Art, as the saying goes, is the only way to run away without leaving home. Although not a permanent form of escape, art is a form of escapism and one we could use these uncertain days.
This week we introduce you to artist Tess Gray. Inspired by the world around her (anything from the environment itself to her life experiences), her work most often depicts eerily empty landscapes, but with a fantastical twist.
Born in South Wales and currently based in Cardiff, Gray’s images depict the meeting point between realism and surrealism. Relying on studies from life, automatic sketching, and found images, her toolbox includes brushes, palette knives, and a field easel.
“I would say my practice is project-based,” she told Jackson’s Art, explaining her creative process, “but honestly, I tend to ascribe to the ‘I’ll paint what I want, when I want’ attitude. If a subject captivates me, or I think of a composition, I’ll go with it.”
“I’m of the opinion that painting and drawing are fundamentally the same thing,” adds Gray. “Oil paint is the material I sketch with most naturally for landscapes, but for figures I favor dry media. After working in acrylic as a teenager, I switched to oil. The vibrancy of the colors in oil and the texture was inimitable and I never went back. I just discovered an affinity with it and find it so versatile.”
Her work, in its versatility, is open for interpretation.