THIS week Zara caught up with Milford artist Siobhan Gillespie to talk about her colourful work, her influences and the process behind her beautiful paintings.
“For as long as I can remember I have had the need and want to create. I have never had any formal training in art and for the last twenty five years I have worked in the care and support of homeless women and children. I am a senior support worker at Clarendon Shelter in Derry, another love of mine,” Siobhan said.
In her work Siobhan admits she has gone through various creative phases experimenting with different mediums. She used to do a lot of abstract painting using acrylics, silk painting, paintings on glass, sewing and embroidery and paper mache, but with her latest work she feels somehow she has finally found her area of expertise.
“I love the fact that I don’t have to restrict the flower that grows over the top of the house, the tree that is in flower but has no leaves, there is no need for any use of perspective in my paintings .I like to call this art ‘Happy Art’.”
“I have taken part in a few craft fairs lately where people have literally stood in front of my paintings grinning saying that they make them feel happy, what a complement!”.
Siobhan likes to add texture to her work as she explains “The paintings I do at the moment start with a blank canvas and with some of them I add a layer of tissue paper to give it a different texture. The shapes of flowers, trees and houses are then cut from craft foam to give a 3D effect, they are then given a few coats of white paint to create a blank canvas.
The next stage is for the colour to be added and the details of each shape to be picked up. “Then comes my favourite bit of adding the iridescent mica powders and beads. These powders are just beautiful to use and the beads I love so much.” Siobhan said.
Siobhan’s main inspiration is simply vibrant colour. “I just love colour and cant tone it down even if I try. “I’m lucky enough to have been able to go to India for the last seven years and they have the most fantastic fabrics and beads in their wall hangings which has always drawn my eye.”
Her work is also inspire by the beautiful landscapes and beaches of Donegal. “I have spent quite a lot of time on Tory Island and even had my wedding ceremony there, it full of quirkiness and there’s lots of inspiration to be found,” said Siobhan.
“I would be truly lost if I was not creative, it adds such joy to my life. I have only done a few craft fairs this year and the feedback from people has just been fantastic.”
I would like to thank Siobhan for the insight into her beautiful work and I wish her every success. Contact Siobhan Gillespie on Facebook ‘Siobhan s Happy Art, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Zara McDaid can be contacted on Facebook, search ‘Zara Mc Daid Art’, www.zaramcdaid-art.blogspot.ie or e-mail is email@example.com