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Bridget Davies Illustration / Painting

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Bridget Davies, London, UK
Bridget Davies brings her knowledge as an embroiderer and fashion designer to her art. “I love to paint elegant women, in beautiful clothes, in glamorous settings….” Bridget Davies.
Zoneone Arts is delighted to bring Bridget Davies to you…

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You have been involved in fashion discuss this in relation to your series ‘What to Wear when Walking the Dog’.

My collection ‘What to Wear When walking the Dogs’ is all about wearing elegant impracticable outfits. Dog walking involves a lot of foot work, and quite often muddy parks or fields, and I think there is something quite fun about wearing whatever you would like despite this. Be this in a lovely elegant leopard print coat, or even a ball gown, these ladies steal the show!

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Anthea and Albert,  Watercolour ink, 34 x 35cm

How many are there in this series, is it on going?

I have no idea! It’s been going a while and they sell well and are fun to paint so I will keep going. I am thinking of trying a related but slightly different subject matter at some point… black cats!

How do you make a decision on the number within a series?

I don’t. I either run out of ideas or need a break, or I just carry on painting.

Can you explain how one series or painting has lead you to the next?

The Big Night Out series is ongoing and is about parties, dress and flirting. I usually work with comments that I have head or from real life experiences.

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 In Their Little Black Dresses, Watercolour ink, 37 x 36cm

You have mixed art and fashion completely in limited edition silk scarves.  Expand on how this union came about from the idea to packaging and sales?

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I collect vintage silk scarves and have always wanted to design and produce my own collection of these.

Using favourite images from my original art.  Open edition silk scarfs, are digitally printed and beautifully hand hemmed in the UK.

All scarves come wrapped in black tissue and are presented in a hand painted gift box – The perfect gift!

Silk Scarf – Rose

Discuss composition using 2 or 3 paintings?

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If you hang out with Dave you’ll get all the art girls, Acrylic ink and gold leaf, 68 x68cm

‘If you hang out with Dave you’ll get all the art girls’ is one of my current favourites. This was based on a comment my friend made about someone he spent time with at university. It also happens that my dad is called Dave and my mum is an artist… so the painting was born! I don’t really know about the composition. This one is a triangle format, as are some of the ‘Walking the Dogs’ such as ‘Anthea and Albert’.  I try not to be scared of space. It can be a tempting to paint on all areas of the paper but sometimes less is more and I have to pull the reins on myself.

 Expand on the importance of Art Fairs, Galleries and high end shops to your work and sales?

Artist led art fairs have been of fundamental importance to moving forward in my career, both for expanding my business and gaining exposure. I have two publishers, two London agents, who take my work to fairs abroad, and make a decent amount of sales from exhibiting work at these. They are time consuming and very hard work but if the fair has a good footfall and is in a popular accessible location they can do wonders…. and are fun!

My favourite artist lead fair is called The Other Art Fair (and they have just started a new fair in Sydney)
http://www.theotherartfair.com

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Lipstick and Nail Polish, Watercolour ink and 22ct moon gold leaf, 45 x 45cm

 In your fashion work you go back to the 50’s explain how influential this period has been to fashion and you personally?

That classic ageless beauty expressed by the fashions of the time holds a fascination for me, managing to be refined and elegant but with its own uniquely flirtatious undercurrent. The fashion illustrators of that period have always been a major influence on me, although so are many of the fashion artists and illustrators working today. Truth be told, my favourite fashion purchases are usually vintage pieces from that period.

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 Red Flower Hat, Watercolour ink, 22ct gold leaf,43 x34cm

Can you discuss your groupings of found objects?

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Circle of Evening Shoes, watercolour ink 22crt champagne gold leaf, 43 x 43cm

There is no particular reason. They make interesting patterns, be it symmetrical or not. There always seems to be a natural balance that evolves with the asymmetrical ones.

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Teatime Circle

‘Place’, is very evident in your work – London is a key element discuss. 
Royalty is also a very strong part of your work, discuss the process of painting “Red Crown”.

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National
To answer both of the questions above, the year I worked on the royal and London based themes was the same year that the Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee were happening in the UK.

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 Tower Bridge Handbag

Firstly I was asked to produce the fashion paintings with a royal theme for a large department store in London, to be sold as prints during the two events. I got a little carried away with the theme and the architecture! I love London!
Titles for your work add that extra sparkle, you often use a play on words, for example ‘The Royal Courts’, expand on this.

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The Royal Courts

 The paintings, such as the ones in The Big Night Out series, quite often start with the title and I go from there. It varies how I name the others. I do like to play with words but am not really sure how it happens.

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Contact details.

Bridget Davies

me@bridgetdaviesart.co.uk
www.bridgetdaviesart.co.uk

Interview by Deborah Blakeley, February, 2016

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