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A self taught local artist, Avril's work demonstrates her natural talent and eye for detail, here she gives us an insight into her work and life.

Her latest collection is a series of pencil drawings of a well-known area of Lerwick,‘Da Lodberries’, which can be seen in the Lower Gallery at Bonhoga until 15 July 2018.

Where do you do your work?

Most of my artwork is produced on my kitchen worktop much to my husband’s delight! I would really love a little workshop or studio to work from but unfortunately, my garden is not big enough to build one.

Who or what do you draw inspiration from?

My childhood playgrounds are a constant source of inspiration for me. Growing up in Lerwick, I loved playing in the lanes and exploring at the South End; now I love drawing these places.

I am fascinated by the different textures and shades, especially of the cobbles, the unusual doorways and the old stone buildings, as well the ebb and flow of the tide there.

The way the light can change the atmosphere of these places is also inspiring.

How long does it tend to take you to complete a piece?

Approximately 10-12 hours to complete a pencil drawing.

What is next for you? Anything exciting?

My plan for the next few months is explore Shetland while the weather is lovely and to enjoy all the beautiful wild flowers. I plan to visit Unst along with some of the other beautiful isles. I am hoping my summer adventures will give me inspiration for a new collection of oil paintings or possibly watercolours. I also think it would be nice to have a break, and enjoy some quality time with my family. I have no exact plans for my next art collection; however, I am considering another collection of Shetland croft houses incorporating more natural colours.

However, I have learned not to plan to far ahead, and to follow my heart!

Do you make your craft full time or do you have another job?

I work as a full time SVQ Assessor at Shetland College, art is my hobby. I have been extremely busy with my side-line over the past couple few years. I hope to one-day practice as an artist full time. The dream may become a reality once I have finished paying off my mortgage!

What are my most popular pieces?

People love my pencil drawings of the Lanes, and equally adore my croft house paintings. My all-time best seller is a limited edition print of a pencil drawing of the Market Cross, called: kinda weet wye at da Market Cross.

If you could own another artist’s work, who would you choose and why?

I absolutely love Ruth Brownlee’s artwork, it’s so atmospheric and it captures the true power and beauty of the sea.

What motivates you to do what you do?

It’s difficult to describe exactly what motivates me. I suppose it is a combination of lots of things:

My love of drawing and painting, the feeling of achievement, once a piece of artwork is complete, the sense of happiness when others enjoy my work.

Also the ongoing challenge of developing my skills further, and ultimately producing better and better work.


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