Friday, August 14, 2009

An interview with Derek Gale

Q – Could you introduce yourself briefly to the readers?

My name is Derek Gale and I live Watchfield – where the wind turbines are - although I’m originally from the wilder, Heathland, side of Surrey.

Invisible Beauty 27 by Derek Gale

Q - How did you become interested in art?

I’ve been a photographer since I was a little boy, and had an inspiring Art teacher at school, Mr Wills. His nickname was “Fag End”*. I remember our class being given a description of Breugel’s painting “Hunters in the snow”, and then us having to draw/paint our interpretation of it. The results were fascinating.

* W D & H O Wills company used to make cigarettes.

Q - What inspires you most as an artist?

I’m inspired by how some artists can make a single brush stroke or pencil line perfectly represent a place, a person or creature, or even an emotion.

Invisible Beauty 32 by Derek Gale

Q - What is your favourite medium or media? Why?

My current favourite medium is photography – although I have started painting in acrylics. Very, very much a beginner with those though!

Q - Could you tell us some more about your work?

It has different areas and freedoms. In one area, as a professional portrait photographer, I am constrained to an extent by needing to please the client. With my Fine Art photography I only have to please myself, so I can take images free of any constraints.

Invisible Beauty 36 by Derek Gale

Q - How would you define your style?

I try and keep things simple. Whilst some of my latest abstract Fine Art images seem complex on first examination, there is an underlying simplicity, either in their colour palette or the compositional structure.

Q - What are your influences; artists from the past or present who inspire you?

In my portrait photography I’m influenced by such photographers as Richard Avedon and Jane Bown, and love the work of National Geographic photographer Tim McCurry. My Fine Art photography style has been influenced a lot by an old Kodak Desk diary! There are some wonderful “landscape abstractions” in there, especially by Gwen Fidler and Willard Clay.

Q - How do you choose the subjects of your works?

To some extent I am driven by events. For example, my current series of images came out of an attempt to take another sort of image. I saw the results and loved them, even though they weren’t what I wanted to do.

Invisible Beauty 48 by Derek Gale

Q- How do you prepare yourself for an exhibition or a show like the Open Studios?

I am preparing for Open Studios by producing a small series of large (1 metre wide), colourful, abstract photographic images that are printed on a surprising medium. The results should be very eye-catching!

Q- Did you take part in the Swindon Open Studios in the past?

This is my first Open Studio, although I have exhibited in Oxfordshire Artweeks, and had solo shows including The Wyvern Theatre and the Western Library.

Invisible Beauty 73 by Derek Gale

Q - Are there territories (media, subjects, etc.) you want to explore in the coming years?

As previously mentioned, I am trying to get to grips with acrylics. I don’t exclude mixing paint, computer editing, and photography together. The latest mixed media work by David Hockney is very interesting.

Q - As an artist, what would be your dream?

I would love someone who is building a new hotel to commission me to provide all the art for the public spaces and bedrooms.

Q - Could you share one thing that you have learnt in your own art practice that would be useful to other artists?

“Look different”: meaning that they should try and look at things in a different way. A useful tip is to turn an object upside down, which gets you away from its familiar outline and context.

Make sure you visit
Derek Gale’s website to see more of his work.

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