Artist of the Month - October

Artist of the Month - October

Welcome to our October edition of our Artist of the Month blog, where we recognise and celebrate the amazing artists that inspire us with their incredible artwork. From abstract paintings to intricate pencil drawings, we feature a selection of amazing artworks that are sure to inspire you. Whether you're looking for creative inspiration or just want to appreciate the beauty of art, our Artist of the Month blogs are the perfect place to find what you're looking for.

This month, we are so excited to introduce you to contemporary pastel artist Erica Ankers, Dart Studio, who creates gorgeous semi abstract paintings based on locations around Cornwall and Devon, where she's based! We had the pleasure of chatting with Erica and getting to know more about her and her craft...

(Photograph credit: Tom Carder Media @tomcardermedia)

Q. Where have you found inspiration lately?

A. My inspiration is found in the everyday, the colours and textures of the land around us. Whether on family days out at the weekend to the coast or the moors or the commute to work through the park. I can be sparked by the way the light shines on the fields, or how the clouds sit in the sky.

Q. Is there a piece of art or a project that you are particularly excited about right now?

A. I am continually developing my practice, and currently introducing a new way to access my work through original sketches. Using the same approach as my sketchbook work, where I lay out initial compositions in a raw way with bold marks and colours, and creating works for sale in the same rudimentary style.

Q. What kinds of tools or references do you like to use when creating artwork?

A. I take hundreds of photos everywhere I go! These form the main basis of my reference for works, along with sketches and memories. I work from a selection of images from one place (or a combination of places), to build an initial sketch, which is then translated in to a larger final pieces.

Q. What artists or artworks (from your life or art history) do you admire or consider influential to your work & why?

A. From history my favourite artist has always been Turner, I love the loose way he paints, the focus on feeling and colour rather than lifelike depictions of a place. There are many modern artists I admire for their use of colour combined with bold abstract mark making - Georgia Elliot, Maxine Hart and Alex Yarlett are just some that come to mind.

Q. What advice do you have for other new or aspiring artists? 

A. Stay true to what you love, paint in the style and medium that feels right for you, not that you feel you “should”. Your audience will be drawn to the authenticity of your work, and if you aren’t painting what you love, you can’t stand in front of your work with pride.

(Photograph credit: Tom Carder Media @tomcardermedia)

Q. Professionally, hat has been your biggest achievement so far?

A. Working with lovely galleries, and simply selling work face to face to clients that truly love and appreciate what I’ve painted.

Q. What is your first memory of creating art? 

A. My first memory is probably observational drawings at school that weren’t very good! But of creating art that felt good, where something clicked, was when we completed a portrait term at school using pastels (the medium I still use today) and the teacher was able to draw something out of me I didn’t know I had and I created work I am still proud of today.

Q. How do you spend your time when you’re not creating artwork? 

A. Mostly spending my time with family and friends, either hanging out locally, or visiting friends further afield. But in many ways I am always thinking about the work, being inspired by wherever we are!

Q. What work do you most enjoy doing?

A. I most enjoy the work that is borne out of something unexpected and not under pressure. When I start feeling the pressure to complete a body of work, is when things can become tense and overworked.

Q. What is your dream project?

A. A solo show at a contemporary gallery!

It's been an absolute pleasure getting to know more about the amazing Erica, Dart Studio! From her beautiful and unique artwork to her passion for creativity, she's a true inspiration. You can find out more about her and shop her amazing works of art via her website and Instagram. Stay tuned for November's Artist of the Month blog!

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