Friday, 28 February 2014

March Artist in a Window Catherine Wetherall

The artist in a window for March is wildlife artist Catherine Wetherall who speacilises in wildlife we love her work and think you will too read below to find out more!

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Catherine Wetherall a professional wildlife artist based in Buckinghamshire working mainly in pastels and oils, I create paintings of British  and endangered wildlife.  I get out and about in the countryside taking photographs and sketches to work from and collaborate with some fab wildlife photographers too!

 Why do you do what you do?

Born and raised on a farm in Derbyshire I was obsessed with animals from an early age,  inspired by my father who was always drawing and painting my love of nature and animals combined with art and has always played a major part in my life! I’m addicted!

 How do you work?

I’m very lucky to have my own studio at home with beautiful views and lots of natural light! I work with another artist friend most days, so I’m never lonely! I get totally engrossed and time just flies by! Three or four paintings always on the go!I take commissions for wildlife and the occasional pet portrait.

 What’s your background?

I studied art at school and college and have taken specific courses to give me a boost throughout the many years!

What has been a seminal experience?

I hadn’t picked up a pencil or paintbrush seriously for many years and about three years ago my mother became very ill, I found my artwork very therapeutic, it really helped through some tough, emotional times and here I am now doing what I enjoy the most for a living!

What work do you most enjoying doing?

Although I do take commissions for pet portraits, wildlife is my thing! I’m thinking about doing it when I’m not doing it and when I am doing it I’m thinking about the next thing I’m going to do!!! 

What themes do you pursue?

I like to keep my wildlife paintings pure with no or very little background, I feel it helps the subjects to spring out at you! 

What jobs have you done other than being an artist?

I was a project manager for a training company for many years and after having my daughter I gave that up to concentrate on project managing and training her!! After a few years I bought a company that developed over 10 years into a profitable business, I’ve now handed over to my hubby so I can concentrate full time on my art! Bonkers! 

Why art?

Art gives you a different window on the world, every piece you look at makes you view things with an altered perspective, you then embrace life in a completely new way, its definitely made me a better person!

Professionally, what’s your goal?

I would love to get a publisher this year, I’m looking to push myself harder to get there! I also want to widen my horizons a little and I’ve entered my work into several exhibitions and competitions so fingers crossed!I’ve also started running one to one workshops at home and would like to hold weekly classes too as the year goes on.

Thank you Catherine! 

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Louise Collis Studio 61 Gallery Guest Artists for March

As it turns towards spring we have a wonderful array of Louise Collis landscapes to fill the gallery contemporary and colourful and all painted on location find out more in this interview below:

Who are you and what do you do?

Louise Collis, I’m a landscape artist working mostly outdoors ‘En Plein Air’ my paintings are always colourful expressionist interpretations of the view in front of me.

 How do you work?

Working outdoors brings its own challenges. I have a full selection of oil paints and mediums that I carry around in a waterproof fishing bag. I set myself up sitting on a sandy beach or hillside and paint the view in one sitting before I lose the light or the weather turns. In the winter I often paint from my little car spreading the paints out on the dashboard.

 What’s your background?

I have always loved landscape painting but followed a path to an illustration degree in Bath Spa University. I often got into trouble with my tutors for turning every brief into a way of going outdoors and painting. After graduating I took on some illustration before working as an exhibition designer. My love of landscape painting was reignited on a trip to St Ives five years ago.

What inspires you?

The changing colours of the landscape inspire me. Sometimes they change to quickly and  have to paint as much as possible to record them at some times of the year and they always catch me by surprise.

What is your dream project?

 Painting every bay along the welsh coast staying in lovely hotels as I travel.

  Is the artistic life lonely?

What do you do to counteract it? It can be lonely, I often go on long painting trips by myself. I do a lot of work and enjoy it but I try to mix the painting with popping into galleries on my travels and chatting to the owners.

  What research to you do?

I use google maps and street view to plan a painting trip, looking at where the best views might be. Obviously I also look at the long range weather forecast!

 Favourite or most inspirational place?

I am very to live in the South Wales Valleys next to The Black Mountains and I find the combination of the post-industrial villages next to the ever-changing colours of the spectacular mountains Inspiring. But my favourite place is the North Devon coast which feels like a second home to me.

  What’s the best piece of advice you've been given?

 Not to compare your work or success to other artists, you should always do what feels instinctive to you.

 Professionally, what’s your goal?

 To spend more time painting. To support this I need more people to see and take home my work.

Thank you Louise! To find out more about Louise click here!

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Friday Art Club Come and Join In!

Following on from the success of last years meet and make we are now forming our own art club here at the studio on Friday mornings. A chance to meet fellow artists and spend time painting or drawing in a wonderfully inspiring atmosphere.


Charge of £4.50 with free drink on arrival, art clubs are a great way of forming new friendships and sharing ideas as well as putting time aside just for you to spend creating something away from distractions.

So if your new years resolution was to do more art and you haven't now is the perfect chance to start!
Hope to see you Friday!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Deborah Hook our February Guest Artist Interview

We are very pleased that our guest artist this month of February is Deborah Hook, the gallery has definitely taken on a wildlife theme!
Deborah will be painting all day at the gallery on the 8th of February and offering a free signed print as a prize draw to those who come to see her or share this blog or information about her exhibit at the gallery on Facebook. Read below about what inspires her and how she works.

Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Deborah Hook, and I paint watercolours in a vibrant, realistic style of the natural world.
Why do you do what you do?
Simple, I do it for my boys. They need to learn to respect that everything we have and do costs us time effort and often money. I paint to give them the extras, the holidays in Cornwall. the little treats that may otherwise be taken for granted. But I also paint because I love being creative, it’s a win, win situation.

How do you work?
Slowly, often with music at full blast, also in daylight. I can’t differentiate colour as well in electric light and therefore prefer not to use it. Music, because I can. There's no one to disturb. Slowly, because of the detail.

What’s your background?
Good grief. Where to begin. I will give you the short answer, a Pastry Chef for nearly two decades then towards the end of this I retrained and gained  a BA Hons. in Art and Design, specialising in Architectural glass. My main body of work used surface manipulation with acid etch and sand carving. Unfortunately I do not practice this anymore as the work became too heavy for me through health problems, as I worked in the main large.  But I do wish to return in a small way to glass at some stage, and at the moment I am playing with adding prints of my paintings to small glass panels., I’m having great fun doing this.

Why art?
I think I have always been involved with art, only difference was people ate it. I wanted to be an Architect or a Vet when I was a child, but I suspect I was never clever enough at school for the exams and the training required but cooking and artwork came easily and I work better when I enjoy what I do. I grew up in a Delicatessen, which were uncommon outside of London at the time.  Unusual foods were an everyday thing and it seemed natural for me to follow this route.  Now it feels like I have returned to those dreams as a child in a small way, with the draftsmanship of the sketches and the painting of animals.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
I've brought a few people to tears, men and woman. In a good way, you understand. When asked to produce a painting for a commission then this can sometimes happen. They are so close to the subject and I always ask for lots of images of the animal, especially the eyes. Then I can produce a painting that is their pet not just anyone’s pet, or a painting of their photo not just any photo. That's when I know I got it right. Is it bad to say I like to see that intense reaction, I hope not, I suspect it makes me try even harder to get it right.

What inspires you?
My boys. I love what I do, but I do it so I can be with them daily, the school run, the school activities, sharing a meal, making cakes. Whatever I can to be a mother. My career was always  important  to me, but my new job as a mother is more important. Being an artist allows me to be both. I'm incredibly lucky and proud of my sons.

Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
Sometimes, but I've always worked alone and I'm a self sufficient person. So I turn up the music, sing to my parrots and work until the school run then we wait for my husband’s home time to come round. Then make the most of it.

What do you dislike about the art world?
Art speak, and pretentious meanings. Can a piece of art not just be beautiful and enjoyed . Does it have to say something, does it have to have hidden depths and meanings.  To me no. I enjoy beauty. Sometimes over intellectualising a piece spoils it for me.

What do you like about your work? 
showing, I like to meet people.  I spend enough time by myself so this part when I meet the public is a real treat.

What research to you do?
Lots, we have a large garden, my camera and notebook are never far away. We visit zoos, wildlife reserves, Chatsworth, all over the place really. Then I just look. Lots. Bark. Leaves. Branches. I even feed the birds every day and have pheasants that come when I whistle for them. It’s a great way to get close to the wildlife, they become used to me. Then I see lots of things really close. Hedgehogs, wrens, nuthatches, tree creepers, woodpeckers, foxes and even the occasional hare and partridge. I’m so lucky.
I also have some  bird samples that I keep int the freezer. If you meet me you should ask.  It always raises a few eyebrows.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Try your best, and find a job you enjoy. My mother told me this and I shall tell my children the same.

Professionally, what’s your goal?
To be the best I can, I'm stubborn, if I want to do it I will. Somehow.

Thank you Deborah! Read more information about Deborah Hook here: