News from the world of Gill Drew
Gathering ideas for a sketchbook this summer
The sweep of a beautiful landscape with a panoramic view – you want to capture it all! What is it that inspires you? Is it the colours? Is it the criss-cross of fields and walls? Is it the wind in the barley field, the flow of the land and the taste of the sea?
Refining your focus
This is something that I became aware of on a recent trip away when I was surrounded by beautiful countryside. Your senses are full – so take a longer, slower look. Start by responding to what you feel a connection to and notice what captures your attention and makes you feel alive. Something that makes you want to say ” come and see this! ” One way to begin is to chose an area to focus on such as texture – look close up at the lichen or moss, the bark or the stones…Or perhaps colour is an easy place to start – look at the colour combinations (yellow ochre and grey/blue on a rock) and include the ones that feel out of place (a piece of litter amongst the pebbles) as this contrast can help to draw attention to the beautiful subtle colours in nature.
If you have a camera take a photo, and another.
Some days it is really clear what is capturing your initial interest – the movement in the water – the wind in the barley – but then the pursuit is to hone your gaze more clearly, take a “deeper dive” as they say. Ask questions such as “what shapes is the wind making?”, “what shapes or lines accentuate this?”, “what shapes aren’t moving at all/ are in contrast to this?”.
Mark-making and note-taking
Consider mark-making and if you have a sketchbook make some free-flowing marks as a response, some stippling, scumbling etc. Look up and around you more than down at the paper. Try to record the feeling, rhythm, shapes etc. not an accurate study. If you don’t have any paper then use the notes section on your phone to add words to remember the experience and as a way to reconnect with the feelings when back at home. These words can be triggers that help you to create meaningful work. They can enable you to capture the mood and atmosphere of a place, the flashes of delight and the little things.
I do hope you enjoy the journey!
“Comparison kills creativity. There is room for you. Nobody can do it with your voice, with your experience, with your insight. ” Karen Walrond
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Hi and welcome to my summer newsletter. I am delighted that you have shown an interest in following my journey as an artist and would very much enjoy having comments back from you.
We have all lived through life changing times since I last wrote to you! We could not have anticipated how it would impact us and how it will continue to affect us as we adapt to physical distancing and to a greater mindfulness for those around us. During the initial weeks of lock down I was delighted to have so much time just to paint! I felt so thankful to have a means of escape from the constant drip of unpleasant news and statistics. I set myself a focus to do the 10 large canvasses that were stacked up in the studio. The abundance of colour, birdsong and greenery made this spring a memorable time for me and hopefully for you too. I have delighted in the quiet places in nature and this has shown up in my work.
I regularly share images of my work in progress on Instagram @gilldrewart but I wanted to give you a bit of the backstory here. For one of the first paintings in lock down I worked from photos of a steep climb in the Wye valley in Wales where we had taken a holiday over the new year. I became totally absorbed in layering up the paint textures and colours step by step up a winding and uneven path. I developed a firm footing in the process of making the light and dark, the messy marks and detail. I called the painting Way maker, as I found the secure place to trust was beyond this journey in God. As I look at the finished painting, I can’t help but recall the time and process of making it.
The other 9 canvasses have different stories to tell. The unexpected journey of learning to appreciate many of the things we had come to take so much for granted has been a good one.
To own an original piece of artwork which resonates with you will be a joyful addition to your home. I am always delighted to receive photos from customers taking pleasure from pieces hanging in their homes. Thank you for sending them to me.Take a moment to browse and choose from the website.
There are some big reductions on a number of pieces that I have shared with:
You will find 3 new smaller portrait pieces as well. Be the first to see them!
This is a generous culture in support of artists and makers whose means of income has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists post their work on Instagram using the #Artistsupportpledge for no more than £200 each (not including shipping). When a £1000 of sales is reached the artist pledges to buy another artists work for £200. Pop over and take a look at the pieces included
- Here’s what’s happening
Sadly, due to COVID-19 my next two exhibitions have been cancelled. However, I am exhibiting 10th – 18th October in Stockbridge Town Hall, with The Hampshire Artists Cooperative. I’ll be delighted to meet up with you in person so do come over if you can and enjoy a lovely day out!
Please do get in touch I really would love to hear from you. Any comments or reflections on my most recent work is welcome. If you would like to join the mailing list please follow the link here. Special discounts are available when you do!
Happy art making
As part of the #Artistsupportpledge I am going to be offering a number of pieces of artwork AT REDUCED PRICES. This is an exciting opportunity to purchase an original piece of art for your home.
There are days when we might feel like making a drawing or painting but simply don’t know where to begin. This lack of inspiration feels like a barrier and one that can stop us from even starting ANYTHING!
Start to notice what fires your interest along the way.
Keep a sketchbook or journal.
Do you always have your phone handy to take a photo or to jot down an interesting quote?
This photo is from a family album. It is tiny, old, scratched and only 6cm square, but it inspired a recent painting for me. I was fascinated that this moment had been captured on a camera at a time when photography was not as commonplace as it is today. This feels like it is just a regular moment, something that you might see everyday. Something that in todays world we could easily capture on our mobile phones! It is not a posed photograph with considered props and lighting as was more usual in the day, but it captures movement and expression beautifully. I loved the way that it gave me a glimpse into the character of the horse and rider as he sat smiling up in the saddle.
As I was working, I noticed how the intrigue that I felt in an old photograph of a relative (whom I had never met) really did fire my interest! I became totally absorbed in “a world of my own”. I also found joy in the process of discovery. This joy in the art process is what brings a delight to the making and it is somehow revealed in the finished piece. It becomes apparent in the work for sure!
I have just a few old sepia photographs of my Grandfather. This sepia colour also served as a starting point. I set about creating a scene that had a sense of taking you back in time. Bright, garish colours wouldn’t have worked and the burnt orange in the painting came to be stronger in saturation nearer the end of the process.
So this is an important question to ask yourself:
What is it that captures my attention?
Is it something about the colours, the atmosphere, the light, the story, the place, the feeling… that you like? Identify what often inspires you and build up a sketchbook or journal (or the notes section in your phone) of observations, photos, drawings, paintings or quotes.
Do take a browse around my website to see more of my work and inspiration and see how this painting was completed.
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Open Exhibition runner-up prize awarded for atmospheric painting “In Father’s Eye”. This year’s ArtCare Open exhibition received work from over 50 regional artists.
As you currently are not able to see the exhibition there is a download available for a digital tour of the artworks and images (pdf) http://artcaresalisbury.uk/event/open-exhibition/.
You can also download the catalogue with artists names, titles and prices (pdf).
Please direct all enquiries to purchase via email to: Lesley.firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m feeling rather elated and surprised by being awarded the overall winner by the judges for this painting titled “The Violin Maker”.
There are some great pieces in the show and my congratulations go to the Individual Judges Choice runners up, Elizabeth Hammond, Caroline Shields and Gillian Gregory.
If you get the chance, pop down to the Gosport Open Art 2020 and have a look around and if you see me please come over and say hello.
AT THIS TIME THE GALLERY IS CLOSED DUE TO COVID 19 BUT IF YOU VISIT https://www.facebook.com/gosportgallery/ you will be taken on a tour and the different artists bios are highlighted.