Sussex professional fine artist and art tutor Gill Bustamante isn’t just an amazing painter—she’s also a born comedian! She wryly confesses that unlike many other artists she is not arty, deep, mysterious or even troubled. Instead, she claims she could be inspired by anything. . . even a slice of cake! When she threw in this comment, it was clear her work had to be showcased:
“I plan to pretend I am dead at some point to sell more paintings,” she said.
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A sense of humor isn’t the only thing Gill possesses. It’s also clear she’s full of life and love for her subject matter—whether it’s a playful kitten, a gilded forest, or an enormous poppy field. Gill uses impasto paint to create her landscapes, seascapes, and wildlife portraits, many of which feature skewed, exciting perspectives.
Mad English Summer Garden, for example, is an landscape architect’s dream. Brilliant gold roses edged in red poke up on either side of a dirt-packed path, brightening the journey of everyone who passes. Beyond the roses, purple flowers line up to meet the sky, straining for sunlight as they compete against dense forest and leafy trees.
The composition is compelling—the flowers curve around the frame, similar to a fisheye-lensed photograph, crowding out the sky with beautiful colors and scalloped lines that seem to dance straight off the canvas. Those expressive, thick dabs and strokes of color tell a lot about the playfulness of this painting. . . it’s not one to be taken too seriously, but instead, seriously enjoyed.
The first thing I noticed in Gill’s next painting, entitled Koi Ballet, below, are the blue and orange complimentary colors which are so striking together.
The second thing that grabbed me is the shimmer of wet scales brought to life through tiny flecks of competing orange, yellow and red hues. The third was the swirling pattern the koi create as they swim toward each other before rapidly turning away, like a fishy game of chicken (now that’s something you don’t hear too often!)
Each of the fish create millions of bubbles and tiny waves that give the painting wonderful movement. It reminds me of the koi pond at the Henry Doorly Zoo, where a quarter will get you food pellets to throw into the pond. The fish go crazy for it, swirling and swimming around each other, creating such a unique blend of colors in the water and reflected sunlight that it distorts their singular shapes into one.
Panic at the Waterhole is the most realistic of the paintings we’re looking at today, and Gill did a remarkable job making each of the three, separate panels cohesive.
The colors and objects in the background are muted, as if the dirt stirred up by the zebras created a dusty barrier between the viewer and the far landscape. The zebras’ stripes are alarmingly beautiful and hypnotizing, and the fact that they are brown makes them stand out even more than the stark black and white stripes they are known for.
Everything about the painting, from the natural setting to the herd of zebras running straight out of the canvas, is wild, raw and real—truly, nature at its best.
Each of Gill’s paintings is a wonderful story. . . whether it’s a story about animals, seascapes, or springtime florals. Each one opens a whole new world for the viewer, with a new adventure just waiting to be begun. Be sure to visit her website today and take in the rest of her lovely works!
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