In today’s post I would like to introduce our Featured Artist, for November 2011;
I discovered her work thanks to Seth Apters art collaboration project; The Pulse but for those of you who haven’t yet found Gillian, here is a little more about her and her work.
Who you are:
Gillian: I am Gillian McMurray and I am an artist and crafter.
Where you are (which country you are based in)?
Gillian: I live in the Scottish Borders in a little cottage in the middle of the countryside.
What you do:
Gillian: I split my time between drawing and painting the local wildlife and creating hand crafted items, from paper beads to notepads to silk scarves. My art is mainly executed in graphite, coloured pencil and watercolour with occasional pen and ink work thrown in for good measure.
What got you started in your creative journey?
Gillian: I tell people I was born with a paintbrush in one hand and a needle in the other. I grew up drawing, painting and sewing and TV programmes like Take Hart and Hart Beat with Tony Hart were always favourites. My mother was also influential in my creativity as I watched her sewing everything from curtains and bed linen to soft toys and was made to wear hand knitted hats (to this day I still hate hats). There are not many crafts that I have not tried over the years. I have done everything from card making and jewellery making to whittling and sculpture and love them all. However, at school I showed absolutely no talent in art classes and never had any of my work chosen for display around the school. Regardless of this, I bought myself a set of watercolours when I was about 16 and taught myself to draw and paint. Over the last 23 years I have managed to get to the stage where I am reasonably happy with the work I produce – but only reasonably. I still have lots to learn but that is part of the fun of being an artist.
What inspires you?
Gillian: Nature inspires me most. I love wildlife and plants and rocks and weather. I can often be found dancing in the rain just for fun. My love of animals is what nurtured my ability to draw and improved it. I wanted to be able to represent animals that looked realistic and that was what pushed me to improve my skills. Autumn is my favourite time of year because of the colours of the leaves. The oranges, yellows and reds are just stunning to me. Which brings me to my next inspiration – colour. Colour is fabulous. I love to see them used in combination and alone, bright and strong colours or muted and soft. I can often be found searching Etsy just because I like to see the colours other people use in their products. Whenever I feel blocked I hit Etsy and come away with new ideas and inspiration.
If money,time and obligations were no object, what you would most like to do?
Gillian: This is not directly related to my creativity but I would love to open an animal sanctuary and rescue animals that need help. It would also give me the opportunity to draw the animals too.
What do you enjoy most about your creative work/life?
Gillian: There are a number of things I enjoy about my creative life. I work for myself and do not have to answer to a ‘higher power’. Through the ups and the downs it is all up to me. I enjoy the challenge that each piece of art turns out to be. When I start I often do not know how I am going to tackle specific parts of a drawing or painting. It is not until I have the brush in my hand and let my Muse take over that I know what I am doing. Learning new techniques and crafts is great fun. However, one of the very best things is hearing people’s joy when they receive something that I have created. I once had a woman crying down the telephone to me because she was so happy with a portrait of her cat. Sadly, the cat had died a few weeks previously but she was so pleased to have the portrait I had painted that she could not contain her happiness. That is something very special.
To find out more about Gillian McMurray and her work, please visit her blog and website, details below.
Gillian: Like most creative people who use the internet today I have a multi tentacled web presence.
- You can find updates about my art and crafts on my blog, where you can also find links to join me on Twitter and Facebook.
- My Etsy store, where I sell my art and crafts.
- Flickr Gallery
Thanks to Gillian for being our Featured Artist of the Month for November 2011.
Best wishes and thanks for reading, see you soon