Sit Down With Our April '21 Featured Artist
Camilla Gardner (nee Edwards) was born in County Durham in 1963.
After 5 years of successful study at major art schools in England, Camilla became aware of a gap in her artistic education, which she addressed by enrolling at the prestigious Florence Academy of Arts.
There, in an institution dedicated to the return to discipline in art and to the direct study of nature and the Old Masters as the foundation for great painting, she received the highest level of instruction in the classical methods of drawing .
Looking back on her time in Florence, Camilla realises that her experience of the Academy was, undoubtedly, the most stimulating part of her training as an artist and a key element in the success of her subsequent career, enabling her to capture not only a true likeness of favourite pets and animals, but also a reflection of their character, in her work.
Where do you look to for inspiration when creating?
I find my greatest inspiration from all around me, in the natural world. There are endless possibilities in nature. Of course, I do also love to look at art exhibitions and I have a huge backlog of commissions, which is a constant source of inspiration.
What are your favourite subjects/projects to focus on and why?
I adore birds. They are a favourite subject to focus on because of their flowing shapes as well as the interesting colours and patterns in their feathers.
Do you have a favourite flower?
Honestly, I love all flowers. My go to will be whatever plant is in season ha ha.
What do you like most about being an artist?
I very much enjoy being my own boss. I like to do some things a little differently so being my own boss removes any limitations. Another one of my favourite things is also making people happy when they buy something they love. I think making people happy is what art is all about.
Summer, Winter, Autumn or Spring?
Hmmmmmmm…. I think I like Summer the most, but they all have their strong points, especially when it comes to art… so I love them all!!
What is the most difficult part of being an artist?
I do find that criticism is sometimes really difficult to handle. I think you really have to come to terms with and understand that you just can’t please everyone. Sometimes you just have to accept that and move on.
At what age did you start creating?
I was very young when I first start creating, drawing and painting. I can’t even remember how old I was exactly but my grandmother was an artist so she really encouraged me to start from a very early age. I love her for it!
Have you always known that you wanted to be an artist?
Yes, I have always known that I wanted to be an artist. Although I did toy a little with the idea of doing something in the field of sports, which something else that I love. But ultimately, I love being an artist.
What is your preferred medium to work with?
I like to use a variety of different mediums, but I do find that it will depend on what mood I’m in at the time, which will have a big influence on what I’ll use. It’s very interesting how your mood can affect your art and your choices. Pastel and watercolour are my most common go to but I am trying to expand my medium choices and I would really like to get better atusing oil.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Just go for it! What’s the worst that could happen?
Is there a moment in your artistic career that you are most proud of?
Best and most memorable moment by far was winning a prize at the Royal Academy in The Stowell Trophy
My wonderfully cute and best dog in the world, Mojo. He trumps all.
Is your work available for purchase? If so, where from?
Yes! You can find my work via my website camillagardner.co.uk and on my Instagram!
Anything else you’d like to mention?
Please also mention my fundraising challenge for The Royal Marsden Hospital. I will be painting a picture every day during April and selling them on my Instagram with 100% of the money raised going to the charity.