Amiria Gale Facts

Amiria Gale is an artist and teacher from New Zealand. She is best known for her paintings of shells.

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon product images that include affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Primary Facts earns from qualifying purchases.

Facts About Amiria Gale

  • Amiria Gale was born in 1979. Her father was a fisherman, and her mother was a teacher.
  • She was the eldest of six children.
  • Amiria Gale grew up in Tolga Bay, located on New Zealand’s East Coast. She spent a lot of time outdoors, playing in the sand dunes and swimming in the ocean.
  • The family relocated to a large farm in Whangara, Gisborne, New Zealand.
  • She loved making art as a child, and she experimented with paints, pencils, and crayons.
  • Amiria Gale continued to develop her artistic skills at Lytton High School, and she took on her first commissioned work at the age of seventeen.
  • She attended the School of Architecture at Auckland University, New Zealand.
  • She helped to pay for her university by selling outdoor furniture that she designed and built.
  • After university, Amiria Gale became a teacher. She taught art to all age ranges, and she ended up running Art departments in two Auckland high schools.
  • At the age of thirty, Amiria Gale left the teaching profession to pursue a career as a painter.
  • She has two daughters, and lives and works in Auckland, New Zealand.

Most of my paintings are semi-abstract, with a mixture of abstract and realistic elements. As my artwork is recent, is technically considered ‘contemporary’ art.

Amiria Gale
  • Amiria Gale takes inspiration from the forms of the subject matter she is painting, often shells, landscapes, or waves.
  • She admires the work of the artists John Walsh, Zaha Hadid, Don Binney, Jill Perrott, and Jim Dine.
  • Although Amiria Gale tends to take a slightly different approach to each of the works she creates, she often paints on wooden artist boards, and she uses PVA glue to build up layers of tissue paper, textured paper, cardboard, and other found elements. She uses impasto medium to build up sections of the work, then she seals the whole surface with gesso to make it ready to paint. She then uses layers of acrylic paint, using masking tape to achieve clean edges.
  • Her artwork has been exhibited at the New Zealand art galleries Parnell Art Gallery and Art By The Sea.
  • She founded the website Student Art Guide to help students develop learning strategies and adopt the best approaches to succeeding in high school art courses and lessons.
  • Amiria Gale has also written a book to help students in school art classes called Outstanding High School Sketchbooks.

Andy Maitland Facts

Andy Maitland is an English artist who creates artwork using a tablet. He describes himself as an iPad artist.

Facts About Andy Maitland

  • Andy Maitland lives and works in Surrey, England.
  • His artwork is created on an iPad, and it is usually inspired by the landscapes of the county of Surrey.
  • He has been using an iPad as a tool to create art since 2011, using either a stylus or his fingers to make digital marks on the screen.
  • He often uses the Brushes Redux iPad app to create his art.
  • He often works outdoors, drawing directly onto his iPad from observation.
  • Andy Maitland has created artwork for numerous companies and clients, including Apple, London Heathrow Airport, the Hurlingham Club, the NHS, the Royal Horticultural Society, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
Andy Maitland
Rudbeckia, Penstemon with Buddleia 1 – Andy Maitland
  • His first solo gallery show was in 2016.
  • In 2018, he experimented with incorporating augmented reality elements into his work, allowing his audience to use their phones to fuse his work with the real world.
  • In 2019, he added animated elements to his iPad drawings.
  • Since 2020 Andy Maitland has started to create abstract iPad art.
  • His work has been exhibited at the V&A Museum in London.
  • A collection of his work has been turned into a digital iBook called iPad Paintings & Drawings. It is available from Apple’s iBookstore.
  • He regularly gives talks about his artistic process and the work he has created.
  • He sells his artwork on his website. The iPad drawings are printed onto large acrylic panels.

Andy Maitland’s website.

Autumn Mist by Andy Maitland
Autumn Mist – Andy Maitland

Emma Dibben Facts

Emma Dibben is an English artist, best known for her illustrations and paintings of food.

Facts About Emma Dibben

  • Emma Dibben comes from Sheffield, UK.
  • She graduated from Falmouth College of Art in 2004 with a degree in Illustration.
  • Emma Dibben has provided artwork for dozens of clients, including Waitrose, Time Out, the BBC, The Guardian, Kew Gardens, Country Life, The Natural History Museum, Penguin Books, and Hodder & Stoughton.
  • Her work has appeared on a range of products and in numerous publications, including newspapers, magazines, greetings cards, jam jars, carrier bags, juice cartons, and ceramics.
  • She loves nature and the outdoors, and she takes inspiration from the fruit and vegetables growing in her allotment garden.
  • She has studio space in the Jamaica Street Studios in Bristol.

Rather than having a punishing day stuck at my desk when nothing is flowing, gardening and time in nature keeps me inspired and uplifted. It helps the energy flow.

Emma Dibben
  • Her allotment is only a ten-minute bike ride from her studio.
  • She enjoys listening to Russell Brand’s podcast Under the Skin when she’s working.
  • Emma Dibben has provided the illustrations for several cookery books, including Tracklements Savoury Preserves, The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2018, and Saladish by Ilene Rosen.
  • She uses watercolour paints and takes a mobile studio with her whenever she is traveling. This consists of a small hand-luggage-sized suitcase, several pads of A3 watercolour paper, an A5 sketchbook, a set of watercolours, a 14 ml jar of Indian ink, a handful of pencils, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, a brush wrap with brushes and sketching pens, an A4 flatbed scanner, and a Macbook Air.
  • Emma Dibben’s larger-scale works incorporate oil paint, graphite, and screen printing techniques.
  • In an interview promoting Bristol Food Connections, Emma Dibben talks about her process. She begins by sketching the food in pencil, then she adds layers of watercolour paint, going from light to dark. She works quite loosely and messily.
  • She enjoys wild swimming in lakes and rivers.
  • In addition to producing work for clients, Emma Dibben also sells her work through her website and via her Etsy store.
  • Emma Dibben is a keen cook.
  • She has travelled all over the world, and she has worked in studios in Mexico, Peru, Portugal, and France.

Clarice Cliff Facts

Clarice Cliff was an English pottery designer and ceramic artist. She is best known for her 1930s Art Deco pottery patterns.

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon product images that include affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Primary Facts earns from qualifying purchases.

Facts About Clarice Cliff

  • Clarice Cliff was born in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, England in 1899.
  • Her father was a worker in an iron foundry and her mother looked after the family’s seven children and did washing for people to bring in some extra money.
  • Clarice Cliff went to a different school than her six siblings. At the end of the school day, she used to visit her aunt, a painter at a pottery company.
  • Clarice Cliff started working in the pottery industry at the age of just 13. She began as a gilder (adding gold lines to pottery designs) and then became a freehand pottery painter.
  • Clarice Cliff started working at the A.J. Wilkinson factory at Burslem in 1916.
  • Rather than stick with one task or skill, Clarice Cliff wanted to learn about all of the processes associated with pottery manufacture. She learned to model figurines and vases, outline enamel, hand paint pottery, and keep pattern books.
  • In 1927, Clarice Cliff was given a studio connected to Newport Pottery. She decorated defective ware with bright triangular glazed enamel colours. This range was called Bizarre and it quickly became popular with the rise of Art Deco style.

Women today want continual change, they will have colour and plenty of it. Colour seems to radiate happiness and the spirit of modern life and movement, and I cannot put too much of it into my designs to please women.

Clarice Cliff
  • Her Crocus pattern, released in 1928, proved to be even more popular, and at one point in 1930 twenty pottery painters worked on nothing but this pattern.
  • The Crocus pattern was still being produced with Clarice Cliff marks in 1963.
  • In 1930, Clarice Cliff was made Art Director to Newport Pottery and A.J. Wilkinson.
  • During the 1930s, Clarice Cliff’s Bizarre and Fantasque ware was sold in North America, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and England.
  • Between 1932 and 1934 Clarice Cliff was the art director for The Modern Art for the Table project. This was a collaboration with some of the most well-known artists of the day, including Barbara Hepworth, Paul Nash, Duncan Grant, and Vanessa Bell.
  • During the 1930s, more than 300 magazine articles were written about Clarice Cliff and her pottery designs.
  • In 1940, Clarice Cliff married Colley Shorter. They lived together at Chetwynd House in Clayton, Staffordshire.
  • Clarice Cliff sold her pottery factory in 1964 to a company called Midwinter.
  • The first exhibition of Clarice Cliff pottery was held in Brighton between 1971 and 1972. Although Clarice Cliff did provide some notes for the exhibition catalogue, she did not attend in person.
  • She died in October 1972 at Chetwynd House. She was 73 years old.
  • A movie about Clarice Cliff’s life called The Colour Room was released in 2021, starring Phoebe Dynevor and David Morrisey.
  • There are many collectors of Clarice Cliff pottery, and rare combinations of patterns and shapes can fetch a lot of money. For example, a wall plaque decorated in the May Avenue pattern sold at auction for just under £40,000.
  • Her work was included in the Victoria & Albert Museum’s New Ceramics Gallery.
  • Clarice Cliff has been described as being ‘one of the UK’s most prolific and important ceramicists’ and ‘one of the key names of the Art Deco movement’.
  • The Clarice Cliff Collectors Club was founded in 1982 by Leonard Griffin.
  • The pottery company Wedgewood owned the Clarice Cliff name from 1992 to 2002. They brought out a range of reproductions of her 1930s patterns.

Having a little fun at my work does not make me any less of an artist and people who appreciate truly beautiful and original creations in pottery are not frightened by innocent tomfoolery!

Clarice Cliff

Dean Russo Facts

Dean Russo is an American artist best-known for his street-art-inspired portraits of animals.

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon product images that include affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Primary Facts earns from qualifying purchases.

Facts About Dean Russo

  • Dean Russo was born in Brooklyn, New York, US.
  • As a child, Dean Russo was encouraged to make art and he enjoyed creating and drawing cartoon characters.
  • He studied graphic design and fine arts at the Pratt Institute in New York, US.
  • He began his life as an artist by painting celebrity portraits, but he transitioned to painting animals. His first animal paintings were of his two Cocker Spaniel dogs.
  • He always begins his paintings of animals with the eyes.
  • Many of his animal paintings feature Pit Bull dogs, but he has also featured other dog breeds, as well as cats and horses.

My greatest inspirations: art and animals.

Dean Russo
  • His work combines an image of an animal with a bold outline, a colourful palette, and doodles and abstract patterns.
  • Dean Russo has produced portraits of Bob Dylan, David Byrne, Michael Jackson, Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, Jimi Hendri, and Marilyn Monroe, to name but a few.
  • He works with mixed media, combining ink, charcoal, was, pastels, acrylic paint, and spray paint, and using had-cut stencils. His artworks can often include up to 10 different mediums, and a multitude of layers.
  • Dean Russo’s style is heavily influenced by graffiti, street art, and the Pop Art movement.
  • He is a keen musician, and he started to pursue a music career before he became a full-time artist.

Mark Hearld Facts

Mark Hearld is an English artist, best known for his mixed-media work inspired by the countryside and nature around the UK.

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon product images that include affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Primary Facts earns from qualifying purchases.

Facts About Mark Hearld

  • Mark Hearld was born in 1974.
  • As a child, he loved nature and the outdoors. When his family moved to the outskirts of York, he spent his time on farms with ponies, chickens, and ducks.
  • He lives and works in York, UK.
  • He admires the work of the artist Paul Nash, Keith Vaughn, and Pablo Picasso.
  • He completed a course in illustration at the Glasgow School of Art, and he also studied Natural History Illustration at the Royal College of Art in London.
  • He studied under the illustrator John Norris Wood.
  • He is inspired by the artists Edward Bawden, John Piper, and Eric Ravilious.
  • In 2005, Mark Hearld worked on the set designs for the Nanny McPhee movie.
  • His artwork is inspired by his observations of the natural world, and the animals, birds, and plants of the British countryside.
  • He works in a number of mediums to produce lithographic prints, linocut prints, paintings, collages, and hand-decorated ceramics.
  • He has illustrated numerous books, including A First Book of Nature, Nature Poems, Animal Poems, and Outside Your Window.
  • Mark Hearld enjoys going to car boot sales and walking with his friends and his dog.
  • He enjoys reading the ghost stories of M.R. James, but he doesn’t actually believe in ghosts.
  • His favourite poem is Soap Suds by Louis Mac Neice.
  • One of his favourite pictures is The Vision of Saint Eustace by Pisanello.
  • He enjoys watching the movie It’s a Wonderful Life.
  • Mark Hearld lives with his partner Emily Sutton (also a successful artist). They met at York College when Mark Hearld was teaching their part-time.
  • He loves the work of E.Q. Nicholson.
  • Mark Hearld’s house in York is full of items that inspire him, including folk art, engravings, and collections of mugs, plates, decoy ducks, and ornaments.
  • His solo exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park was called Birds & Beasts.
  • He has produced artwork for Faber & Faber and Tate Museums, and he has designed fabrics and wallpaper fro St Jude’s.
  • His work has been described as the ‘antithesis of minimalism’ as he brings together numerous elements to create complex and dynamic scenes.

Chuck Close Facts

Chuck close was a painter and photographer from America. He is best known for his massive photo-realist portraits.

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon product images that include affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Primary Facts earns from qualifying purchases.

Facts About Chuck Close

  • Chuck Close was born in 1940 in Monroe, Washington, US as Charles Thomas Close.
  • He had a difficult childhood. His father died when he was just eleven, he suffered from a neuromuscular condition that made it difficult to move his feet, he missed most of the sixth grade with nephritis (an inflammation of the kidneys), and he was dyslexic (which wasn’t diagnosed at the time).
  • Chuck Close had prosopagnosia (an impaired ability to recognise familiar faces). As a result, his earliest huge photorealist portraits are based on photographs of family and friends.
  • He was inspired by seeing Jackson Pollock’s work at the Seattle Art Museum when he was fourteen years old.
  • He attended Everett Community College and the University of Washington (Seattle). He received an MFA from Yale Summer School of Music and Art in 1964.
  • Some of his Yale classmates included the artists Janet Fish, Nancy Graves, Bric Marden, Robert Mangold, and Vija Celmins.
  • In the mid-1960s, Chuck Close studied at Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Although his work mainly focused on photorealistic portraits, and he often transferred a photographic image onto his canvas using a grid technique, he has experimented with different approaches and mediums, including ink, graphite, watercolour, crayon, collage, airbrush, and fingerpainting.

A face is a road map of someone’s life. Without any need to amplify that or draw attention to it, there’s a great deal that’s communicated about who this person is and what their life experiences have been.

Chuck Close
  • In 1988, Chuck Close suffered a seizure, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. After undergoing a programme of rehabilitation, some movement returned to his hands and arms, and he was able to walk a few steps.
  • After 1988, he regularly used a wheelchair to get about.
  • He continued to paint, using a paintbrush strapped to his wrist. He adapted his technique to combine inked fingerprints and collages to produce realistic portraits. The portraits he made during his final years were often of other portrait artists, including Cecily Brown, Zhang Huan, Kiki Smith, and Cindy Sherman.
  • Chuck Close also experimented with printmaking techniques and tapestry.
  • In 2014, Chuck Close was commissioned by Vanity Fair to photograph celebrities including Robert De Niro, Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, and Scarlett Johansson. He requested that his subjects didn’t wear makeup, and he used a large format 20″ x 24″ Polaroid camera.
  • His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in countries all over the world, including London, Houston, Madrid, St Petersburg, New York, Sydney, Paris, Minneapolis, and Venice.
  • Chuck Close was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2015. He died from heart failure in 2021. He was 81 years old.

Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.

Chuck Close

Vince Low Facts

Vince Low is a Malaysian artist, best know for his scribble art portraits.

Facts About Vince Low

Vince Low was born in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

As a child, Vince Low struggled with reading. It wasn’t until he came up with his scribble art technique to produce work for a dyslexia awareness campaign that he realised that he too was dyslexic.

He is a massive supporter of Persatuan Dyslexia Malaysia.

He believes his dyslexia has had a massive impact on his art and life. Because he was unable to turn to the written word for advice and guidance, he was more open to experimentation and trying something new.

The only way I could improve my art or learn something new was to just try anything and everything that came to mind. Maybe that’s why my work, like my scribble art, feels different because I’m so used to letting myself experiment

Vince Low

His scribble art portraits of famous people and celebrities take between 10 and 24 hours to complete, and they are made up of different ink scribbles ranging from zig-zags to figure-of-eights to free-flowing curves and loops.

He developed his scribble art style by working in his sketchbook.

Vince Low creates his scribble art portraits with 0.4 and 0.6 pens, and he works on mounting board.

He has exhibited his work in Singapore, Malaysia, Germany and London.

Vince Low has produced dozens of portraits, including artwork based on Madonna, Kobe Bryant, Johnny Depp, Michael Jordan, Charlie Chaplin, and Bruce Lee.

In his Tilted Faces project, Vince Low drew portraits of Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, and John Lennon (all dyslexic or suspected to be dyslexic).

He says he gets inspiration for his work by “going out, meeting new people, and listening to their interesting stories”.

He loves music, and he plays the drums.

He is a keen runner, and he regularly goes to the gym.

I started off by scribbling on my sketchbook, trying to find a direction. And over time, I discovered something in those scribbles – potential. I knew that it would be a challenge for me to scribble out and capture the souls and characters of those people in the portraits.

Vince Low

Natalie Foss Facts

Natalie Foss is a Norweigen illustrator and artist, best-known for her coloured pencil portraits.

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon product images that include affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Primary Facts earns from qualifying purchases.

Facts About Natalie Foss

  • Natalie Foss was born in Oslo, Norway and she loved creating and drawing as a child.
  • She continued to draw throughout her childhood, and when she was eighteen years old, she realised she was a talented artist.
  • Natalie Foss went to the Strykejernet School of Art in Oslo, Norway. She also graduated from Kingston University in London in 2013 with a BA degree in illustration.
  • She mainly uses coloured pencils to create her works of art, many of which are vibrant portraits full of emotion.
  • She always uses photographs of people as a reference when she is creating her portraits.
  • Natalie Foss enjoys listening to music and going to gigs. She often plays music when she is in her studio.
  • She used to hate using primary colours, now she loves them and uses them in most of her drawings.

I love the texture you get from the colored pencils, and how you can draw from very light to very ‘compact. I feel I have control of the pencils, which I don’t feel with other types of medium, like for example watercolor or other ‘fluid’ mediums.

Natalie Foss
  • She has lived and worked in both Oslo and London.
  • She has produced artwork for a number of well-known companies, including Rolling Stone magazine, Penguin Random House, Wired UK, Entertainment Weekly, and Planet Rock.
  • Natalie Foss was inspired by the work of the artists Frida Kahlo, Alfons Mucha, and Hope Gangloff.
  • Five of her favourite things are dogs, the Northern Lights, brand-new coloured pencils, the night sky, and freshly-baked vegan cakes.
  • She says she is very patient.
  • Natalie Foss enjoys looking at the portrait work of the artist Kemi Mai.
  • She has a twin sister called Madelen who is also an artist. The sisters share studio space in Oslo.
  • She enjoys drinking coffee.
  • Natalie Foss finds inspiration in “people, music, animals, subcultures, feelings, fashion, thoughts and a good cup of coffee”.
  • The artist Becki Gill cites Natalie Foss as a major inspiration.

Always trust your own feelings. Especially your gut feelings!

Natalie Foss

You can find rhythm, space, emotions and harmony in both music and visual art, and maybe that´s why they go so well side by side.

Natalie Foss

Lisa Congdon Facts

Lisa Congdon is an American artist, illustrator, and author. She is best known for her colourful drawings and lettering.

Disclaimer: This post includes Amazon product images that include affiliate links to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, Primary Facts earns from qualifying purchases.

Facts About Lisa Congdon

  • Lisa Congdon was born in 1968. She grew up in New York and Northern California.
  • Her mother was a textile artist.
  • She was a competitive swimmer.
  • She married Clay Lauren Walsh in 2013.
  • She lives in Portland, Oregon, US.
  • Before becoming an artist, she worked in public education as both a teacher and an administrator.
  • She took some art classes in her thirties, and she discovered a talent and a passion for drawing and painting.
  • She is the author of several books, including The Joy of Swimming, Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building Your Career as an Artist, Twenty Ways to Draw a Tulip, and Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives.
  • She has produced a series of colouring books called Just Add Color.
  • Lisa Congdon’s illustrations have been included in several books, including Tender Buttons by Gertrude Stein, and Broad Strokes.
  • Her artwork has been exhibited in San Francisco, Portland, and Atlanta.
  • She has provided artwork for numerous clients around the world, including Amazon, Sonos, AirB&B, Target, Google, Method, and REI.
  • She hosts a podcast called The Lisa Congdon Sessions.
  • Lisa Congdon’s work is influenced by folk art, textiles, and the bold and bright graphic design of the 1970s.
  • Her favourite art medium is paint. She enjoys painting acrylic paint on wood, or gouache on paper.
  • She enjoys reading and watching TV shows about true crime.
  • Lisa Congdon enjoys cycling.
  • She likes the Top Chef, Project Runway, and Downton Abbey TV shows.
  • Japanese food is her favourite cuisine.
  • Alexander Girard is one of her favourite artists.
  • One of her favourite mottos is – Begin anyhow.
  • She keeps dogs as pets, and she has had ones named Wilfredo and Milkshake.
  • She likes shopping for vintage items at flea markets and antique malls.
  • She is an avid reader, and she often listens to audiobooks when working in her studio.
  • She often gets up before 6 o’clock in the morning.
  • Her favourite author is Ursula Hegi (the writer of Salt Dancers and Stones from the River).

Kindness is something I value most in myself and other people. You can’t necessarily love everyone that you meet or come into contact with in this world—that requires time and effort and circumstance—but you certainly can be kind.

Lisa Congdon