Hi and a warm welcome to my September 2020 newsletter. Hello to those of you who have recently signed up to my mailing list and thankyou for joining with me on my journey as an artist. Please feel free to feedback your comments and questions, I love hearing from you.
This edition comes as I am excitedly getting ready for an exhibition in Stockbridge with The Hampshire Artists Co-operative; a very talented group of artists from the area where I live. I have lots of paintings that I am very much looking forward to sharing and also hoping to meet you in person at the event. In writing it here this feels like it might actually happen – but this is 2020!! This is a process of selecting and photographing work, ordering new print runs and framing pieces. The show starts on the 9th of October until the 18th at Stockbridge Town Hall, Hampshire. All safety measures will be in place for your peace of mind following the government guidelines. Do come along and bring your friends!
Being able to share my artwork is such a vital piece of the journey for me. I love taking time to develop an idea that can begin as an impression, a question or prompt to my senses, most often when I am out in nature. As a visually mindful person I usually start by making lines, finding colours etc in my sketchbook in order to explore a line of inquiry, a way of working or a feeling that I want to convey. What is it about this place, time, path, journey that makes me feel so alive, so focussed, so calm? The scale of the wind and sea, the continual movement of the water or barley. So how do I go about capturing that? To read my latest blog with some helpful hints at following a line of enquiry in a sketchbook visit Gathering ideas for a sketchbook this summer.
I have been painting on some larger canvases – 70cms square, which has been an exciting challenge. Something to make a statement on an empty wall! I usually work on a smooth wood surface so the canvas texture has created a new set of marks and some even thicker paint. Working larger has been fun too, and being in lockdown allowed me to give the time that was needed to achieve a bigger scale and some larger, looser marks. I have also enjoyed painting on some mini wooden blocks – 15cms square, perfect to sit on a shelf or hang on the wall! A perfect unique gift for someone special.
Useful Arty Tip
Here’s my most used piece of art equipment at the moment – a small squeegee. It really isn’t meant to be an art tool but a kitchen cake mix scraper/icing spreader – its just perfect for spreading thick acrylic paint with a super smooth finish. I’ve also used it to spread on a final coat of gloss medium with no brush marks! And, best of all, it’s super easy to clean! I am going to try out some cake scrapers with different edges next, normally used to cut or create patterns in cake icing, but the possibilities for creating textures in layers of paint are exciting!
Then begins my journey of building up the composition with layers of paint and sanding back until the piece is finished, varnished and carefully framed. That can all take several weeks.
But, over these past weeks and months, the next step has often been put on hold or postponed; that of sharing my work and talking about it with those for whom it also resonates. So do come along and see how being in lockdown has influenced my work and if you would like to meet me in Stockbridge please contact me directly and I will be able to arrange. Alternatively, email to make an appointment to visit me in the studio if you are in the Southampton, Hampshire area.
Here’s a couple of lovely comments from happy collectors that I have recently received on a series of small paintings and a large print.
As this continues to be an unusual year, outside of my painting time in the studio I have been focussing on developing my social media skills. This was not something that I was relishing but I am now much more familiar with the tech and actually enjoying the online community. So if you are not already, please join me on Instagram @gilldrewart. I am also in the process of creating an e-book which you, as subscribers to my newsletter, will automatically receive as soon as it is complete.
Hope to see you very soon.