Sunday, 31 August 2014

David Pettibone and Nikki Gardham

One of the highlights of the residency at Dumfries House for me was getting to know the other artists who were also doing residencies at Dumfries House.

David Pettibone, Nikki Gardham and I all shared accommodation in the artists lodge, and although we each had a separate studio, they were all housed in the same building.

I really enjoyed spending time with Nikki and David. It was fascinating to find out about their backgrounds and varied working practices. Although we have had different educational experiences, work in different ways and address different concerns through the work we make, we have a lot of shared interests, for instance art and education.

David Pettibone is based in New York and completed his BA Painting Degree at Rhode Island School of Design, followed by a MFA in Painting at New York Academy of Art. He is an experienced Painting tutor, regularly exhibits his work and has been on a number of international residencies.

In 2013 David spent several months with the Inupiat Eskimo people of Barrow, Alaska and experienced the whaling culture. He is creating a series of paintings that depict the subsistence whaling culture of the Inupiat Eskimo people of Barrow, Alaska and the tradition’s integration into a modern Arctic coastal community.

It seems so appropriate for David to be using oil paint for these paintings as the texture of meat seems to be brought out by the paint's properties.

Whilst at Dumfries House, David has been working on paintings of trees. It has been fascinating for me to see the development of the paintings, and the stages that the painting goes through before reaching its finished state.

I have great admiration for David's amazing observational and technical skills, evident not only in his landscapes, but in his portraits and life drawing too.

More of his work can be seen via his website:

Likewise, Nikki Gardham has an exceptional talent for drawing people. She is able to capture the person and transfer it onto the page.

I admire Nikki's energetic and free style of drawing, and I very much enjoy her quick studies which have a fresh and uncomplicated feel to them.

I am attracted to the layers that Nikki builds up on the paper and appreciate the way that she incorporates the background into features within the drawings.

Nikki uses a variety of inks, paints and drawing materials to create varied surfaces. Seeing her work has encouraged me to explore the properties of acrylic and water based ink and how they react to each other.

Nikki also has vast experience in teaching art, and has done many interesting projects. She studied at the Princes Drawing School.

Nikki had been at Dumfries House for a month, so had built up a considerable amount of work, and David has completed 2 weeks of his 4 week period at Dumfries House. More of her work can be seen on her website:

I look forward to seeing more of the work that David makes in his remaining time at Dumfries House.

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