We are Pleased to introduce a new friend to the gallery Juliet Forrest her landscapes are stunning and are a nice addition to the walls here at Studio 61 Gallery. To find out more read the interview below.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Juliet Forrest and I am an artist living and working in Sheffield. I use many media but may main interests are firstly: painting large scale canvasses using acrylics; usually landscapes inspired by the Peak District, but also more impressionistic colourful and textured paintings inspired by gardens, one of my other passions! My second main media is stained glass, in which I specialize in the traditional technique of kiln fired glass painting- the same techniques that has been used for church windows for centuries.
Why do you do what you do?
I can't seem to not do it- it is just a part of who I am. I have to be making things, drawing or painting. If I have had a week where I haven't had a chance to do much, I don't feel like myself.
What has been a seminal experience?
Although because this is financially based it may seem cynical to cite this as a seminal experience however it was significant for me in terms of my artistic career and it was selling my fist work over £1000 at an open exhibition. This really gave me the self belief that my work is good enough and that people appreciate it. It also made me realize that being a full time artist was a dream that might be within my grasp.
I mean it is all very well your friends and family saying how lovely your work is and buying pieces but it is easy to say to yourself “they are just being supportive- they have to say that”. Even at events when members of the public talk to you and compliment your work- again it is lovely but no-one’s going to say “God that’s rubbish- I’d just give up if I were you!”
So actually selling work anonymously, as an unknown artist in an open exhibition gave me a lot of confidence.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I have worked in mental health coordinating and delivering health and wellbeing courses, mostly anger management. This seems to surprise people for some reason!
What inspires you?
Beautiful things (how original!), the natural world. Awesome landscapes. Shiny things!
Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I don't think it is a lonely life; I am happy in my own company just pottering around doing my own thing anyway! There are plenty of opportunities to interact with others though- visiting galleries and chatting with other artists and exhibiting at events where you can talk to members of the public.
What do you dislike about the art world?
I think it can be quite pretentious sometimes. I think sometimes a lot of fancy words are used to make something sound more impressive than it is. There can be a lot of hype and hot air that is not always accompanied by talent and sometimes talented people can go by completely unnoticed.
What do you dislike about your work?
The marketing and business side of things is my least favourite part of what I do- I just want to be painting, not updating my website, sending emails or preparing for events! It was a shock to the system when I realised that realistically I need to dedicate around half my time to this.
What do you like about your work?
I just love that part when I am in full flow on a project that is going well. I lose all track of time and don't want to do anything else (like cook dinner!)
What is your dream project?
I think it would be a stained glass project (as painting wise I pretty much paint what I fancy anyway!) and it would be a large scale commission that would be installed in a public location. Probably not a church piece but secular subject matter and I would be able to do a lot of kiln fired painting!
Thank you Juliet!