Spotlight: A Textile Designer's Mind
Our guest curator, Natasha Marshall has collected this season's Spotlight online gallery. A trained textile designer Natasha currently runs a successful home ware company natashamarshall.com.
I have been very lucky to be surrounded all my life by wonderful artistic people who love to create with their hands or voices. I am designer but I was inspired by artists as a young person and later I studied at Glasgow School of Art. I think its important to keep a connection between art and design: they nurture each other.
I love Jill Finlay's work. We have Jill’s paintings all around our home including her degree show posters in our hallway and I love her personally too! I have to admit that Jill is my husband’s Mum! I am amazed at what a difference an artist can make in people’s lives, not just in terms of their output but in how they see things differently.
Jill uses a beautifully restrained palette with soft yet bright colour using oils. The eye is drawn to the texture of the paint and the pattern that appears in her work. I have been inspired to use similar shades, and of course I love texture. These picture have a wonderfully contemplative mood. I look at Jill’s work every day and it is part of my life.
Elizabeth Bruce is another painter who caught my eye as a textile designer, perhaps because like me, Elizabeth works with printing processes. Although Elizabeth is an artist, in common with many designers, she is inspired by everyday objects and natural forms. Her interest in form and use of shape is so elegant. She has amazing ability to position everything in the painting exactly as it should be to produce a beautiful sense of harmony.
Fiona Macleod was a ceramics graduate of Glasgow School of Art, and she describes herself as essentially a craftswoman but recently has returned to painting. And what painting! You can see the rich physical aesthetic of a potter in her work. Her l. It is Fiona’s brushwork, strong, dramatic and expressionistic, that to me, makes her work so exceptional.
Sheila MacMillan’s use of colour is lovely: At first sight her work is the most colourful of all the painters I have selected, but if one looks closely there is a discriminating balance of tone and shade that give the paint a happy and harmonious quality. Her brushwork seems so spontaneous as if it was done with one exact stroke of the brush, with no re-working. But to achieve such a result takes years of skill and practice.
All these painters inspire me on my journey. I’m impressed that some, like Fiona started in craft and became painters, or like Elizabeth are inspired by form. It makes me realise that creativity is not defined by skill set but by attitude and we can constantly learn from each other. I would like to say to all of them “Create work that you love so you are passionate about your creative journey.
And you’ll take others with you!"