Joining us for the first time on this year’s arts trail is artist and children’s book author/illustrator, Charlotte Brightwell. We met up with her to find out more about her work and what we can expect to find in her retro caravan come mobile studio at venue 8, 34 Nore Crescent, Emsworth PO10 7NB.
Who are you?
My name is Charlotte Brightwell and I live with my husband, daughter and our pet labrador.
What type of artist are you?
I mainly work in pen, pencil and charcoal to create portraits, greeting cards and prints. I cover a
range of subjects but have recently focussed on dog portraiture, horses and ballerinas.
Do you have a background in art/design – when did you first start your creative journey?
I studied art at A level and completed a joint art and education degree. During that time much of my
work centred around black and white photography which I think has influenced some of my current
pieces. Since leaving university, I have found opportunities to paint, draw and generally create: from
mural paintings on my daughter’s nursery wall to creating artwork for family gifts. During recent
years, I have produced greetings cards and prints which have been stocked in local stores and I have
written and illustrated a children’s book.
Can you describe your creative process?
I always start with a clear vision of what I want to achieve. I then spend quite a lot of time (often
hours or days) thinking it is all going wrong. Then it starts to transform and I can see where I was
heading. At this point I can’t wait to complete it. This sometimes means working into the early hours
so that I can see the end result.
What do you enjoy most about the process?
I love transforming a plain piece of paper into a work of art.
Can you describe your studio/workspace?
I am lucky enough to have two work spaces. The first being my childhood caravan now known as
‘Studio 85’. Having spent lots of time drawing in the 1970s caravan as a child, it seemed a great idea
to give it the love that it needed to bring it back to life and transform it into a work space that I can
escape to with nothing more than my pencils and paper.
When I need a bit more space to prepare for events like the Emsworth Arts Trail, use my computer, or it is a little cold outside, I use our spare
room which is slowly transforming into studio number two! I am looking forward to exhibiting my artwork from my retro caravan come mobile studio.
What keeps you going whilst you work – soundtrack? Snacks? A fluffy assistant?
I often listen to the radio whilst I work and I am always accompanied by my loyal assistant, Marely
the dog, who was the inspiration behind my dog portraiture work. When my daughter is on her
school holidays, she can often be found by my side with her paints, pens and anything glittery!
What can we expect to see from you on this years’ art trail?
You will find a range of dog themed greetings cards and prints as well as examples of my portrait
commission work. I will also have a selection of my ballerina charcoal drawings and some original
horse drawings. My book ‘Jungle Show’ will also be available to purchase.