I am thrilled to announce my new monthly feature of Katrina Sophia blog – Artist In The Limelight! I will be searching for (and approached by, hopefully) artists to share their artwork and stories on my blog. So if you are an artist (you can be photographer, sculptor, illustrator, printmaker etc as well…), email me to be featured too!
So, here is my first ever feature with lovely Gillian Gibson! Thanks to twitter, I found her and her gorgeous watercolour pieces. I love her use of colour and strokes. She also adds fine liner on her work to perfection. Although being a city girl most of my life, I’ve always loved anything nature and of course nature and art together makes it even more perfect for me! Thanks so much for a bunch of brilliant answers, Gillian!
Hey Gillian! Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi :) I’m an artist and environmental volunteer from the east coast of Scotland. Creativity and a love for all things nature/environmental pretty much sums me up, and the two are very much connected in my life. I like mountains, rocks, conservation, owls and a nice cup of tea!
How did you become an artist?
I’ve always been creative and have been drawing or painting for as long as I can remember, so I suppose my journey to becoming an artist started properly when I was a teenager. I’d always wanted to go to art college after school, but didn’t go until I was in my mid-twenties. I’d say art college was the period of time where I figured out who I was as an artist and that gave me the confidence to actually call myself an artist.
How would you describe your art?
My art is quite intuitive and reactive, which results in it being quite a mixed bag!! I aim to explore nature, landscape and my surrounding environment and pick whatever medium I think will suit or I’m in the mood for at the time. So my work varies from quite illustrative works to completely abstract – using paints, pencils, inks, paper pulp, anything really! Even although my work can vary quite a bit I think it all has a sensitivity about it that is common throughout :)
Who or what inspires your work?
Everything nature is my main inspiration, and second to that would be places and memory. In terms of who, fellow artists inspire me, and on a daily basis artists I’ve found through twitter, facebook, etsy, etc inspire me and motivate me to create and improve. I’m also inspired by writing, especially on environmental or nature topics, both fiction and non-fiction.
What is your favourite piece you have ever produced?
I don’t think I’ve a favourite really, but I guess I have “important” pieces that I see as new directions or just something I’m pleased with in that moment. One of these favs is Glen Clova Boulder (Feb 2010). That was in my degree show. It has its “arty” interpretations but why I love it is it also has humour. Watching people viewing it at my degree show, it brought a smile to people and often a wee chuckle (and kids loved it!) and I just found that such a lovely thing :)
Who is your favourite artist if you have one?
It’s so hard to pick just one! I’m hugely inspired by artists such as Richard Long, Chris Drury & Hamish Fulton, but two of my absolute favourite artists are Dalziel + Scullion (who work in collaboration). Their work explores ecology, the environment and our relationship to it through video, photography, sound and sculpture – and they turned out to be tutors at my art college! This for me was amazing and any tutorial, time or field trip I had involving them remains a highlight of my time there.
One of my current favourite artists is Keith Brockie, a wildlife artist. I found his ‘Wildlife Sketches’ book in the library the other week and have since bought his ‘The Silvery Tay’ book – both are full of wildlife “sketches” of British/Scottish wildlife and I’m finding them hugely inspirational.
What advice or tips would you share with a fellow artist?
I would say the most important things are to always be true to yourself and to never give up. I think also “surrounding” yourself with other creatives is a positive thing, whether it be online or studio based, socially, etc. It provides much needed support, inspiration and motivation, and just makes the world of creativity a less lonely place! :)