A lot of time and care has gone into the recipe development of our new Sourdough Bites. We wanted the same detail to go into our packaging, which is why we collaborated with landscape artist Paul Bailey to create paintings inspired by the provenance of our core ingredients.
We recently took the time to speak to Paul to find out more about his approach to painting and working on this very special project with us.
What made you want to collaborate with a food brand – is this something you’ve done before?
I am excited by a challenge. I painted three landscape commissions for a fashion label, a couple of years ago. The brief was to mimic the fabric colours for this particular season’s clothing line – a very unusual, limited, and quite unnatural palette – and apply them to compositions based on the meanderings of the River Trent through the Midlands. I was a little sceptical at the beginning of the project, however I think the constraints made me produce some really interesting work. Taking on a project, like Peter’s Yard, is always an invaluable learning experience and will bring something new to my approach to painting thereafter.
Can you explain the creative process involved with creating the paintings for our Sourdough Bites?
I was sent the initial brief, some colour swatches and rough design of the packaging as an indication of where the text and branding would be placed on the packet. The brief was to be very painterly, loose, abstract and suggestive – that’s me all over!
How did you find inspiration for each of the recipe paintings?
The flavours originate from certain places within Britain, so the inspiration was relatively easy to find; craggy cliffs of the Anglesey Coast, rolling farmland hills of the West Country and the tidal rivers of Suffolk. I am particularly familiar with the Suffolk Coast, as I have spent much time traveling and holidaying there. The flat, open skied, landscape of East Anglia is a muse that I often return to in my work.
Landscapes are obviously one of your great interests – what is it about them that you enjoy painting?
I am fascinated by the natural world and especially by topography of the landscape, the underlying geology and the overlying weather. I am drawn to it. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to be outside in the wild, walking the hills and navigating the ancient trackways. I try to distil my memories and feelings of these travels in my paintings.
What is it about painting with acrylics that you love?
Acrylics are the most versatile medium – as translucent as watercolour or as thick as oils. They’re also a lot less hazardous than oils though – an important consideration when you have a young family!
Finally, if you could name one of your paintings as your favourite, which would it be and why?
That’s hard! There’s one large painting that depicts the archetypal moorland landscape of the Cambrian Mountains, Mid-Wales. It’s quite bleak and austere, just like the Cambrian moors. These mountains are both close to my heart and close to my home, and my favourite place to wander peacefully and alone.
Imagery of our West Country Sour Cream & Chive Sourdough Bites and the original painting that Paul created for our packaging. If you’re interested in purchasing one of Paul’s paintings, please visit his website.