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Open Studios - 14th & 15th / 21st & 22nd May

An Interview With Nicola Grellier

Nicola Grellier works in a variety of mediums from collage to oil paint and even household paint. She also has a commitment to drawing, working with line and enjoying the accidental. Words also play a key part in Nicola's creations and she enjoys the humorous possibilities that come with collage. Her time spent living in London influenced the use of text in her artwork but she has now happily returned to Gloucestershire where her work has taken a figurative turn. We took a moment to ask Nicola Grellier a few quick questions about her process and her artwork...

Where do you start with your artwork?

"For painting a brush full of black/brown – I tend to draw in paint first – usually don't plan too much. Drawing the same – I just launch in."

Do you work on preliminary sketches or go out and take photographs before creating the main piece?

"A combination of photos, sketches & archival photos + collage in sketchbooks."

What is the most unusual place or thing that has inspired you and why?

"Currently making an ongoing series of theatrical figures in very bizarre dress – from old photos of kids theatre workshop."

How do you overcome artist block?

"Collage or drawing – I don't often get blocks, if I really do, I'll just go and do something useful away from studio! + look at painting books."

Do you have a favourite medium and why?

"Oil paint – pencil/charcoal + a rubber – because I like to push paint or pencil around & make marks on top of marks."

Is there an underlying message in your artworks? What are you wishing to communicate through your art?

"I suppose I am trying to induce an emotional response through both subject & mark making - inner memories + visual satisfaction."

When do you consider an artwork finished? How do you prevent overworking a piece?

"I'm trying to pull back from over finishing at the moment – starting new pieces all the time and keeping loose."

How do you decide on a title for your artwork?

"Usually in the middle of the night (I'm an insomniac) – titles usually become evident fairly easily – I like word & puns."

If you could work anywhere in the world where would you choose and why?

"South. Hot. Hills. A big bright studio with lots of plants. Probably more Italy/Adriatic than Spain!"

Do you have a favourite artwork by another artist? What is it about the piece that captures you?

"I love Arshile Gorky “The Artist and his Mother” – saw it at top of Whitney, New York – felt oddly drawn to it repeatedly. Love early Hockney, Peter Blake + Degas – very obvious!"

What would be your top tip for other budding artists?

"Draw all the time. Look at lots of art. Don't overthink. Keep your hand & eye soft. Allow mistakes."

If you couldn't be without one item in your studio / art box, what would it be and why?

"A rubber – not to rub out – I use it to draw into pencil, pastel or charcoal to create space, softness, blur, to leave marks half seen. It's part of my process."

Find out more about Nicola Grellier and see examples of her artwork on her website.

Nicola has a selection on works on show at the Summer Studio Sale here at Studio 1, Pegasus Art between 1st - 6th August 2016. See more details here.


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