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Flora McLachlin: A Moment out of Time

Flora McLachlan studied at Brighton College before moving on to read English at Oxford University in 1994. In 1999, she took a Professional Development Diploma in Illustration at West Herts College, Watford and in January 2008 she was elected as an Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE).

Flora’s paintings and etchings are records of things seen and imagined by twilight or moonglow, drawing inspiration from her studies of English literature, myth and legend, she tries to express a sense of the enchantment embedded in our ancient landscape. Her works have an unforgettable presence, infused with a haunting sense of poetry; carefully structured evoking a single charmed moment out of time, a magical vision that stills.

Flora’s preferred technique is etching. “I love its atmosphere, the deep mysterious blacks and the glowing whites. During the long etching process, my original idea changes, and grows, with the working of the metal. The act of creation continues with the printing of the image; many of my etchings are underprinted with a painterly mono-collagraph plate, and most are complex and demand a concentrated and meditative approach to the inking and printing. Painting cloudy washes of spit bite aquatint over the image then brings it to life, gives it weather, frees the waters. I want the image to look like a weathered relic from the distant past, briefly come alive for us to see. 

Her small paintings in watercolour provide respite from the intense and technical business of etching. She paints thorns and flowers, antlers sprouting leaves, foxes twined in honeysuckle, a unicorn in a holly enclosure…miniature illuminations inspired by the quests of medieval romance poetry – the idea of venturing forth into the wild world of trees and thorns, searching for a glimpse of the white hart.

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