If only all views outside our windows were as tranquil as the compositions of Oli Mumby. Characterized by their abstract organic shapes and layers, Mumby’s work has a special connection to nature present both in the overall scene and behind the scenes in the personal and tactile techniques used in the process. But it wasn’t always this way. 

Once with a career in advertising, his attention was focused on the cultural richness of life in London. Seeking a change, his occupation and surroundings were swapped for the dramatic scenery of Derbyshire where balance was found in comparison to the consuming energy of the city. Focusing more on artistry, his work developed in relationship to the beautiful natural surroundings, finding unplanned outcomes and creating a new language for expression. Oli’s paintings are a medley of different techniques but all start from the perceptive sensorial experience of observation.

Night Swimming Art Print by Oli Mumby || ARVIVID
His creative process starts with research. This is both in studying photographs but also in an embodied state of intense observation to fully absorb the surroundings and respond to the inspiration it may spark. A blueprint is then devised mapping out a composition in pencil before creating the shapes and forms. Experimentation can take longer than usual as the final composition seeks to bring an atmosphere and feeling of a place and not merely an exact representation. It’s because of this complexity that his works are often described as being “about” something rather than “of”. Oli Mumby then deepens that connection between his craft and his subject through his highly physical approach to creation.

“Working in soft pastel and oil pastel, I use my hands and fingers as my paintbrush – working the textural physicality of the pastel into the paper to blend color and form. There’s a directness and connection, therefore, between myself and the painting.”

The heartfelt connection to his work shines through in each composition. A combination of his graphic background with the complex detail and beauty of his Derbyshire surroundings creates landscapes that are somehow between representation and abstraction, a duality also hinted at in the characteristic horizontal symmetry. As seen in “Flat White”, crisp shapes are contrasted by individual textures and nuanced hues of each piece. A darker mysterious landscape can be seen in “Nightjar” where the forest’s reflection glows from the gentle moonlight. Together the colors and layers harmonize to create striking and ethereal landscapes; Mumby’s way of sharing those inspiring atmospheres in his life.

 With their pleasing neutral palettes and remarkable simplicity, his compositions have a reputation for inspiring a calming atmosphere. The creative interpretation of nature is a scene that can connect with any viewer on a personal level making it perfect for spaces of the home. The artist himself remarks that the seemingly inherent serenity of his works could best suit neutral or modern interiors creating a space of peacefulness. Anyone lucky enough to encounter Mumby’s artwork can be assured of the process and intention behind it is as beautiful as the scene it depicts.