Personal Statement

Gabrielle Bill

As an artist I find a joy in working closely with the figure and creating around it a magical place in nature on the canvas from colour and mark making. It is a passion that I find all consuming, as I constantly am thinking about my next piece melding intuitively combinations of complementary images with a life model.

My work represents my bringing together of colour, the figure and natural elements. My particular motivation lies in the layering of the paint, creating depth as well as using variations in focus and the feeling of three dimensions. I find inspiration as an image evolves never quite knowing at the outset how a particular piece will develop.

I am extraordinarily lucky to be able to call upon a rich variety of life experiences, some challenging however, and having worked and travelled abroad extensively. My work often has a strong emotional and subconscious thread. Figures hide in the shadows giving depth and a further dimension – a story to be unravelled.

Before taking a brush in my hand I spend time gathering information and selecting images as well as deciding which life model to use to start a painting. I then often work firstly from the figure, drawing usually three sketches on the canvas with loose paint before deciding which to use. Sometimes I will start by keeping all three but end up with only one being evident, as while I am building up the layers of paint the image grows and changes as I work. These typically can take up to a month to complete.

I started my artistic journey at an early age learning to draw analytically from the age of 7 when confined to my bed for many months. My father being a good draftsman taught me the rules of perspective as well as the importance of precision and detail when drawing something like a bicycle. He once brought a bike up to the bedroom for me to copy. Being dyslexic and not enjoying reading or writing, my joy of drawing and observation took over, leading me to be the person I am today.