Jenny Westbrook  – Saturday 16th September 2017

Jenny started her art career after going on an art course after her children were older. She has more recently used pastels for her work and has been doing this solidly for the last 18 months. She explained that using pastels gave her the immediacy and intuitive response to her life of influences rather than mulling over a painting.  Her work is abstract and she bases her work on the influences of memories and objects that surround her that she sees in the corner of her eye. She will put up images she likes around her but will not directly copy these into her work. They merely act as an influence.

Jenny explained that she has no fixed idea where to start, except for the colour which she limits to neutrals for her initial starting point. It helps her to start drawing shapes and maps out by dividing the page into sections editing and adding as she goes. She brings the areas together using lines that tie up the elements on the page.

Once the basics are mapped out Jenny suggested that it’s always a good point to go and make a cup of tea and stand back from her work. Occasionally she comes back to it a few days later with fresh eyes to see what works and what doesn’t, she explained her work is ever evolving.

If at the point she needs more energy she will then listen to music which helps invigorate her and her work. Finding new pieces of music seems to be more beneficial. Feeling bogged down with a piece or its starting point, she suggested that we all think of the work as doodles. Sometimes it’s like doodling while you’re on the phone, you’re more relaxed about it. That’s when Jenny suggested a couple of glasses of wine will help! It breaks down the apprehension, don’t worry about the results.

After getting the main sections working, Jenny reworked areas using soft but quite large brushes to soften the hard edges of lines and continued to add shapes and lines with more intense colours to give it a zing.

She explained that when to finish, comes with practice and knowing what marks have no purpose. So she gets rid of them walks away and re-evaluates the piece, reworking it if it needs it.

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