Meet The Artist: Rosalinda Kightley

Rosalinda Kightley. Photo: Richard Dunford

Rosalinda Kightley. Photo: Richard Dunford - Credit: Archant

The Guildford book illustrator’s work can be seen at the New Ashgate Gallery’s winter exhibition: Art and Craft with Local Heart

Rabbit in Woods by Rosalinda Kightley

Rabbit in Woods by Rosalinda Kightley - Credit: Archant

In these digital times where art and design can be produced quickly with the right software, it is comforting to know that illustrations are still being produced in a traditional way in corners of our county.

Rosalinda Kightley, a book illustrator and painter who lives and works in Guildford, has been producing beautiful illustrations for decades and continues to do from her home studio.

Following a degree in Graphic Design at Kingston Polytechnic in the early eighties, Rosalinda quickly secured a job in London working as a designer and illustrator for Walker Books.

“It was one of those chance occasions where I went in to see them for an interview and they desperately needed someone to draw hands for a book with an urgent deadline” she says. “I happily offered and consequently they offered me a full time job as a book designer. It was a wonderful job, commissioning other artists, designing book covers etc. but after a while I yearned to draw again.

Hello There by Rosalinda Kightley

Hello There by Rosalinda Kightley - Credit: Archant

“After four years that chance arose when I came up with an idea for children’s board books which was well received so I left my lovely job to go freelance.”

Rosalinda has never looked back and her work has been in continuous demand ever since. Her beautiful drawings of rabbits, foxes and other wildlife are as gorgeous as her floral paintings, which clearly show not only her skills as a draftsmen but her keen eye for design. Living near to Guildford’s Pewley Down has helped with her work.

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“I walk on the Downs every day and often find my inspiration comes wandering through the Chantries and across the hills” she says. “I don’t have a dog, but I have always had house rabbits and somehow they keep me in touch with the gentle moods of animals, and of course they make wonderful models!”

But working from home can have its drawbacks.

Night Owl by Rosalinda Kightley

Night Owl by Rosalinda Kightley - Credit: Archant

“Being an illustrator can be a lonely occupation and I miss the team spirit of working for a company,” Rosalinda explains. “But I have found that there are many lovely artists’ group in the Guildford area, such as AGASP where members offer mutual support and encouragement, especially important in 2020, a year which has challenged us all.”

Rosalinda’s work can be seen at the New Ashgate Gallery’s Winter Exhibition: Art and Craft with Local Heart, which runs until Saturday January 9. Please check website for latest COVID-19 updates.

Find out more about Rosalinda at rosalindakightley.com