Artist of the Month

Whatmore on Whatmore - An Interview with Nel Whatmore

As you may have read on the Gallery 42 homepage (, we are currently displaying the work of our May Artist of the Month, Nel Whatmore.

Tip Toe to the Sea - £3995

Nel Whatmore needs no introduction and we have a fine selection of her work on display. I conducted an interview with her the week of the exhibition and here is how the conversation went:

To start where all interviews start, how did you come to be an artist?

I became an artist initially because my parents were brave enough to encourage me to go and do a foundation course in Art and Design and to pursue what I loved, rather than to play safe and do a Geography degree at Durham. I then did a degree I didn't actually enjoy that much at Leeds but I enjoyed the life and afterwards went on a business course run by New Working Women in Leeds and learnt all the things you needed to know about being self employed. I started as a professional artist in a bedsit in Headingley making hand made cards, to generate enough income to print my first set of limited edition prints. I was awarded a grant by the Princes Youth Business Trust in 1986 which has been an invaluable help which enabled me to exhibit at major trade shows where I met publishers that I went on to work with for over 17 years.

What things have inspired you over your life and career? Do these things change and are some things lasting or enduring?

What has inspired me over my life and career? Wow, that's a big question! Again, my parents have inspired me to do whatever I do to the best of my ability. If it's worth doing, do it well; that adage has driven me on, on many an occasion. People inspire me as does beauty, the natural world and my endless fascination with colour and the effects it has on our loves and lives. The relationship between music and art interests me to and I paint better with loud music than with out. All of these are enduring. The reasons why I painted when I was 20 are not the reasons why I paint now. Hopefully the more you experience life the more there is to say.

How do these things impact your choice of subject matter?

The things that have inspired me directly effect how I work and my attitude to it but also the size and temper of each painting. In terms of subject matter it doesn't really matter whether I paint a sky or a sea or a flower it is usually all about the light and colour and movement rather than the object.


There are few artists, especially those working in Britain today, who can command your mediums so well, especially on such grand scales - why do you love pastel and why do you produce such large works?

I actually don't think they are that large; actually I would like to do them much much bigger but my favourite paper only comes in a limited size.

I love pastel as it's the closest you can be to actual pigment, it is sensuous and therefore evocative, not harsh and detached. Some how merely by being at the end of a brush you are already a step further away from what you wish to convey. It also has a warmth and a luminosity that I adore... I could go on.. suffice to say I love it.

Blue Sky Thinking - Price on Enquiry

You have some interesting views relating to colour, art and the relating perception of the two together? Do they impact your art?

How colours behave when sat next to each other will be a life long  journey of discovery for me, I feel. How it also contributes to our feelings of wellbeing is self-evident, as we all can judge from simply when the sky turns from grey to blue. We are what we paint and what colours I paint reflect often what is roaming around in my head.

You have a stand at the Chelsea Flower Show for the past 7 years and again this year - whats it like to move from small spaces like the Gallery to larger ones like at Chelsea? Do you prefer small or large events? 

As being an artist is for a large part a solitary occupation, it is rather weird at times to go from seeing no one for hours to seeing several hundred thousand within a week. I like both small and large events as you just never know who you're going to meet.

Nel's art will be up for the rest of May and I will post again shortly with what I consider to be highlights of the selection of works. These images are lent kindly by Nel from her website.

Barcelona Buskers - Price on Enquiry

Horsing Around - The art of Glynis Mills

This week, after apologising for my lengthy gaps between posts recently, I'll resume regular meanderings and begin so by discussing the art of our February/March Artist of the Month, Glynis Mills.

Firstly, my apology. Not many people read me on here but even so, to those who do, my apologies for the absence. I've been inundated with various burdens... Its time to resume doing this blog.

This week I'd like to promote the art of Glynis Mills. After making her our Artist of the Month back in February, we have decided to keep her on as our Artist of the Month through March as well.


Yes, we love her that much.

Glynis' art is quite different to a lot of the other work we have in the gallery. Here at Gallery 42 we pride ourselves on our ability to offer a diverse range of artwork that we love in one establishment, but even so Glynis' work just seems that bit different to a lot of our other work. Her printing style possesses a distinct luminosity that is unique in both execution and in appearance. By no means is Glynis a photo-realist, but her subjects seem to undergo a transformation that makes them look larger than life; realistic, yet embellished, the edges of their forms floating around their immediate presences. That is to say, she outlines her subjects using repeated contours of themselves.

I love how everything is ever so slightly exaggerated, especially in terms of the angles she places in her pieces. The pieces are not necessarily angular, but Glynis' use of straight lines throughout her composition helps add that sense of vivacity and liveliness that I so adore when I admire art.

I have included some highlights from the work of hers that we have on display. For more information regarding pricing and other such matters, please contact Gallery 42 on (UK landline) 01937 530 465. Glynis' work will be up until the week of the John Kaye exhibition (week commencing 18th March).


 This piece is probably my favourite out of the Mills we have on display. I love the space to the right of the cat and the way the left eye of the cat is central to the composition, around which the cat slowly fades into blue and white mist. This beautiful pen etching is a must have.


This is a detail shot of the above piece. The execution is seamless - I have one hell of a critical eye and I cannot fault this.

I love it!20130309-152022.jpg

Glynis is unique amongst our artists in another way in that a lot of her work is named through extracting song lyrics. Suspicious minds is one of my favourites because I love the way the personalities of the horses come across. All of the work we produce is based and studied from the real animals, which I think is fantastic.20130311-185451.jpgFinally, I would like to spotlight this work. I am surprised this one hasn't gone yet. The central figure conducts the animals who move with such grace and majesty despite their size. The lighting on this print is also worth discussing - The shadows are simple yet effective and the lighter horses contrast the human wonderfully.

With just over a week left to view and purchase Glynis Mills' wonderful artwork while its on display, I do hope you have the time to visit us. In my next blog I will be updating you with regards to the John Kaye exhibition and the new Julie Dodsworth gift section, both open to the public on Saturday 23rd March.