On Horseback in the Cotswolds


On Horseback in the Cotswolds, UK Oil in Belgian Linen 34cm x 23cm. – ON HOLD
Original artwork by John McCartin.

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The Cotswolds is an area in south central England containing the Cotswold Hills, a range of rolling hills which rise from the meadows of the upper Thames to an escarpment, known as the Cotswold Edge, above the Severn Valley and Evesham Vale. The area is defined by the bedrock of Jurassic limestone that creates a type of grassland habitat rare in the U.K. and that is quarried for the golden coloured Cotswold stone. It contains unique features derived from the use of this mineral; the predominantly rural landscape contains stone-built villages, historical towns and stately homes and gardens.
The Cotswolds are roughly 25 miles (40 km) across and 90 miles (145 km) long, stretching south-west from just south of Stratford-upon-Avon to just south of Bath. It lies across the boundaries of several English counties; mainly Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but also parts of Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire. The hills give their name to the Cotswold local government district in Gloucestershire, which administers a large part of the area. The highest point of the region is Cleeve Hill at 1,083 ft (330 m), just to the north of Cheltenham. There is evidence of Neolithic settlement from burial chambers on Cotswold Edge and there are remains of Bronze and Iron Age forts. Later the Romans built villas, such as at Chedworth, settlements such as Gloucester, and paved the Celtic path later known as Fosse Way. During the Middle Ages, the Cotswolds became prosperous from the wool trade with the continent, with much of the money made from wool directed towards the building of churches; the area still preserving a large number of large, handsome Cotswold Stone “wool churches”. The area remains affluent and has attracted wealthy Londoners and others who own second homes in the area or have chosen to retire to the Cotswolds. The name Cotswold is popularly attributed the meaning “sheep enclosure in rolling hillsides”, incorporating the term, wold, meaning hills.
John McCartin was born in Sydney on March 9th 1954, and showed remarkable drawing ability at a young age and felt strangely attracted to the Australian landscape. Painting as a hobby since 1974, John has now taken on landscape painting more seriously and on a professional basis since 1991. He has been influenced greatly by artists such as Hans Heysen, Elioth Gruner and Arthur Streeton whose unpretentious works have inspired him over many years.
In 2011 John won International Artist Magazines prestigious first prize, making him ‘Best artist in the world’. It was a complete surprise to a humble John, yet a reward for the incredible artworks he produces. As part of his prize, John was given the opportunity to travel and paint through the English countryside & through areas of Europe. His six-week study tour created some amazing paintings, of which this is one. John who lives in South Australia travels widely to capture his subjects, always making sketches and studies as he travels. He has been described by many of Australia’s leading artists as one of the most talented artists in Australia and as the young “Hans Heysen” and now the world agrees! This is because he uses such soft light right through each scene. In 2014 John won a staggering 26 international art prizes, and many more prizes in 2015, where thousands of entries are received from around the world. In 2016 John was named Grand Master Artist World. Only a few elite artists in the world have this title. As at 2023 John now has 115 International art prizes.

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