Painting of blackthorn blossom

Joe Webster , Landscape Painting in the Great Outdoors


Firstly, I crave being in the great outdoors, nothing equals this freedom, secondly I am a painter. The wild, windswept world is a timeless, incredible natural playground, I try to tap into some of that energy. Painting enables me to spend long periods of time quietly observing nature, I feel deep gratitude to be able to spend such time working in this way. I find painting outdoors humbling and enriching; it can be elating, it can be unbearable, this process gives my life perspective and purpose, it makes me feel alive, nourished and part of something greater and more important than myself.


I love being outdoors, it gives my painting purpose and energy and it makes me feel alive and part of something greater than myself.

Filmmaker Esmie Widlake presents an insight into Joe Webster’s working process as he paints a new bluebell painting in Ladysmith Woodland on the edge of Dartmoor, Devon.

Joe Webster painting on site at the magical Boranup Forest, Western Australia. Watch him paint plein air, and learn more behind his creative journey during his residency with JahRoc Galleries, Margaret River.

Shot and edited by Frank Bennett this film accompanied Joe Webster’s ‘On Location’ exhibition August 2019.

My work studies tides, clouds, the changing and evolving patterns of species. Things in the natural world move in a huge variety of different speeds relative to the human world; geological time, the seasons, the path of the sun or the appearance and behaviour of a mammal relative to a bird. When I immerse myself in these different timescales and lose my sense of time I gain the sense of a greater context with intricate connected structures, cycles, values and relationships. After studying a landscape over days, tracking the nuances of light, the wind’s breath or the behaviour of the animals who live there, I discover new-found intimacy and compassion for that space.


I recognise that there is nothing avant-garde or ground-breaking about being drawn to nature, it is an ancient impulse which we all feel in different ways. I do however believe that it is maybe more crucial than ever to foster this relationship in our modern world. In contrast to the indoors, the outdoors is a dynamic and moving space which keeps you fitter and in a much healthier, clearer state of mind. Recent studies by The University of Plymouth, Exeter and Derby have shown that nurturing connection to nature not only benefits an individual’s wellbeing but it fosters our care for the environment and for society.


Through appreciation of the natural world my paintings seek to foster greater care of the environment.