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Featured Artists

Ged Mitchell

 

Amazingly I find myself thinking about how I initially got interested in painting and how I became an artist. I say amazingly because it was never really meant to be – at least never in my wildest dreams! However, after taking the plunge in 1988 I have continued to make my living from my art, even though I didn’t get off to the best of starts by failing my 11+. I attended The Manchester Primary School and keen to encourage my flagging self-esteem, they offered me a place at art school. This was, however, turned down by my parents for all sorts of logistical and practical reasons, and with no creative or artistic family background it was quickly decided that a more conventional education was for me. What I got was anything but! School life was dull with the exception of art, which I excelled in, and was looked upon well by the art teacher there. He singled out the talented from each year and saw to it that we received more lessons in art than the ‘brainy’ kids who studied more of the 3 R’s. So it seems that I am a product of my poor education and I have to say I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Gleaming precious little I left school at 15 years with no formal qualifications, never having sat an exam – something unthinkable today. I took a job as a photographer’s assistant and thought the position was a brief one, however, the seed was sewn and photography has been of great interest to me ever since. It has taught me much about composition and the use of light and colour to create a pleasing image invaluable in my work as a painter. My photograph’s are my sketchpad and are a constant source of reference.

My interest in art was rekindled in late 1979 when I was bought a small box of watercolours, and what started as a hobby then became my passion. Maybe it’s because the route I took was an unconventional one, but I am still uncomfortable with the title ‘Artist’. I see myself more as a painter and/or watercolourist.

My main outlets for my work were previously at local art centres and major craft fairs. I’ve also had a number of one man shows throughout the past 20 years.

In 1992 I opened my own art gallery, but after six wonderful years I found that my painting time was becoming less and less. I was instead being taken up by the day to day running of the gallery. So in 1998 I decided to go back to painting full-time which was a big decision for me, having grown accustomed to the steady income the gallery provided. However, painting is, and always will be, my passion and it wasn’t long before the commissions started rolling in again. Local established outlets continue to adorn their walls with my work – for which I am eternally grateful.

I believe that the fact that I had no formal training was actually an advantage not a disadvantage as I had first thought. Being allowed to explore only areas that interested me, following my gut instinct and taking my inspiration from artists that I admired. The net result was that I was able to develop a style of my own which has evolved over the years, but still maintains the key features that make it distinctive.

When I set out to produce a painting I hope that it will firstly, be pleasing to the eye, but secondly, it must also contain elements of mystery. It must contain areas that challenge the imagination of the onlooker to delve further, making them decide where and what detail to manipulate in the minds eye. Surely as a race we would never allow art to become just décor and we wouldn’t want it to become too thought provoking either – but perhaps a little!

As a landscape painter living in Cheshire I don’t have to look too far for my inspiration. It’s on my doorstep and the ever-changing light and seasons in this country make it a painter’s paradise.

Rarely does my work depict a particular place, but surprisingly within each piece there’s a curious familiarity – almost convincing us that we have been to or seen this place before. I suppose like a lot of artists, what my work represents is escapism. Maybe something deep inside conjures up the images portraying the idea of a safe haven – a good, calm, peaceful place.

My love affair with the Greek Islands continues and I visit regularly for major relaxation and battery recharge. It works wonders, although it is never long before I reach for my paints or my camera!

The thought of applying the first brush strokes to a blank canvas or piece of paper can be a very daunting one both for amateur and professional painters alike. For me it’s the best bit. With my palette of just six colours I start by applying several very wet washes randomly with no clear thought of what is going to take place at this stage. I know with experience how the colours will react with one another and what effects can be created throughout this procedure. Timing here is fundamental.

Manipulating these early washes to create the initial areas of interest is great fun, after which a bit more thought is required in organising the focal points and building up the painting to its conclusion.

It really is an interesting way of working, but at no time is success guaranteed – unlike other media. If a watercolour goes wrong, the more you do to rescue it the worse it gets.

My working day starts between 9 and 10am, and apart from a small break for lunch around 1pm I continue until around 6pm Monday to Saturday. Like many of my fellow artists, music plays an important part in my life and I can’t work without at least the radio on. My studio is in a small old mill, not far from where I live which is very convenient. It’s superbly lit, very private and virtually guarantees me an uninterrupted working day – everyday!

Working as I do – mainly from imagination and observation – I tackle one piece at a time until completion. Stopping for a break has resulted in more than a few disasters and a few swear words too. So I rarely stop until I feel the painting is finished. Having the discipline to work continually like this means that I don’t have to stare at walls or cut my ear off to be inspired! The discipline is easy, as I love what I do in the studio.

I enjoy eating out and having a drink at my local with friends, or even taking in a movie or watching a live band (which I do as often as I can). When I’m not doing these things, I’m often playing my guitar, which is another passion of mine and has been for years.

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Reflections
Ged Mitchell
Giclee on Paper
30W x 11H Inches
In Stock
$200.00  [50% Off] This is a Limited Edition Item!
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Distant Shore II
Ged Mitchell
Giclee on Paper
31.25W x 7.25H Inches
Out Of Stock
$200.00  [50% Off] This is a Limited Edition Item!
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Untitled
Ged Mitchell
Giclee on Paper
23W x 22H Inches
Out Of Stock
$220.00  [19% Off] This is a Limited Edition Item!
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  All Items by Ged Mitchell (3) 
 
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