ARTIST OF THE WEEK KIRSTEN ELLSWOOD


Kirsten studied Fine Art in Exeter.  Her work centres around the environment, drawing on the colours, texture and drama of Devon and Cornwall landscapes. She uses different media, responding to different themes accordingly. She has exhibited widely throughout the South West. 

“What is it about the Devon and Cornish landscapes that most inspires you?”

I recently moved from Devon right down to the West Cornish coast. I am inspired by the feelings of the sublime, of awe when Devon fields stretch out ahead of you as far as the eye can see, or the feeling of being on top of the world on a Cornish cliff, with the sea crashing below and the sunlight on the water.

 

I recently moved from Devon right down to the West Cornish coast. I am inspired by the feelings of the sublime, of awe when Devon fields stretch out ahead of you as far as the eye can see, or the feeling of being on top of the world on a Cornish cliff, with the sea crashing below and the sunlight on the water.

 

 

“Can you tell us more about your painting ‘Seed Heads’, Newlyn Beach in acrylic inks?”

I walk my dogs daily along the promenade between Penzance and Newlyn. I was struck by the cow parsley’s sculptural qualities with the backdrop of the sea behind. I love cow parsley, grasses and seed heads – they feature naturally everywhere and I find them beautiful. I like to use inks in a ‘watercolour’ way – allowing them to mix on the paper and do their ‘thing’. They are a versatile medium and can be also used in a flat, graphic way, added to a canvas, splashed and splattered!

 

 

“’Yellow and Grey’ acrylic paint on canvas has strong visual impact with the grey of the road-cutting trough the yellow of the crops. Can you tell us more about how you create a strong composition and how this can create a sense of drama?”

I am concerned with composition when I paint – I fiddled about with the path in Yellow and Grey many times when I was painting it!  The colour is also so important in a composition and in this one, I wanted to play about with a strong and neutral colour to see the effects. A path through is familiar to most people – I wanted to use it as a compositional tool but also to evoke feelings of coming home.

 

 

“Can you tell us more about the use of acrylic in your paintings such as in ’Cottage with Cow Parsley’?”

In Cottage with Cow Parsley you’ll see how I like to play with paint. I like acrylic – I know lots of painters hate it! But I like the way you can spray it, pour it and splash it. You’ll see here how I’ve sprayed the surface of the paint with water to take some of the pigment away too. In this particular painting, I’ve used tube acrylic, acrylic ink and acrylic spray paint to get these effects.

 

 “Texture is important in your work. How did you use this in ‘Autumn Tops’?”

Texture is really important to me. In Autumn Tops I wanted to get as much texture as possible to evoke a feeling of looking underground as the briar hedge grows. I used splattered masking fluid, granulation medium and I also sprayed it with water to allow the ink to run.

As you can see, a lot of my practice is about playing with paint!

 

See more of her work on   https://www.artgallerysw.co.uk/vendor/kirsten-elswood/

Kirsten’s website    http://www.kirstenelswood.co.uk

 

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