Artist of the month - Olivia Pilling

Olivia Pilling

Olivia Pilling - Credit: Archant

Young painter Olivia Pilling wants her street scenes of Manchester to sparkle like jewels, she tells Barbara Waite

Sparkling bold colour just bursting with life is a striking feature of artist Olivia Pilling’s work. Her paintings glisten and sparkle and this view of St Peter’s Square in Manchester shows it as a hive of activity. The city and its people are a constant inspiration to her since she moved there from Todmorden about two years ago.

‘I just love walking around the city discovering new places, buildings and little side streets, clicking my camera as I go and just see what comes out at the end. I love colour, and try to create paintings that have a jewel-like quality,’ said Olivia.

‘I’m attracted to rich colour that has high impact. The sun reflecting off the white curves of the library building and the red brick of the Midland Hotel glowing warmly, dotted with colour from passers-by, all make for a wonderful scene.’

Olivia works quickly in acrylics and the finished worked is mapped out rather than drawn with faint outlines of buildings. Details are put in with paint later as the work progresses. The finished piece is then treated to a coat of gloss varnish.

‘I like my work to shimmer and glisten, to look delicious and tactile, good enough to eat. This stems from my interest in the Arts and Crafts movement, decorative varnishes, William Morris tiles and coloured glass – they’re all an influence,’ she said.

See more of Olivia’s work in an exhibition in October in Manchester featuring paintings of the North of England or by checking her website Prices range from £400-£1,000.