Eastern Lights

Paintings by North Norfolk Artists Mary Randle and Lance Beeke - both endlessly fascinated by the play of light.

8th - 26th March 2014.

For all their shared luminosity, the two artists inhabit different environments. Mary’s vivid, almost tactile paintings of flowers evoke intimate and stylish interiors, while Lance, with his atmospherically shaded landscapes, favours the open air.

Lance, who has lived in North Norfolk since 1969, also paints still lifes, nudes and portraits, but all his work is distinguished by a shimmering Impressionist palette. Working primarily in oils, he cites Monet and Manet among his main influences, while the enigmatic, even gently melancholy quality of many of his canvases perhaps grows from his admiration for the American painter Edward Hopper.

Born in Kent, Lance studied at Maidstone College of Art, where the legendary Quentin Crisp was among the models he drew – and, in addition to his paintings, the Gallery Norfolk will exhibit examples of his work in charcoal. (Other alumni of the college include art-world luminary Tracy Emin, fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and film director Tony Kaye.) Before becoming a full-time artist, he worked in a variety of jobs, but a formative experience was the two years he spent on a government-run artists’ scheme on the Mediterranean island of Gozo.


By contrast, Aylsham-based Mary Randle, though an art lover all her life, only began to paint comparatively recently. A turning point for her was the enthusiastic reception her paintings received in 2013, when she exhibited in the context of the Norfolk and Norwich Open Studios programme. Whenever possible, she paints flowers cut from her own much-loved garden, placing them in glass vases and capturing the interplay of light and dark, opacity and transparency, and of natural and man-made elements. Whereas she formerly worked in oils, she now prefers acrylic; this has enabled her to adopt a faster, looser more vibrant style in her paintings, which, though compact in size, burst with life.


They have already proved very popular with visitors to The Gallery Norfolk in Cromer. Its owner, Polly Miller, explains that “some customers have bought several of Mary’s paintings so that they can hang them together. They have an almost jewel-like quality and the cumulative effect is very striking.” Polly is also delighted to be able to exhibit a selection of Lance Beeke’s works. “He is an artist admired by many collectors in the area, his paintings are so beautifully crafted and they really capture the spirit of this part of Norfolk. In that sense, they exemplify the philosophy that has shaped The Gallery Norfolk since we opened in Summer 2012.”


It has also always been part of the gallery’s policy to make fine art affordable. Mary Randle’s paintings start at £100, Lance Beeke’s at £275.

Acrylic on board
oil on canvas
oil on board
oil on canvas