Wednesday 6 March 2013

Funky Artists: A Day In The Life Of....Gina Wright

Gina Wright - Dune Grasses

Welcome to the latest in our series of interview with the fabulous featured artists at Funky Scottish.  We take a peek behind the artwork, into the everyday lives of these talented people.  We discover how they seek out inspiration, structure their day and tap into their natural creativity to produce the pieces that are showcased at galleries and boutiques like Funky Scottish.  Also, if you're dreaming of becoming an artist - as a hobby or professionally - this series will provide an invaluable insight into the many different ways to craft a successful and fulfilling creative, artistic lifestyle.  Now, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Gina Wright....

Hi Gina. Thanks for taking the time to chat. Firstly, where do you live?

Wormit in North East Fife, great views and countryside.

Gina Wright - Studio View

Tell us about your studio or work space – where is it, what’s it like?

When I am at home my studio is within the house. It overlooks the Tay across to Dundee. With this orientation it has the prized 'north light' which doesn't change dramatically on me. When out and about my husband and I have a VW camper van and this becomes a mobile studio. When visiting the Western Isle there are quite a few locations you can camp next to the beach. Barra Beach being great for it's view of incoming planes which land on the beach.

Gina Wright - Campervan at Barra Airport
Gina Wright -  Mobile Studio View

 How would you describe your art?

I hope my art encapsulate moments in time. Spontaneity! I love to try to get vitality and life into my work. Movement and light are also important elements in my work.  

I like these quotes by Sergei Bongart:-

"I have to get it out quick or I cool off"

"Art is more than a product of your efforts – it should be about feeling, life, attitude, soul."

Tell us a little about your background and how you uncovered your love of art?

I have always loved to draw and paint. I think I was born with a pencil in my hand! My primary school teacher in Argyll got us to sit out front and the rest of the class would do a drawing of their class mate. I remember when I sat for the class the teacher gave me her drawing to keep. It was so amazing it totally inspired me and probably sowed a seed of creativity in me.

Gina Wright - Waters Edge

Tell us how you began your life as an artist?

I studied Textiles at Galashiels College of Textiles. I went on to have my own business making ball gowns and wedding dresses. I never stopped sketching whenever I could. The route into fine art came about when I got the opportunity on a holiday to Loch Rannoch to do a painting session. The artist I worked with encouraged me to keep it up. I am truly thankful for that as I have not stopped since!

Which elements of your surroundings provide you with the most inspiration?

I love the natural world. I want my emotional response to my surroundings to come through in my paintings. Being near the sea is a great source of inspiration to me.

Gina Wright - Sketching On Barra

Aside from your immediate surroundings, where do you gather inspiration?

Various books and art journals. If I have painters block, looking back at sketch books rekindles the fire.

How do you begin your day?

Before I have breakfast I like to do some stretches. My cat Xena likes to watch me do them! I feed the various birds that visit the garden. I have a beautiful male pheasant who visits regularly. He is really tame and greets me in the morning. The deal is he poses and I feed him. I also get a red squirrel visiting too.  I then do some household chores before I check e-mails, follow up correspondences etc. Then I can wander up to the studio and put music on that always helps motivation. In the afternoon, I like to go out and sketch weather permitting.

Gina Wright - Tombow Brush Pen Sketch

Do you have any creative rituals? (eg. in the style of Julia Cameron’s book ‘The Artist’s Way’ – journaling, time-out walks etc)

To encourage myself to get started, which can often become a stumbling point, I set a kitchen timer and say to myself I will sketch something for 30mins. That is so often the catalyst to getting me off to a flying start. I just can't stop once I start sometimes.   Often I think there are parallels with athletes in that to do well you need to practice lots and do warm up exercises. Painting is about the only thing I know where I lose sense of time and place and never feel hungry.

How do you structure your day?

I prefer to paint in natural daylight so I make the most of daylight hours, either in the studio or outside. Sometimes I take the easel out into the garden on a nice afternoon.

How do you “switch off” and relax away from your work?

Swimming, gardening, walking. However being an artist is a life long passion and it means you are always on the look out for potential subjects to paint.  Even when I am relaxing I am considering what might make a good subjects. Often the best ideas come about during down time.

Gina Wright - Roe Deer

In which ways do you find you most relate to other artists?

Their enthusiasm and excitement about art. Also the fact that we on an endless learning curve on our journey of art making.

What are the most typical daily challenges for you as an artist?

Getting started, simplification.

Gina Wright - Outdoor Still Life
 What are the most typical everyday rewards?

Delight in everyday things seen around me. It gives me a child like view of the world around me. When I am sketching or studying a subject it makes me appreciate it all the more. We are always learning from nature and our surroundings.

"Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one."

 - Stella Adler

Gina Wright - Rose Street Umbrellas In Progress
Gina Wright - Rose Street Umbrellas Pastel

Describe your ideal day at work – feel free to daydream!  Or, tell us about a working day that you remember for being truly wonderful!

I remember one day when we were visiting my brother in Canada and I had gone out on to the beach at the lake shore. It was a windy day and I was making small sketches of the waves and occasional person walking by. Eventually my brother came looking for me as the weather was getting quite rough. He took one look at the sketch I had been doing and said "You need to change the dog, it does not look like Ewan (their dog)!!" That painting paid for my keep!

How did you begin exhibiting at Funky Scottish?

I met Karen a few years ago when I started buying her lovely cheerful ceramics. After the Pittenweem Arts Festival last year, Karen asked if I would like to show some of my work at Funky Scottish.

What advice you would give you anyone dreaming of doing what you do – or something similar?

Start the journey. Don't wait until you think you will have more time. Fit in 30 minute slots into the day and sketch or paint and see what happens. Join an art club, as painting with fellow artists is fun and inspirational. It's a journey that is not always easy. However, it is very rewarding.

Tell us about any upcoming projects or special dates in your diary?

I have demonstration at Stirling Art Club and a pastel workshop at Winchburgh. In August I will be at the Pittenweem Arts Festival, my venue is outside on the West Shore with fantastic views out over the water.

Gina Wright - The Wave, St Andrews, Pastel

Finally, give us your top tip for a creative working day!

Broken down into 3:-

1.Time to contemplate, daydream and observe nature. Down time always allows creative input.

2. My Tombow brush pens in lovely neutral tones. I do simplified sketches to inspire my next painting. I carry them around with me all the time.

3. Plenty of boards or canvases pre-prepared with a painting ground. They can then be grabbed when the notion takes you and you have the flow. No time wasted when that opportunity strikes.

Thanks Gina!

Find Gina's website at and you can also view her blog at

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