Max Naylor Rambles Through Mystical Woodlands in Ethereal Oil and Ink Paintings

“Storm Surge” (2023), ink on paper, 51 x 66 centimeters. All images © Max Naylor, shared with permission

Through ancient wooded glens and along rugged sea coasts, Max Naylor invites us to wander along shady passageways, squeeze between lichen-cloaked boulders, and inhale the fragrance of wildflowers. His detailed landscapes in ink and oil paint (previously) capture petals, branches, waves, and an array of botanicals in dreamlike scenes that teeter elegantly on the edge of reality.

Time of day is often indeterminate in Naylor’s paintings, where blue may suggest nighttime or just the shade cast below the cover of trees. Sometimes the scenes entice us into misty distances or a hilly horizon beyond. The artist employs atmospheric light and repeating tree trunks or flowers that verge on pure pattern, playing with our perception of presence and depth by drawing attention to all details at once.

If you’re in Bristol, stop by Spike Island Open Studios between May 3 and 5 to see Naylor’s work in person alongside more than 70 other artists. See more on the artist’s website and Instagram.

“Woodland Glade” (2024), ink on paper, 51 x 66 centimeters

“Erratic Boulder (after the deluge)” (2024), oil and ink on linen, 160 x 180 centimeters

“Early Glow” (2024), ink on paper, 51 x 66 centimeters

“Blue Landscape with Snowdrops” (2024), ink on paper, 51 x 66 centimeters

“Nestling” (2024), oil on linen, 75 x 95 centimeters

“Wild Wild Life” (2024), ink on paper, 51 x 66 centimeters

“Under the Gunnera” (2023), ink on paper, 51 x 66 centimeters

“Ragged Coast with Sea Cabbage” (2023), ink on paper, 51 x 66 centimeters

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Source: Art -


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