Sunday, 15 July 2012

Gillian Toft (artist)

 I first spotted Gillian Toft's work at the Da Vinci Hotel & Art Gallery which is in Howard Square, just off the seafront. The Grade II listed building features pieces by local artists throughout the downstairs reception rooms and the public are welcome to pop in and view the art from 10:00 to 17:00 daily. Obviously, if you choose to stay at the Da Vinci, you can see the art at any time! 

Gillian's contribution to the exhibition was several paintings from her 'Memories of the Sea' series, painted in oils and acrylics. I particularly liked the detail that she included and the brighter than life colours. The aspects of Eastbourne's beach that she sees - the pebbles and groynes - can appear drab and dull in everyday life, but become beautiful when viewed through her eyes.

Gillian both lives and works in Eastbourne. She has always loved drawing and painting and studied Fine Art & Italian at Exeter University. This experience led her to work and teach in Italy for six years. Since her return to Britain, Gillian has worked as a professional illustrator with commissions including publishers such as the Oxford University Press, Collins. Ginn and the Scripture Union. 

She has also continued to teach art locally and currently runs an Art Group on Thursday mornings at St Saviour's church hall (on the junction of South Street and Spencer Road). The group is taking a summer break on the 26th of July and the 2nd of August but will continue on the 9th August. Please contact Gillian directly if you would like to join the group. There may also be a watercolour painting class reforming at the Da Vinci Hotel on Thursday afternoons from September if enough interest is shown. Again, please contact Gillian directly for details.

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