Unfettered nature

Snowdrop Wood by Jane Betteridge

Snowdrop Wood by Jane Betteridge

The fragrant half-silence of drawing a breath in, easing a breath out, as a woodland stirs around you is one of the most enchanting things about entering a patch of wilderness.

Likewise the headiness of standing on the brink of a stretch of land with the sea forming itself into endless shifting sculptures just beyond. These are the moments that remind us of  the sheer awe-inspiring beauty around us.

These are the moments Jane Betteridge transforms into works of art.

Blossom's Out by Jane Betteridge

Blossom’s Out by Jane Betteridge

Despite this, Jane never imagined she’d become good enough to be a professional artist, Happily, “years and years of practise and experimenting, in between getting on with my day job and raising a family, finally paid off.”

And the pay-off is enviable, as Jane now has the pleasure of being a full-time artist and experimenting with paint daily.

“In my eyes there is no other medium that comes anywhere near the vibrant characteristics of watercolour,” she says. “The way they merge and mix together on the paper, granulating and changing colour is mesmerising. Their glowing luminosity adds life to a painting.”

Berries and Bindweed by Jane Betteridge

Berries and Bindweed by Jane Betteridge

Jane sources inspiration from the ever changing nature of landscapes, as well as ephemera and other potential new materials.

“Changing seasons, country walks, hedgerows, colours, textures, textiles, old stone walls, rusting metal, and peeling paintwork, the sea, the sky, new tubes of paint or unusual watercolour mediums, old postcards, tickets and wrapping paper can all stir a desire in me to paint.”

Teasles and Honesty by Jane Betteridge

Teasles and Honesty by Jane Betteridge

It all adds texture to her art, and enjoyment to the process. Jane’s ongoing desire to experiment are vividly evident throughout the pages of her beautiful book Watercolours Unleashed. But how did the book come about?

Crashing Wave and Gulls by Jane Betteridge

Crashing Wave and Gulls by Jane Betteridge

“I spoke to Search Press when at an art fair in Nottingham and then sent them some images of my work and they asked me to go to their offices for a chat about writing the book.”

An urge to capture the sense of a moment drives much of her work.

“It’s the atmosphere of a place that makes me paint. For example, an isolated bluebell wood with the sun streaming through can be ethereal, magical and peaceful,” she says. “A rough sea lashing against the rocks can be awe-inspiring. Whether or not I do actually capture the atmosphere doesn’t really matter to me as it’s the fact that it made me create a work of art which is the most important thing.”

Bluebell Woodland by Jane Betteridge

Bluebell Woodland by Jane Betteridge

Looking at her glorious, energetic paintings, I’d say Jane captures the atmosphere with every stroke, offering glimpse of the world that can quietly infuse any room in which you choose to hang them.

Cow Parsley by Jane Betteridge

Cow Parsley by Jane Betteridge

Along with teaching, which she finds “so rewarding”, Jane feels hugely fortunate to be able to devote so much of her time to creating new work.

“I feel like I’m in heaven working as an artist,” she says. “If I wasn’t a full time artist, I’d be painting every spare minute I had anyway, so how lucky I am to be able to earn a living at what is essentially my hobby and favourite pastime.”

Poppy Field by Jane Betteridge

Poppy Field by Jane Betteridge

Jane has studios in Leicestershire and in St Ives, Cornwall. “People can make an appointment to view my work when I’m there. I’m in a couple of galleries at the moment and you can view my work on my website www.janebetteridge.com and my Facebook page Jane Betteridge Art.”

Forest Blues by Jane Betteridge

Forest Blues by Jane Betteridge

She adds: “I’ll be taking part in the St Ives September Festival (from 9th-23rd September) this year when my studio will be open to the public. I do quite a few commissions and had solo exhibitions every year for around 10 years until recently when writing the book took all of my time.”

Watercolours Unleashed has been such a success that Jane is now writing her second book for Search Press. I can’t wait to see what she creates for us this time.

Read my review of Watercolours Unleashed.

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judy(at)socketcreative.com.

Mapping the world

Installation for Rio Olympics at the Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro by Kristjana S Williams

Installation at the Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro by Kristjana S Williams

From maps to globes to nature’s extravagance, Kristjana S Williams’ art encompasses the whole world.

“I grew up in Iceland where the visual landscape is entirely dictated by nature,” she says. “Whilst striking, I always felt the scenery lacked colour and it was this aspect that I craved. Having been born in the UK, I longed to return to England and discover London and its cultural diversity.”

When she was 20, Kristjana moved back to the UK and studied engineering. “I initially worked in this field, however, I had always dreamt of pursuing my artistic nature,’ she says. “I finally had a chance to do this when I got a place on the Illustration course at Central Saint Martin’s.”

Portrait for RIO 2016 by Kristjana S Williams

Portrait for RIO 2016 by Kristjana S Williams

Kristjana always had an interest in Illustration. “This passion stems from an early age when I discovered maps in a Cartography class at school in Iceland,” she says. “I used to draw the maps and fill them in, I would imagine where I would go and what I would do and that was the happiest I have ever been.”

Globe by Kristjana S Williams

Globe by Kristjana S Williams

At first, Kristjana’s drew most elements by hand, “but I later discovered the technique of using Victorian engravings which I recoloured and reinvented making them individual. I started to combine these with my old love of maps and was pleased with the result I got.”

Falin Viltur Blar Solar Palm III detail by Kristjana S Williams

Falin Viltur Blar – Solar Palm III detail by Kristjana S Williams

Her creations form from three key ingredients.

“Colour, narrative and shape are all equally crucial components in my work and it is the combination of all of them in unison that make a piece successful.”

Mood image by Kristjana S Williams

Mood image by Kristjana S Williams

These days, Kristjana receives commissions from large corporations as well as members of the public, many of whom “have seen a large 3D artwork I have done for a big client, such as The Knowledge for The Shard.”

The Knowledge in the Shard by Kristjana S Williams

The Knowledge in the Shard by Kristjana S Williams

Clients have included a series of glorious butterfly and bird-infused installations for the Belmond Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics.

“Sometimes people fall in love with an element the work and want something of their own,” she says. “Once I have gathered a good body of research on the individual and have got to know them, the design begins to flow quite freely.”

Kristjana relishes the independence that comes with being a freelance artist. “Expressing yourself visually is such a great feeling.”

WBTC London Cushion by Kristjana S Williams

WBTC London Cushion by Kristjana S Williams

You can see Kristjana’s large commissions at The Shard, The Connaught and The Trinity restaurant. “We will soon be opening a pop up shop at Harrods, which will stock new products and limited edition prints, which will be exciting.”

Find out more at www.kristjanaswilliams.com.

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judy(at)socketcreative.com.

The thrill of illustration

A scene from Was Schwimmt Denn Da by Henning Lohlein

An illustration from Was Schwimmt Denn Da by Henning Lohlein

Hippos, pigs, seals and fish, not to mention the occasional elephant in swimming trunks, cavort through the pages of Henning Löhlein’s picture books. Designed to amuse and enthrall, they wriggle with life.

“I always liked drawing,” Henning recalls. “Having grown up in Germany, I spent two years taking foundation art studies in Toulon France, but I was torn between graphic design and fine art.”

A scene from Was Schwimmt Denn Da by Henning Lohlein2

A scene from Was Schwimmt Denn Da by Henning Lohlein

Henning travelled to Bristol on an Erasmus exchange programme, and here discovered illustration, “which formed the right mixture between working to a brief and having the freedom to express one’s own ideas. I finished my studies with an MA in editorial design and narrative illustration at Brighton University. Since then I have taught on the illustration course as a visiting lecturer.”

Illustration for the Financial Times by Henning Lohlein

Illustration for the Financial Times by Henning Lohlein

Henning’s editorial work includes illustrations for the Guardian, the Financial Times and Country Life, as well as magazine covers. “I like to find the freedom in the constraints of illustration, be it for editorial jobs, or in children’s books,” he says.

A scene from Das Leben Ist Bunt illustrated by Henning Lohlein

A scene from Das Leben Ist Bunt illustrated by Henning Lohlein

His love of children’s books began when, after 15 years of working as an editorial illustrator, he realised he wanted “to have a longer ‘shelf life’ for my illustrations. I had started drawing more and more animals in my magazine illustrations, so the step to children’s book illustration was not very far.”

A scene from Ich Ware So Gerne illustrated by Henning Lohlein

A scene from Ich Ware So Gerne illustrated by Henning Lohlein

Henning was fortunate enough to have been chosen to exhibit at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna, “and that opened up the world of publishing to me.”

Henning has since published more than 40 books, translated into 12 languages, and counting.

A scene from Ich Ware So Gerne illustrated by Henning Lohlein

A scene from Ich Ware So Gerne illustrated by Henning Lohlein

Initially, Henning sought out commissions by attending two of the most prestigious book fairs, Bologna in the spring and Frankfurt in the autumn, seeing as many publisher, editors and art directors as possible.

A scene from Das Leben ist Bunt, illustrated by Henning Lohlein

A scene from Das Leben ist Bunt, illustrated by Henning Lohlein

“I’m now in the position where I can develop projects before hand, which I then try and sell to a publisher at the fair,” he says. “Having been in the industry for a while, authors come to me with projects, or publishers match my illustration up with a suitable text.”

But how closely does he work with a writer in this scenario?

“Normally I just get the text, and illustrate it, having no contact with the writer, just working with the text, and interpreting it in my way,” he says.

Ludwig the Spacedog by Henning Lohlein

Ludwig the Spacedog by Henning Lohlein

Henning is excited about writing and illustrating his own stories. “Ludwig the Space Dog, published last autumn by Templar, is my first written and illustrated book,” he says.

Ludwig the Spacedog cover by Henning Lohlein “I started from the idea about a dog living in a two-dimensional world, dreaming about another dimension, which he discovers, and the reader can discover as well with using 3D glasses. It’s about the power of dreams and thinking outside the box. I also liked the idea of doing a 3D book. The pictures are obviously two-dimensional, as they are in a book, so the magic happens in the reader’s head.”

Henning describes being an illustrator as “the best job I can imagine. On a Monday morning I look forward to going to the studio, and to drawing,  painting or inventing a new story. Doing what one loves doing and getting paid for it is a privilege. I can express my ideas, and with a bit of luck, a book will come out of it.”

A scene from Was Schwimmt Denn Da by Henning Lohlein1

An illustration from Was Schwimmt Denn Da by Henning Lohlein

Find more of Henning’s work online at www.Lohlein.com.

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judy(at)socketcreative.com.

Early signs of summer

Signs of Summer by Molly GarnierThe painting shown here is Signs of Summer, and depicts a scene of rural England I’m instantly drawn to, with a familiarity that’s irresistible. I love the sense of energy in it – you can feel the breeze racing the clouds along and casting their shadows fleetingly over the sunlit land.

For Molly Garnier, the artist of this painting, capturing views like this is second-nature. “I loved art from a very young age, especially painting,” she says. “It was my favourite subject at school and I was extremely lucky to have a very good art department and access to all materials at school.”

She vividly recalls going to see some huge Jenny Saville paintings when she was 17. “I remember thinking that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to create paintings that had an impact and struck a chord with people’s emotions and thoughts.”

Molly graduated from Edinburgh College of Art, where her primary subject was painting the female nude.

After The Bath by Molly Garnier

After The Bath by Molly Garnier

“It wasn’t until five years later when I moved back to Norfolk with my husband that I started painting the landscape,” she says. “I remember being totally amazed by the huge skies that Norfolk has and the magical beauty on my doorstep. I love trying to recreate an atmosphere and reflect how it feels to be in that place at that chosen time.”

Sky Lark Tide by Molly Garnier

Sky Lark Tide by Molly Garnier

Long country and coastline walks are an essential part of this process. “I usually take my camera and sketch book,” she says. “I try to add small pockets of detail and sharp focus and play with the ethereal quality of the light.”

Her preferred material is oil colour. “I use some large nylon brushes and then small fine line brushes for detail,” she says. “I always paint on wood that I have primed. I love the very fine grain of the wood and the way you can see brushstrokes and rub back.”

Marsh Light by Molly Garnier

Marsh Light by Molly Garnier

She continues to paint nudes as well. “I did life drawing at Art College and studied the masters such as Caravaggio and Degas,” she says. “I went on to do my degree show about the impression of voyeurism and looking upon an intimate nude scene. I love the skin tones and the way the skin can seem to glow.”

The Start by Molly Garnier

The Start by Molly Garnier

Molly says that unless she picks up a paintbrush during a day, she doesn’t feel quite herself. “Painting makes me feel complete – it’s my therapy,” she explains. “I paint a lot of commissions, mainly of a chosen landscape that’s personal to the client and I really love seeing people’s faces when they receive the painting.”

She adds: “I’ve been extremely lucky to exhibit in over 80 exhibitions and sell a vast number of works that hang in people’s houses. It makes me very happy to know that my work has created an impression on someone.”

Tide Walker by Molly Garnier

Tide Walker by Molly Garnier

Molly exhibits regularly at Lime Tree Galleries in Bristol and Long Melford. She’s represented on the online Affordable Art Fair site, and is  an artist at The Gallery in Norwich and Cromer.

Find out more at mollygarnier.co.uk.

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judy(at)socketcreative.com.

Love, and all that

Valentine's Day card 2017 cr Judy DarleyLove, I’ve learnt, is a thing entirely separate to the expensive ideals showered upon us by the folks who make money from spinning aspirations. It may involved flowers or chocolates or even diamonds, but more crucial are the quirky day-to-day things that set your relationship on an isle of its own.

Finding love is about being in the right place at the right time and happening to look in the right direction.

Being in tune with a person and having your eccentricity celebrated; sharing a certain silliness you may prefer not to unveil in front of other so-called grown ups; feeling an intense happiness at coming home to a particular other all add up to keeping that love real.

However and whoever you love, give them a squeeze today to remind them.

Solar etching with Luella Martin

In The Woods, solar etching by Luella MartinThickets, forests and ocean views appear in Luella Martin’s art, but the true focus is the light. Using it both as the subject and the means, she creates images that appear to exhale the quiet of rural spaces.

It’s a curious contrast to a childhood in central London, but is perhaps explained by an abundance of time spent in galleries, where certain paintings become familiar friends.

“My mother used to take me to lots of art exhibitions when I was a small child,” she says. “I especially loved going to the Tate Gallery (there was only one in those days) and I always had to visit my favourite Mondrian. One day we went to a large Renoir show and I was dazzled by the explosion of light and colour – I decided then that I wanted to be a painter.”

At the time she was about five or six years old. “I remember spending hours in my bedroom drawing vegetables and kitchen utensils!”

November, solar etching by Luella Martin

November, solar etching by Luella Martin

She discovered solar etching during a weekend workshop “with wonderful printmaker Dawn Cole” and was hooked immediately.

“The workshop was arranged by Ian Brown at Volcanic Editions in Brighton,” she says. “It’s a great workshop where I’ve enjoyed exploring different techniques and editioning my prints. I am very lucky to have met some lovely generous people who’ve helped me on my artistic journey.”

Big Sun, solar etching by Luella Martin

Big Sun, solar etching by Luella Martin

Instead of using hazardous chemicals to create an image, solar etching relies on a light sensitive material which is exposed thought sunlight and developed with tap water – both ingredients that most of us have easy access to.

Watch a short film about how Luella makes her solar etchings.

“The thing I like most about solar etching is it’s versatility,” says Luella. “You can adapt the process to suit any style of work. Because it’s a non-toxic process so you can make the plates anywhere – I’ve exposed plates in my back garden!”

Horses By The Foreshore, oil on canvas by Luella Martin

Horses By The Foreshore, oil on canvas by Luella Martin

Beyond her garden, Luella finds inspiration for her etchings and painting in the landscape of the South Downs and coastal areas of Sussex. “I visit the same places very often and always notice something new,” she says. “I try to see it at lots of different times of day – different weather and different light define the atmosphere.”

Afternoon Light, oil on linen by Luella Martin

Afternoon Light, oil on linen by Luella Martin

Life as an artist is a joy, she says. “What could be better than messing about with paint? I feel very fortunate to be able to spend time in my studio making new paintings and prints.”

Luella is showing her recent solar etchings with Cameron Contemporary Art in Hove until 19th February 2017 as part of the show Edition 2017. She will be opening up her studio at Phoenix Brighton over the weekend 12-14th May 2017.

Find out more at www.luellamartin.co.uk

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judy(at)socketcreative.com.

Re-envisioning the world

Rose Temple by Abeer ElkhatebThrough the eyes of artist Abeer Elkhateb, the world assumes a majestic splendour. With Fantastical turreted cities beneath fabulous skies, the scenes look like glimpses from exotic fairytales, a dramatic contrast to his ultra-realistic bronzes of entwined figures.

Lovers No.1 by Abeer Elkhateb

Lovers No.1 by Abeer Elkhateb

This contrast of styles takes me by surprise, but talking to Abeer Elkhateb makes it clear that there’s always been a touch of the rebellious about his art.

“As far as I remember I was about 10 years old. For no reason at school, I was just painting and painting and painting,” he says. “It got me into a lot of trouble at that time and it sent me to jail at a later age.”

When he was 16, Abeer’s uncle Abdallah Alkhateb (a PhD Historian and artist) took me under his wing in a way and opened his massive library to my eyes, which allowed me to be introduced academically to the art and art history.”

Following that, Abeer says, art became a way of life,  “or I can say it is my life.”

The Golden Moon City by Abeer Elkhateb

The Golden Moon City by Abeer Elkhateb

Abeer has developed a very particular way of working.

“Every five years I take a new path and start building everything around it,” he says. “The last project I worked on was based on reverse-ism. I took some well known physical laws like gravity, perspective, fundamental construction and turned them upside-downs, inside-out.”

Observation and imagination both play vital roles in this process.

I love Albert Einstein’s statement that logic takes you from A to Z, but imagination takes you anywhere,” he says. “In many case I’ve wondered about the borders between reality and imagination, wondering if my imagination created the world I’m in or if the observed world by me created my imagination. Do thoughts really become reality?”

Mont Saint Michael by Abeer Elkhateb

Mont Saint Michael by Abeer Elkhateb

Abeer mentions painting places he’d thought were dreamt up in his imagination, but then later coming across those locations in the real world.  “I also have ongoing dreams – when they come they just continue where they stopped the previous time, as if a different dimension of me lives in a different world. I use those dreams as one of the sources of my artwork.”

As a result, many of his enchanting scenes are re-envisions of real places, such as St Michael’s Mount in France, Port Isaac in Cornwall and various parts of Germany.

Port Isaac by Abeer Elkhateb

Port Isaac by Abeer Elkhateb

Transforming a nebulous idea into a work of art is part of the excitement.

“I love it when a new idea is about to come up,” he says. “First thing is drawing or outlining the idea and if I need to perform and film the performed concept, I do.”

Once this is done, he can concentrate on painting or sculpting, according to the form of expression that feels right. “Basically I let the idea grows organically. Many of my recent works are in 2D and 3D alike.”

Lovers No.4 by Abeer Elkhateb

Lovers No.4 by Abeer Elkhateb

Abeer has  been experimenting with materials since the seventies, “from scrap material  found in the streets, metal, wood, clay, wax, plaster and bronze on the sculpted production and oil colour, watercolour, ceramics, textile, etchings and mosaics. I think what I want to say is material and skills are always working side by side and when they don’t, I feel that I’m being challenged and that is exciting because it pushes me into the unknown territory. At that stage I feel there is something to explore. So, I don’t really prefer particular materials – it’s the concept that informs me.”

S. Germany 2 by Abeer Elkhateb

S. Germany 2 by Abeer Elkhateb

Abeer can’t imagine his life without art. “I came to England from the war zone in Baghdad,” he says of his struggles to survive as a man and an artist. “I’ve failed in so many things in my life as well as succeeding in many others; I’ve had my ups and downs, been crushed and stood up again,” he says. “But even at the craziest times, paper and pen were always somewhere beside me, either in my pockets or in my bag. Paper and pen act as a reminder to myself that I am an artist. Recording experiences helps me see how every day, every experience, every breath is important. That is love itself.”

Lovers and Child by Abeer Elkhateb

Lovers and Child by Abeer Elkhateb

Abeer Elkhateb’s Imagined Worlds is on at Skylark Galleries 2, Unit 1.09, First Floor Riverside, Oxo Tower Wharf, London until 19th February 2017. Find out more here abeerelkhateb.wordpress.com and www.skylarkgalleries.com.

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judy(at)socketcreative.com.

Painting Iceland

Icelandic View by Judy DarleyIf you know me, or if you’re a regular visit to SkyLightRain.com, you’re probably aware that my obsession with art is growing increasingly consuming. I’ve even begun creating artworks of my own, attempting to capture my responses to the views around me.

My trip to Iceland earlier this month was particularly rich in visual fuel – snow, skies, rocks and unfamiliar textures abounded. I came home with a headful of impressions, and rather than simply translate these into words, as I usually do, I have made efforts to churn some of it out in the form of art.

After carrying out a few sketches, and watching a wonderful ‘wet-on-wet’ Windsor & Newton watercolour masterclass, this is what I came up with.

It’s not quite what I see in my head, but it’s far closer than I expected to get, which makes me very happy.

Reykjavik street art

Reykjavik street art_Elle with Ulfur Ulfur, photo by Judy DarleyResiding in Bristol, I’m an ardent admirer of street art, providing it’s done well. A recent visit to Reykjavik revealed the capital of Iceland to be riddled with the stuff – and rather fabulous it is too.

Much of the best of it appears on Laugavegur, one of the city’s oldest shopping streets. My favourite was the one above, of the wolf family, but this squiggly fellow below on another street took my fancy too.

Reykjavik street art photo by James Hainsworth

According to the excellent website www.iheartreykjavik.net, the artwork below is titled Caratoes and Ylja, inspired by the song Óður til móður by Ylja. Much of it seems to be inspired by local folklore – well worth a gander!

Reykjavik street art Caratoes and Ylja photo by Judy Darley

If you happen upon this beautiful city, I recommend you wind your way through the central network of roads, looking out for the exceptional street art for a taste of the locals’ wild side.

I’ll be posting a full travel feature about this amazing trip on Thursday. In the meantime, find out more at www.visitreykjavik.is

Exploring the unknown through art

Sandcloud crop by Sara EasbyToday’s guest post comes from Sara Easby, a wonderful artist, teacher and dreamer who I discovered exhibiting her Icelandic artworks at the Grant Bradley Gallery late last year. She talks us through the things that move her to paint as a means of exploring the unknown.

Drawing was always my favourite pastime as a child and I was very imaginative.

I thought I was going to be a nurse like my mother, but then when I was 13 someone told me it was possible to be an artist when I grew up. I went to Saturday morning art classes and then to the local art school at 16. It never occurred to me not to be an artist after that, and I really believed I wouldn’t be able to do anything else.

One morning an artist friend Francesca Bellingierie Maxwell and I were having a coffee and we both agreed that we’d always wanted to visit Iceland and that May was the best time to go. Discovering that the moment was right we set off the following week on an impulse. This was very unusual for me, but I had got stuck with my painting and teaching, so wanted a challenge and focus. The challenge was driving all the way round Iceland. I’m a timid driver! And the focus was just simply to fill a sketchbook.

Iceland sketch by Sarah Easby

Iceland sketch by Sarah Easby

I’m not interested in copying nature, or in representational landscape personally. That’s not my reason for painting. Much of my working life has been in designing for theatre and teaching people drawing, mainly life drawing so it doesn’t mean I don’t value those things. But painting has become a way of exploring the unknown and a kind of meditative practise I suppose.

Dark Grey by Sara Easby

Darkgrey by Sara Easby

The experience of being in Iceland gave a feeling of being right on the edge of the world and of actually becoming a part of nature. It was amazing to feel that feeling of nothing. Suddenly everything seems possible, and I came back with a lot of energy to make the series of work.

Dark Broiling by Sara Easby

Darkbroiling by Sara Easby

Our lives are made up of layers, so I’ve been exploring this in painting and drawing for ages. Earlier on this worried me thinking that each time I went back to something I was changing it because it was wrong. But gradually I realised that there was no right way, but that change was what it’s all about. Eventually you have to stop a painting when it feels ‘finished’. It has to stop somewhere if you want to share it with other people.

Gold Circle by Sara Easby

Goldcircle by Sara Easby

I use anything and everything to draw and paint with – anything that will make marks. This is what I was taught and what I hope to teach others to do. Oil paint is one of my favourite medium because it has a quality of deepness. I never want to be sure of the results, because, as Picasso once said, what’s the point of doing it if you know how it will turn out?

I teach a lot of art workshops because teaching has always been a means to make a living. I have never had the luxury of just doing my own work. Running workshops is good because people come who want to be there and it’s a way of exploring together.

Paledrips painting by Sara Easby

Paledrips by Sara Easby

It also always makes me question what I am doing. Making art is rather solitary and I like people, and you need a balance. I’m actually rather passionate about the importance of creativity in the world. It’s deeply satisfying when you see people connected through making something they can do.

What I love most about my life as an artist is that you never stop learning, and I love learning!

About the author

Sara Easby, artistSara Easby trained in Leeds, at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff. She’s worked as a designer for productions at the Royal Court Theatre, London and Bristol Old Vic, and has taught design and drawing at the Universities of Bristol and West of England as well as running workshops for students, animators, artists and anyone interested in exploring their creativity. This includes teaching life drawing to animators at Aardman Animations, originally for their training programme for Chicken Run.

All images in this post are from Sara’s Iceland series. To see more of her work go to: www.sara-easby.com.

Are you an artist or do you know an artist who would like to be showcased on SkyLightRain.com? Get in touch at judy(at)socketcreative.com.

I welcome guest posts. If you’d like to get in touch, you can find me on Twitter @JudyDarley, or send me an email at judy(at)SocketCreative.com