Di Guttridge trained initially as a speech and language therapist before qualifying as a psychotherapist. Following a move to rural East Northamptonshire Di was inspired to begin painting. She completed a Diploma in Oil Painting with Martin Kinnear at Norfolk Painting School in 2019. She is a regular visitor to Staithes, the subject matter of which perfectly complements her individual technique which combines oil paint with cold wax and she owns a property in the heart of the village.
“I have been a regular visitor to Staithes throughout the past twenty five years. It is the place where I feel the strongest connection to myself and to the world around me. I am particularly drawn to the rocky foreshore. Whenever I arrive at Staithes, I walk out over the exposed shoreline as soon as the tide allows. Standing there, I sense the power of the sea in front of me and feel the history of the ancient rock beneath me. My response to this coming together of water and stone with light is a feeling of wonder and gratitude and is the source of my creative energy. While there may not be recognisable features of place within my work, my abstract paintings attempt to capture the spirit of Staithes.
I paint in oils and cold wax, using the memories of felt experiences, photographs and sketches as my source. mixing oil paint with cold wax medium produces a very rich textured paste that can be manipulated using a variety of tools. Once it has been spread or rolled on, it can be worked in a multitude of ways. Many layers are built up over a period of time. Sometimes I paint wet in wet, sometimes I leave the painting to dry for several days before adding the next layer. A painting is finished when I am satisfied that it both represents my felt experience and holds its own energy. Then I am happy to let it go, trusting that it carries the potential to connect with a viewer and to elicit a sense of joy.