Creative Spotlight | Gavin Bridge

Published on 09 July 2021

Three Sisters at dawn

Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make
Ever since childhood I’ve had a creative impulse and fascination with capturing landscapes and a drive to produce large and, hopefully, interesting paintings! At a turning point in my life, I chose the steadier pace of regular income via a career in IT and opted to pursue painting in my free time. This has enabled me to enjoy the freedom to explore subjects that interest me and not worry about fitting into existing market trend or academic frameworks.

I spent many years experimenting with oil paints, but the fumes and drying times proved impractical. I now mostly work in watercolour and pastels and tend not to worry about convention and rules. I usually work in the evenings and like to refer to myself as a ‘Suburban Kitchen Artist’. I enjoy entering local exhibitions and am a member of the Drummoyne Art Society.

Balmain and Beyond

Whereabouts do you look for creative ideas? Who or what inspires you?
As a landscape artist, I’m fortunate to have the Blue Mountains and NSW coastline on my doorstep. I enjoy taking long walks with my camera to source inspiration and reference photos. I’m attracted to strong form and contrast and any opportunity to use unusual colours. I see the world as a mix of order and randomisation and I like to interpret this as a theme in my art.

Smokey Dawn at Cockatoo Island

Are there any special processes, techniques or tools you use to make your creative work?
I have a preference for highly granulating mineral pigment watercolour paints, I work with a mix of printing and lifting techniques to bring out the random. I balance this with careful detailing in areas of focus to highlight order.

Gumtree Exercise - Over Scaly Bark Creek What is a creative project that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of? Why?
When I was learning how to use watercolours, I had this one gumtree scene that captured my attention. Before arriving at the finished product it took many evenings over a year, practicing and tailoring techniques and numerous versions. The end result was a finalist in the Royal Easter Show, which was a rewarding experience.

Having an artwork published on a book cover was another proud moment.

What creative project are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on a commission for a two-metre watercolour on canvas, depicting a Sydney Harbour scene (another favourite subject of mine). I’m also working on some abstracts of bush regrowth after the Blue Mountains fires of 2019.

From the trail near Govetts Leap as the clouds roll in

What’s your favourite part of working as an artist / creative?
Seeing something develop that is unique. Also, it really can be fun watching paint dry! With watercolours it helps you to understand their properties and characteristics.

Gumtree over Scaly Bark Creek What’s the most challenging part of working as an artist / creative?
Finding the time and committing yourself to embark on something that may or may not work out.

Do you have any top tips for emerging artists and creatives just starting out?
Keep at it. Do not get distracted by trying to mimic what others do. Allow your own unique, quirkiness to come through.

Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch?

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