Artist of the Week Martin Gillman on his Photography.

What first drew you to photography?

When I was a child, at school I loved to draw. In fact I wasn’t bad at all and was offered a place at ‘Art Camp’ each summer to develop my ability. Sadly I was from a very low income family and my Mother couldn’t afford to let me go as there were expenses and my artistic development stopped with that missed opportunity. It of course stayed within me, the desire to compose an Image. Years later I discovered photography, in film of course, and I was awful. So again I set it to one side until about seven years ago when I bought my first DSLR. Times were different so I invested in education, first a diploma and then I started a BA in Photography and threw myself into it proper. Education is everything.

WestBay1 by Martin Gillman

WestBay1 by Martin Gillman

 

What is your favorite photographic memory, and why?

It will no doubt be one of several occasions where I spent time with any of a few photographers who inspire me. In 2012 I spent a week in the Lake District photographing and learning from Charlie Waite and Damien Demolder (then editor of Amateur Photographer) Those times and others like them did more for me and my craft than any fancy camera, kit or software will. Those were incredibly nutritious times for learning and improving. For a week we ate, drank, talked, walked and slept photography. We discussed the greats, we examined work, we critiqued and got critiqued. It was an incredibly intense week and my learning curve shot through the roof. I came home a better Photographer for sure.

Glyneath by Martin Gillman

Glyneath by Martin Gillman

 

Who is your favourite photographer, and why?

Oh I have many, not one favorite because so many inspire me in different ways. It may be Bresson or Koudelka for there brilliance with story or vivid descriptions of people in place. Or McCullins desperate war images which cut into my bones. I turn to Helmut Newton for shock or Brandt and Blakemore for form and structure. So many to mention and even amateurs inspire me, often the simplest of iPhone images can take me aback if its got content that speaks.

Chloe by Martin Gillman

Chloe by Martin Gillman

 

What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?

I’m not a kit boff, I used to be. Like so many I went through that kit hoarding phase then realised it was all about me and my craft and these days I just use a simple Fujifilm digital rangefinder for most things. I’ve had the high res full frames etc, but they ended up just being weight to carry. I have improved through going back to basics and concentrating on one lens and moving my feet, exploring all dimensions of my subject, getting intimate with it. I would like a day with a large format film camera however, and I would take it to Namibia.

Sarah by Martin Gillman

Sarah by Martin Gillman

 

Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently?

Humble bloke alert! I am never satisfied with my work, tomorrows image I may be pleased with, next week I will see its flaws. But that is good because that pushes me. I like that I don’t pressure myself by getting into commercial photography, or family stuff like Weddings etc. I have done all that but it doesn’t inspire me like capturing things on the fly does. That work served a purpose but these days I would rather create something that a stranger might want on their wall. That way I have communicated with them in the way I wanted to, they have a view through my eyes I have showed them things how I see them rather than something I churned out from a list of to do’s.

Boat, West Bay 1 by Martin Gillman

Boat, West Bay 1 by Martin Gillman

 

Do you have bursts of creativity – and when/where are you most creative?

No, I seldom go looking for an image. I just put myself in places and let the images find me, they always do. If commissioned I of course have to push myself into the creative phase, I pre-visualise like everyone else. I have to but I am instinctive and always leave a good chunk of time to ‘go with the flow’ and I often find my best work comes that way.

Antalya 2 by Martin Gillman

Antalya 2 by Martin Gillman

 

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

A successful photograph is what it was meant to be. Meaning it achieves its purpose. Ok, that’s a bit woolly I know but you asked me about a ‘successful’ Photo so if it did what it was meant to do, it was a success, right? Now on the other hand if we ask what elements of a Photograph will capture my attention, please me, inspire me. Well that’s all about its emotional power. That could be the strength of its ability to move me, perhaps a powerful or controversial subject. Or it could be good capture of great beauty. So, its about my favourite word, content. However even the photograph of anything captivating wont work unless it is made in such a way that it works with that subject matter. So its about good craft and I appreciate images of things that are done differently, unconventional, quirky even.

Cae Adda 1 by Martin Gillman

Cae Adda 1 by Martin Gillman

 

Tell us about your favourite photograph.

Like favorite photographers there is no single ‘one’. I did a similar Interview for Amateur Photographer Magazine last year. You can read it here and I refer to one of my favorites there.

Glen Coe in the Highlands of Scotland

Glen Coe in the Highlands of Scotland

 

How do you spend a creative day?

I will walk, wonder, follow my eye, listen to my gut and really think hard about my composition, structure form and content. Best of all I do this in good company and try to learn from and teach others. I find mentoring students particularly rewarding and its great for driving home good craft into your own head simply by showing others. It gets you really thinking as you have to pass it on in an inspirational way. When one has to explain or justify ones approach and/or craft it drives it deeper into yourself, you actually grow too.

Dress 2 by Martin Gillman

Dress 2 by Martin Gillman

Louise Bougourd, The Shed Gallery Artist of the Week.

As a mum and a full time teacher I was not able to spend as much time as I would have liked in a creative way; now my sons are grown up with careers and independence, and, making the decision to leave teaching I am able to spend much more time doing what makes me smile – paint!  My journey as an artist is just beginning and will hopefully take me in many exciting and challenging directions; I love to experiment with a sense of abandonment – if you don’t try something you will never know what the outcome will be!

Gap in the Hedge by Louise Bougourd

Gap in the Hedge by Louise Bougourd

I am self-taught but have attended workshops with internationally renowned artists to hone my skills.  Inspiration takes me in many different directions; wide open spaces, Dartmoor, hedgerows and flora and fauna, coastal scenes and boats but anything can be the subject of stimulation to spark my interest and motivate me to get painting.  In fact the more bizarre the more I am keen to interpret it in my style. Gap in the Hedge is a prime example;  I felt intrigued by the tangle and glimpses of light through the twists and turns of the glorious Devon hedge.  The hues of green, gold and red all added to the mystery in front of me.

Glow - St Ives by Louise Bougourd

Glow - St Ives by Louise Bougourd

Alternatively, Glow – St Ives caught my attention for very different reasons the soft glow on the Cornish sand contrasted beautifully against the amazing shape of the boat as it lay gently on its side at low tide.  I took lots of photos to use as resource back in the studio, then the fun begins; choosing the colours to use, stretching paper and ultimately putting paint to paper.

Watercolour is an exciting medium to use as you have to allow the pigment to meander to a certain extent as well as guide it in the direction that you want to flow, which is exhilarating and breathtaking!  This leads me to another of my paintings Tangles and Trees

Tangles and Trees by Louise Bougourd

Tangles and Trees by Louise Bougourd

This painting was inspired by a local river (The Teign) with trees either side creating a fabulous avenue effect; light glinted in the far distance which I created to ensure that light tones contrast with dark tones making this piece interesting and pleasing to view.  I adore painting trees, the amazing tangle of branches and undergrowth offer quite a challenge but one I thoroughly enjoy.  I loved the colours in this piece, a slight change from my usual strong palette but found my brushes dipping into softer shades – interesting how the mood takes you!

 

Shades of Dawn by Louise Bougourd

Shades of Dawn by Louise Bougourd

Shades of Dawn is a favourite of mine, even though that sounds odd to say but I loved the harmonious quality in this one, the inspiration was mostly green in colour with dark tones but I chose to use a muted atmospheric palette to represent a softer reflective light offering a calm atmosphere to the viewer.

 

Virgo by Louise Bougourd

Virgo by Louise Bougourd

Virgo is a dramatic version of a fishing boat I came across in Brixham harbour, the depth of tone and shade underneath the boat and against the side nearest the harbour wall gave me the opportunity to go to town with dark dribbles and gorgeous thick pigment.  I am always amazed at just how dark you can paint with the most delicious medium.  I hope you will enjoy viewing my work as much as I enjoy creating it.

 

Teaching – I hold weekly classes, regular Saturday workshops and tutor painting holidays – take a look at my website for more information

 

2014 Exhibitions:

 

Solo Exhibition – Magical Ways with Watercolours

TAAG – Teignmouth 10th to 16th May 2014

Group Exhibition – TADA

Birdwood House, Totnes and TAAG Centre, Teignmouth

24th – 31st May 2014

 

Art Extra, Honiton

28th & 29th June 2014

 

Rotary Art Exhibition (ArtEx)

31st July – 15th August 2014

 

Devon Open Studios

6th – 21st September 2014

The Bracken Gallery, Chudleigh

 

 

Shed Gallery Artist of the Week, Marian Young.

As a mature student, I studied Art History at Plymouth University. Although I enjoyed the theoretical & critical analysis of art that the degree entailed; I became ever more excited by the overall visual quality of certain paintings, and perhaps less concerned with the social & historical reasons that wrought the work. 

Elsewhere by Marian Young

Elsewhere by Marian Young

As a child, I was constantly drawing & painting, and was particularly drawn to books that allowed for magic transformation. Suddenly a black & white picture could be transformed into numerous colours with a wet brush; or a pencil could follow the dots or shade over areas of a blank page to reveal a recognisable picture. As these books were outgrown, I continued to draw & paint. After ‘A’ levels, I did an arts foundation course, then an Access course in Art & Design. I was drawing & painting from landscape & still life & was relatively pleased with my observational work. However, all that changed at University, when Abstract Expressionism was introduced into my life & immediately reinstated the magic of my childhood perception of colour and form.

Graffitti by Marian Young

Graffitti by Marian Young

It started with the bold & colourful exuberance of Kandinsky; to be quickly followed by the childlike, yet highly inventive work of Paul Klee & Joan Miro. My modules and assignments soon moved onto other art forms and genres; yet I was still scouring second hand shops & boot fairs for books relating to abstract art. I was afforded a space to paint in the university’s fine art department, and would paint with decorators’ paintbrushes in Acrylics on large canvasses, while the younger students conceptualised their very conceptual pieces. I expect they viewed me as an old dinosaur (in terms of style & age!)

Fishing by Marian Young

Fishing by Marian Young

I gained a 2:1 Honours degree in Art History/English; did my Cert. Ed. & taught art & creative writing in adult education & several prisons for the next fourteen years. I loved my work, but teaching can often drain you of your own creative energies, because of the absolute focus you deploy on your students.

Decay by Marian Young

Decay by Marian Young

I now run a small weekly art class in Bridport, which allows me to concentrate more on my own painting, but I do not paint everyday. I tend to have sporadic bouts of active painting for one to two weeks; usually working on up to three canvasses at the same time. I then hang these pieces on the wall & will work on them mentally over the next few weeks, before physically making changes (where change is viable,) or applying Gesso, & starting again – when change is not applicable. In essence, it’s a long process until I’m satisfied overall that the painting has the balance I’m trying to achieve (& it may sound silly,) but also when the painting speaks to me, albeit visually, in the language I understand. In a sense, it’s recapturing a bit of the magic of childhood that I found in those cheap painting books – joining up the dots, seeing what lies beneath the layers.

Solace by Marian Young

Solace by Marian Young

I still love Kandinsky, Klee & Miro (the bigshots;) however, for me, the most influential abstract painters are Diebenkorn, particularly his ‘Ocean Park’ Series; yet also, Peter Lanyon & Hans Hoffman – for their exuberant & energetic brushstrokes & overall drama of finished artwork.

Shed AOTW Ollie Taylor on this photographic influences.

Castle Cornet Guernsey by Ollie Taylor

Castle Cornet Guernsey by Ollie Taylor

What first drew you to photography & what is your favourite photographic memory, and why?

I really wish I had a romanticised story about this, I feel I have wasted so much time that could have been spent gaining valuable experience, more in depth knowledge, and a more extensive portfolio.  But it is what it is, and the fact remains that I got hooked on photography about 10 years ago, very nearly leading me to study for a degree in the subject.  I’ve always loved travelling (who doesn’t?) and used to take whatever camera was to hand, many a time it was a disposable (usually several).

The Beacon by Ollie Taylor

The Beacon by Ollie Taylor

Upon returning from the Balearic Isle of Menorca late one autumn in 2004, I had a load of snaps processed.  I remember to this day the woman complimenting me on the silhouettes of  people on the beach and various other subjects, insisting she could not believe they had come from a disposable.  I paid little attention and flicked through the snaps with my partner at the time, laughing about bar antics and various other activities of madness we had caught through the lens.  When I went back and looked at the images again for whatever reason, I remember one image very clearly, it was colours caught in the withdrawing sand from the tide, I thought how absolutely beautiful and pure it was, nothing spectacular but it captivated me,  changed me as a person, and my perception of things in general.  That was it, I was hooked, within weeks, Nikon F35, followed by a Pentax 645n, tons of Ilford and Fuji Velvia in the fridge, endless magazines, books, home dark room, night college …..

Kimmeridge Bay by Ollie Taylor

Kimmeridge Bay by Ollie Taylor

Looking back, I suppose it was romantic in its own way, I just wish it had been with my current partner, Gemma, as she has had no choice but to live and breathe photography with me for the last 7 years.

Who is your favourite photographer, and why? 

Sorry, I’m going to have to be boring on this one and say I don’t have one! I used too, but there have been many.  There are so many good ones, with so many different styles, I have been though all the usual landscape suspects.  A different artist seems to amaze me every time I have 5 minutes to look these days.

Cape Panwa Thailand by Ollie Taylor

Cape Panwa Thailand by Ollie Taylor

What would be your ideal camera, and where would you take it?

Oooh an ideal camera!!! My Nikon D800 with the 14-24mm lens that never leaves it, half the size and weight, with  a 50mm, and 75mm-500mm lenses that could clip on like the Fuji X100s wide adapter, it would be sensor spot immune, and it would not cost the same as  a new small car. The Nikon put the fun back into my photography, it takes a little more technically to get the shot, it reminded me of film.  But then I have never tried a Phase One IQ180 on a 645 …..

The Witches Hat by Ollie Taylor

The Witches Hat by Ollie Taylor

Tell us what you enjoy most about your own work, and what has inspired you recently.

It’s quite simple, being out doors, I quite like the solitary of it sometimes.  Although I try and drag my girlfriend with me when I can, she gets cold (after 16 days of her freezing in Iceland the winter before last, she has assured me I am going alone this winter).

Unfortunately what has inspired me lately was an event that occurred last year that some may find extremely morbid.  It changed my life, and again, my outlook on life.  The realisation of how short life is and how precious the time we have is, and more importantly, what we do with it.

Weymouth Quay by Ollie Taylor

Weymouth Quay by Ollie Taylor

What are the most important elements of a successful photo?

You have to go back to the moment it was taken.  The person’s visual sense behind the lens.

Tell us about your favourite photograph…

Without sounding too modest, I prefer looking at other people’s work, I’m a million miles from the best out there and I get sick of looking at my own work.  I started trawling through images that I have saved taken, by other artists, thinking, which one actually keeps me coming back, there are many.  I have had to pick a pretty uninspiring one of my own.  Whilst in the Midlands and visiting Dorset during April 2005, the weather was dire and I was the only person walking toward Durdle Door from Lulworth Cove.  It was dull, un-eventfull and far from inspirational, and   I’m 99% sure I was the only person left there.  I persevered and the sky broke, a small part became a pink mackerel sunset.

Durdle Door by Ollie Taylor

Durdle Door by Ollie Taylor

It was displayed in a gallery in Nottingham, it was the first shot I ever sold, and it was the first picture I ever had stolen ….. by my girlfriend.

How do you spend a creative day?

Outdoors, sun-seeking, freezing cold, a blizzard, I don’t care as long as I am outside and have enough gear to make images, and survive for my time out there.  Even if I were to come home with an empty memory card for whatever reason, all the ideas and moments of inspiration that go through my head during that time, fuel my thoughts providing motive to ensure there is a next time.

Corfe Castle Mist by Ollie Taylor

Corfe Castle Mist by Ollie Taylor

I wish I had more time to write this out properly but I’m on the verge of completing a big project, at my so called 9-5 which is actually more like a 7-9.  Going back to my inspiration though;

My best friend was killed, 18/7/2013 R.I.P Danny B, you walk with me everyday mate. It has inspired me to do something I should have done 10 years ago, pursue photography full time …..

Roll on June 27th 2014 …..

Thanks for reading this blog, I have really enjoyed forcing myself to take some leisure time and looking at everyone’s work on the Shed Gallery, some great stuff, keep it up.

Shed Artist of the Week Ollie Taylor’s favourites from the Gallery.

The first image I am going to choose is entitled ‘Dreamy Lavender’ by Tony Antoniou.

Dreamy Lavender by Tony Antoniou

Dreamy Lavender by Tony Antoniou

This was one of the first images I saw when I joined the Shed not so long ago. The picture jumped straight out at me, and one word sprung to mind – ‘magic’.   The image is magical, but the ‘dreamy’ title is well deserved; I feel this image creates the illusion of a surreal world in which you are encapsulate, forgetting about the time passing by.  After you have drifted into the image, you start to return to reality as your eyes are drawn to the sun, you then take account of the birds to the left, and then…. you go back to the beginning for another dream.  I love it, quality.

Rachael Talibart’s portfolio! So, so hard to pick one out as a favourite, her seascapes are very well executed.  However I’m going to go inland to Surrey and choose her image ‘Evening Poppies’.

Evening Poppies by Rachael Talibart

Evening Poppies by Rachael Talibart

Rachael has two excellent poppy field images (among many other captivating rural landscapes) and it was awkward deciding which one to choose.  I chose ‘Evening Poppies’ as I favour the composition slightly, and the light beaming through the flowers, with the sun on the horizon.  The feeling Rachael must have felt, stood there, shooting that image must have been elating, and she has done a fine job of replicating her moment through the lens of her camera to share with us all.

I really enjoyed browsing Kris Dutson’s enchanting portfolio, and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate him on his amazing capture of Colmer’s Hill, right place, right time, brilliant.

Flare Path by Kris Dutson

Flare Path by Kris Dutson

I like so many of his images, I’m going to select his image entitled ‘Flare Path’, for two reasons:

1. It reminded me of my childhood, growing up in South Lincolnshire, my memories of that county are of endless sunny cornfields that always make me smile.

2.  Looking at Kris’s portfolio, he is a master in the art of being in the right place at the right time, and well portraying that through his images.   ‘Flare Path’ lays testament to the aforementioned and for me this is encaptured excellently and sends the imagination wild.

I like the grimy stuff too, and, as the saying goes, ‘A picture speaks a 1000 words’.  Tom Hard’s Technicolour Dream Road certainly does.

Technicolour Dream Road by Tom Hard

Technicolour Dream Road by Tom Hard

It’s an image that makes you keep going back to it, there are so many little things going on within it, but yet it remains uncluttered due to the black and white aspect with colour processing.  I still can’t put my finger on exactly what this image does for me though.  It draws me back to check out little bits of detail every time I take another look, the people walking under the subway, taxi overhead, cycle lane sign, the burst of colour along the wall that flows, taking your eye down toward the tunnel, knowing in reality, the car is heading there too.  I just like it, simple as. Nice one Tom.

Although the images I have selected go from one to five down the page, they are not in order of favoritism.  I say this because last but by no means least is ‘Milky Way Above Durdle Door’ by Steven Banks.

Milky Way above Durdle Door by Stephen Banks

Milky Way above Durdle Door by Stephen Banks

Genius, that about sums it up. I’m not actually going to say anything about the picture, as I think its very well concluded, it’s highly commended, and has appeared in numerous publications; and quite rightly too.

I will say this, I think Steven has raised the bar, to the maximum. I know people have tried this shot before, but personally, I have never seen it done anywhere near as well as this.  People may try and replicate it after seeing Steven’s, process it in a slightly different way, somehow add another spin to it (myself included). But Steven’s image is where you saw it first, it’s unique, a hard photographic feat within itself.

Durdle Door is such an iconic land mark it generates thousands of published images every year.  Only a select few really stamp an imprint in your mind, and make it to the throne of the greats, remembered by many over the years.  For me this one is simply timeless, and it not only nestles amongst the best, it takes the crown.