Emma Cownie was born in Hereford to a Welsh mother and an English father and has lived most of her adult life in Wales. Emma has had many careers; firstly as a Medieval Historian and lecturer, then as a high school teacher and since 2016, as a full time professional artist. She is married to an Irishman and has recently started to live for part of the year in Donegal, Ireland.
I have always painted since then but as a result but after a car accident in 2012 and I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and started painting all day and every day as part of my recovery. One of my first paintings as a professional artist “Fractured Light” was borne out of my worldview being fractured as the result of my post trauma which occurred as the result of a car accident. Thus the fractured perception of this period developed into a style/technique I called "refractionist” in that it is broke down light into blocks of colour via a simplification and exaggeration of form and a bold definition of shape within the landscape.
I am influenced in this way by the Fauvist simplified forms, use of lines and bold combination of colours. As my recovery continued I found my painting also metamorphoses into being more expressive, coherent, lighter; less fractured .I have three main areas of painting, landscapes, people portraits and urban landscapes.
I challenge myself not to keep producing paintings in one style or influence, but to be reactive to the scenes and feelings I am faced with. I create at the other end of the light spectrum too, capturing night-time urban, city scenes. My work focuses on light and colour. I use vibrant but naturalistic colour to bring attention to the extraordinary beauty of both landscapes and everyday scenes. I am particularly fascinated by the breath-taking beauty and wildness of the landscapes of Donegal, Ireland.