as a career. However, the compulsion to observe, draw and paint has remained constant throughout my life, and I have been painting full time since 1998.
For over thirty years I painted watercolours of birds, many of which were supplied to galleries around the UK and the United States. Other wildlife and botanical subjects have also featured strongly in my work, and have been exhibited in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and in London.
Over the last twenty years I have concentrated on still life in oils inspired by the Dutch and Flemish Masters. I do not seek to achieve photo-realism, but rather to convey an atmosphere of stillness and a timeless quality that comes with many days or weeks of close observation. Detail is built up in several layers of paint to bring out the various textures and the effects of light on everyday objects. I love rich colours and contrasting textures, and hope to inspire the viewer with the same enthusiasm.
Please see my gallery pages for examples of recent paintings, most of which have already been sold. The purpose of this site is to serve as an introduction to my work, a collection of my paintings is always on display at the Wren Gallery in Burford, Norton Way Gallery in Letchworth and The Marylebone Gallery, London.
The following is quoted from the Saatchi Online Magazine article in November 2009
ANNE SONGHURST: SAATCHI ONLINE CRITIC’S CHOICE by ANA FINEL HONIGMAN Anne Songhurst's luscious oil-on-board still lives are beautiful homages to genuine maturity. The Hertfordshire based artist was born in 1946 and her technique demonstrates her years of serious dedication to mastering her medium. Songhurst is one of a few self-taught artists whose work clearly benefited from being untouched by art school training, in which contemporary art schools tend to teach artists how to think rather than how to paint.
Songhurst's lovely, lush images carry within themselves and beautifully present all the connotations associated with the still-life tradition that she follows. Like the works by the Dutch and Flemish masters whom she emulates, Songhurst's bowls of vibrant fruit are full of life, and therefore paradoxically allude to the inevitability of decay and death. However, the meaning of her images is far less significant than their gorgeous execution.
Songhurst uses fabric and reflective surfaces to great effect. She creates dynamic compositions filled but not overwhelmed by texture, light, colour and depth. She also moves past mere representation by slightly distorting her forms' proportions and perspective, creating charming and sensual images where loaves of bread, silk, wicker, sterling silver and fruit gracefully flow together. Songhurst's paintings might not make statements but they do provide real pleasure. Her images are timeless and her talent is a pleasing counterpoint to today's youth-crazed art world.