Spotlight on painter June Marshall
See more of June’s work at www.juno-collections.co.uk
Being an artist
Please give us a few words of introduction about yourself
Hi, I’m June Marshall from Scotland, now living in Co Antrim, in Ireland, in an apartment that looks onto the sea and has a lovely balcony: all very inspiring.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
I was always interested in art, used to draw on every bit of paper I could find. I started painting for a craft shop in my home town of Fraserburgh when I was 14 and got more involved with art from then on.
What training did you have?
I went to Robert Gordon’s University, Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen where we were trained in every aspect of art for two years; then I chose Design and Crafts for my 3rd and 4th year. First of all I got a DA and then uppgraded to a Bachelor of Arts Degree.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
Looking back on the volumes of varied artwork I’ve done over 40 years; becoming an Art Lecturer for the various colleges of N. Ireland was a great high-point in my career. I am so pleased that I am still selling artwork 40 years after starting Art College.
What’s your favourite quote?
The greatest Artist ever, is the Lord God who created everything
Who is your favourite artist?
What are you aiming for?
To be an artist until the day I die, to learn as much about techniques and forms of art as I can.
How will you get there?
I will continue to pursue perfection as an artist and glean all I can from books and videos and online instructions.
Is anything holding you back?
Sometimes I lack inspiration but in Venice four years ago, I had a great burst of energy and couldn’t stop painting and sketching, it was so inspiring and breathtaking! I felt I was in Artists’ Heaven as I studied the paintings at Peggy Guggenheim’s Art Gallery in her unfinished Venetian Palace.
You and art
What feelings or reactions do you hope to arouse in people who view your work? Are you ever surprised by reactions that you get?
I hope to stimulate viewers’ appreciation of form, colour and texture. I hope they will see many of artistic skills and principles coupled with creativity in my contemporary and abstract paintings yet not be too bored with my traditional work such as portraits and calligraphy.
From start to finish, how long does it take for you to create your work?
I spend quite a bit of time planning a painting or artwork; once I’ve decided what I am going to paint or sculpt, I set out all my equipment neatly and then commence to do the piece of art. The planning may take a month, on and off, and the painting, perhaps a week. If it’s an oil painting, it could take a year, so it’s very variable.
What music do you like to listen to when you work?
I like to listen to classical music or even some old hymns performed on various old instruments such as a clavischord or a harmonium.
What are you working on next? Any future plans or projects in the pipeline that we should look out for?
I am working on a series of paintings for various social welfare groups; I want them to be emotive, moving the public to feel for the causes represented in the paintings and sculptures. I have an exhibition to set up for next December and am planning it to be like a journey of how the social welfare groups help people to transform their lives.
Being inspired by art
Who (living or dead) inspires you? and why?
Rolf Harris inspires me because of his warm nature and his great skills that have lead him to be an artist for nearly 50 years. His work is so versatile and skilled but also contemporary.
What feelings, subjects or concepts inspire you as an artist?
We live in a world of people who are struggling, so the mental challenges that face them inspire me to try to depict those emotions on canvas. On the brighter side, I love to paint children on the beach, playing and swimming.
What is your favourite work that you’ve produced so far and why?
My series on Portugal was a joy to paint because of the brilliant colours. In comparison with, ‘The Emerald Isle’ which is dull and rainy, the brilliant sunshine brightened up the whole of Portugal and I noticed so many bright colours that I rarely notice in the UK, which feels very grey most of the time.
an artist’s advice
For those thinking about turning a passion for art into a career, could you give any advice?
I’d advise budding commercial artists to be totally committed to the hard slog of selling work. I’d advise them also to never give up and just be dedicated to developing their skills and creativity. I think it’s practical to have a part-time job with a regular income to cover the times when their art may not be selling well. We have to be realistic that the world is swamped with artists and not everyone can make a lucrative career out of it.
Any tips on how to get your work seen and get the commissions coming in?
Look for venues to exhibit your art. Restaurants, Cafes, Shops, public venues, libraries and other public places are the best exposure for anyone to get commissions or sell their existing work. Get some business cards printed and send them to every gallery in your area, asking them to exhibit one or more of their paintings.