Artist profile - Gill Northcott, Colwyn Bay

Snowdonia-and-the-lake

Artist Gill Northcott invites you into her world, through her colourful paintings. WORDS BY RACHAEL HOGG

What better way to experience your part of the world than by going out and painting it? Fortunately for artist Gill Northcott, she lives in beautiful Colwyn Bay, with the likes of Snowdonia national park, Betws-y-Coed and Conway close by.

Gill, 63, moved to North Wales 30 years ago and hasn’t looked back , escaping outdoors whenever she can to paint the captivating scenery around her.

Just a brief glance at Gill’s art and you immediately see what inspires her work. ‘I am truly inspired by colour. I can take photographs and sketches of scenery, then I’ll go back to my studio and paint bright colours, whatever appeals to me. I just have a love of colour,’ Gill enthuses.

‘Several artists also inspire me. John Constable’s landscape art, particularly the ‘Hay wain’, is the type of painting I love: very peaceful and beautifully painted in oil. Claude Monet’s ‘Water-lily Pond’ has also inspired me greatly – many of my paintings are quiet water gardens, lakes and rivers around the beautiful North Wales area. Also Renoir, in particular his painting of ‘La Grenouillere’, which is in the Stockholm national museum.

‘I love the Impressionists’ work. They all share a different manner of representing the world, but one I think is very effective.’

Of course, Gill is also inspired by her picturesque North Wales surroundings, often painting outdoors and taking photographs and sketches before returning to her home studio to paint in peace and quiet, or working with her self-directed landscape group.

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Although Gill enjoyed art at school, she didn’t pursue her talent until 25 years ago, after having three children. She went to evening classes and luckily found the perfect teacher, who she saw for 10 years. ‘My teacher was amazing, she taught me everything I know. Some teachers don’t give much away so then it may be worth trying someone different. I have picked up hundreds of tips over the years which have stood me in good stead for the work I do now.’

From classes, Gill started to exhibit locally and begin selling her art, both at the exhibitions and at hotels across the Llandudno and Betws-y-Coed areas. ‘People like to take home mementos of their holiday, and this works perfectly.’

Gill regularly exhibits at the RTA in Conway and the Denbighshire Arts Studio where she is a member.

Her vivid painting of a majestic mountain in the clouds at Snowdonia national park is by far her best-selling painting, and one she has had to repaint countless times. She spent a lovely afternoon with the stream trickling around her feet as she painted it, and this aura of calm comes across strongly in the picture. You want to go there with a picnic, gaze at the mountains and paddle in the stream. That is the power of Gill’s art.

Although Gill is most passionate about painting landscapes, she also paints floral works, fairies and snow scenes in north America. For a limited period, Gill’s original paintings are £150 each, with prints costing £50. Fans of Gill’s work can see more of her paintings at www.GillsArt.com.