Local artists: Gillian Fontaine
Gillian from Colne uses acrylic paints as a base for her work, influenced by the local landscape...
"Gillian Fontaine is a mother to Benjamin and Lily and stepmother to Geraldine, all of whom have featured in much of her artwork. She has been living in Colne, Lancashire, for the past three years. Born in London in 1964, she grew up in Leeds and, suffering from acute asthma as a child, spent a lot of time away from school. This resulted in boredom, which eventually led to a desire to draw. Drawing then became something she could do when, academically, she was not succeeding.
Gillian went on to do an English degree at the age of 22, at Bretton Hall College, where she was surrounded by works of art by Henry Moore and Elizabeth Frink. As part of her degree, she taught herself photography, and experimented with some charcoal drawings (nudes). Drawing has always been as important as breathing.
A fascination with Atkinson Grimshaw inspired more fanciful paintings such as 'My Fairy' and 'Celebrating the Sunset'. Gillian has now changed paths to working with a pallete knife and exploring more colourful subjects. Still influenced by light and shade, both the local landscape and scenes of life further afield are creeping into a portfolio of work that once concentrated on animals and portraits. A new love for the work of Vallette has inspired work in progress, soon to be completed and exhibited.
Gillian uses acrylic paints as a base for her work, then uses oil colour to deepen tones and give depth and dimension to her work. Having recently discovered water-based oil paints, paintings now typically take around three months from start to finish, the water-based oils giving a faster drying time.
This year, Gillian has exhibited for Manchester City Art Gallery, having been selected as one of twenty artists for the 'Inspired by...' collection. She also exhibited at Todmorden, in her home town of Colne (at the library) and is currently exhibiting one painting at the Haworth Gallery, Accrington, in the City Life and Cityscapes exhibition (297 Spaces - Leaving Manchester). Next year she is hoping to exhibit at the Admiral Lord Rodney, and has a month at the Colne Library gallery once again at the end of the summer 2008."
last updated: 29/11/07
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