26 Oct 2018

Gill Bustamante is a professional artist based in the UK and she paints nature inspired paintings in oil on large canvases. Her painting style is a fusion of Expressionist, Impressionist, a little Art Nouveau and something she refers to as ‘Memory Impressionism’. Her paintings often have slightly mystical elements within them.

What is your background like? 
I was brought up in a grey London suburb and absolutely hated it. I wanted trees and fields, and wildlife and I had bricks and grime and roadkill and, worse still, an allergy to furry animals. This no doubt influenced the art I make now as I still am uninterested in man-made objects and am only really happy near fields and forests and seas. My paintings are a little fairy-tale-ish ( hint of better worlds and spaces without being too removed from this one).

How did you start making art?
It started as a toddler with a packet of felt pens and a pile of scrap paper that my lovely dad gave me and never stopped. It was the only thing I thought I was good at and as a very shy girl it was the only thing that anyone ever noticed me for. I loved it too though as there is nothing as beautiful as feeling fully in control of something and being able to create new realities and possibilities as you can with art. I grew up, went to Art College, got a degree and have been at it ever since whether as a sculptress, a portrait painter, an illustrator, a muralist or any other art form that could make me a bit of money. Nowadays I paint and sell online which was not an option when I was younger, but it is now (thank goodness).

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
I like to call myself a ‘memory impressionist’. I walk in the countryside or by the sea, travel or even just watch wildlife documentaries and then paint an impression from memory of what I have seen. I do use photos for references with animals or birds, but the landscape and seascapes I paint are usually my faithful recounting of what I have seen from memory. I like this as they are not realistic and not abstract but stand somewhere in between.

oil painting by Gill Bustamante

Gloriously Free Under the Sea,oil painting by Gill Bustamante

Which artist of the past would you like to meet?
Gustav Klimt. I love the fact that he was a fabulously skilled portrait painter and landscape artist and yet developed a unique way to use these skills along with liberal amounts of gold leaf. I would also like to meet Banksy – especially since the recent escapade of shredding his artwork at Sotheby’s – l loved that. And even Grayson Perry as he has done so much for making art real to people by gently teasing the hypocrisies of the established art world.

Why do you love what you do?
Because I am good at it and enjoy doing it and also teaching others to do it. I find myself less and less interested in the tiresome stuff going on in politics and other human turmoil and more and more interested in trying to create something better. I like to think I can inspire other people with my paintings – even if it just prompts them to go out and walk in the country. Humans are spiritual beings, and they need to be reminded of this in the face of a world that is way too material.

Timeless-Meadow by Gill Bustamante

Timeless Meadow,oil painting by Gill Bustamante