ARTISTS / Nicola Gregory
I was born in Swansea in South Wales in 1960. Growing up in the lush countryside of the Gower Peninsular was very inspiring and I loved the changing seasons, the nature and the coast with its beautiful beaches - there was always something to draw and capture my imagination. I studied illustration at Swansea Collage of Art and was then awarded a bursary to study advanced graphics and illustration at post-graduate level at St. Martins School of Art in London.
I have worked as a freelance illustrator, painter and surface designer for over 35 years working from my studio in central London. My work has featured in many books and magazines as well as on greetings cards and packaging. Alongside my illustration work, I regularly exhibit at the Royal Watercolour Society in Bankside and have been featured in shows at the Mall Gallery from R.S.B.A., the Society of Women Artists, the Lynne Painter-Stainers Prize, The Sunday Times Watercolour Show and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours. Recently, I was delighted to be invited to exhibit at the Wales Contemporary 2019 for the first time.
I paint every day. My paintings are mainly still-life, mostly staged groups of objects from around my home. There is a design element in the layout, and I like to use bold areas of ﬂat colour, framing more detailed areas by reﬂection. As a child, I had a glass menagerie and was attracted by the transparent nature of the glass; the layering and how the colours changed when they were overlaid. Using watercolours later enabled me to replicate the qualities I loved so much as a child. I also like to use doll’s house furniture in my painting as it helps create a sense of proportion and tell a story.”
Colour is very important to me and my paintings start with my feelings for a place, the colour is the mood. After spending last summer looking at impressionist art in Paris, I wanted to try and combine my more realistic style with something more simplistic and almost naive. Experimenting in ﬂatter block colour has been a theme for me this year.
Recently I have been painting the land beside the sea; the shore itself. This takes me back to my childhood. I have also been enjoying painting outside in places such as North Wales, Gower and, most recently, a chilly February spent on the Isle of Skye. I like to travel around Europe and The Caribbean and will always have my concertina watercolour pad in my bag in case I am inspired.