As part of our seventh birthday celebrations, we spoke to artist Carne Griffiths about a number of pressing topics, including what makes for a good pizza topping.
Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get started in and what kind of background did you come from?
We travelled about a lot when I was younger and I was lucky enough to have lived in New Zealand for three years from the age of 8. I had an interesting path to becoming a full-time artist, studying illustration at Maidstone college of art and then working as an embroidery designer for 12 years. My goal was to try and combine all the things I am passionate about and becoming a full-time artist has enabled this to happen.
You use unusual but everyday fluids in your work such as vodka, tea and coffee. How did this evolve?
When I began to paint full time I worked with a very limited palette. My usual style involved drawing with sepia and blue calligraphy ink and applied washes of plain water. On day one I had poured myself a glass of brandy to celebrate the start of the journey so to speak and the brush ended up in the brandy glass. This very subtle introduction of a third colour into my work was a real key to the development of using other liquids in my pieces. I began to experiment with different alcohols and a range of different freshly brewed teas. This, in turn, gave me the confidence to work more freely and with more colour until I arrived at the painting style I now use in my work.
The Money Plant
You recently had your first book ’The Organic Painter’ published. What did you learn about yourself and your work through the process?
This was a great little project for me. The brief from the publishers was to write a book about my approach to painting. I extended this to involve chapters which were also experiments for me, so the book really was an exploration of the painting process and a natural extension of what I generally do in the studio.
If you could collaborate with any artist, dead or alive who would you choose to work alongside?
I don't suppose Da Vinci would have been much of a collaborator but I have a real passion for his work, methods and inventiveness. If it wasn't him it would be Andre Masson, the surrealist whose exploratory drawings and experiments with the automatic process were a revelation to me whilst at college. The surrealists were big on collaboration and I think I would have enjoyed being there at that time.
There’s a certain level of vulnerability in sharing your art with others, particularly online. Do you worry about people judging you and how do you handle negative feedback/comments?
I don't feel a vulnerability when sharing work. I am confident in what I do in that I enjoy making the work and enjoy the journey. The really important things to me in art are quite transient so when I have completed a piece I am looking forward to the surprises and chaos in the next. Social media gives a good way to chart each piece as they are completed but I take criticism as it is.. an opinion of the viewer. There will always be people who connect to your work and those who do not.
Feel the Sunlight
If your five-year-old self suddenly found themselves inhabiting your current body, what would your five-year-old self do first?
Oh definitely run as fast as they could... I had endless dreams about running faster - slightly longer legs would be just the ticket!!
And finally the most important question of the day: pineapple on pizza?
Yes, please oh and anchovies and capers as well... rip up the rule book. (Sorry Italy).
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Shipping: We know a lot of big companies offer free shipping store wide but we believe every order should be packed as environmentally friendly as possible and as safe as possible. Unfortunately, this comes with a cost. We have tried our best to come up with a solution that is fair to you, our artists and the planet.
Within New Zealand all items over $150 are couriered free of charge. Orders under $150 incur a $7.50 courier charge. We aim to send out orders received the same day (within business hours) for delivery within 2-3 days of your order.
Orders can be collected in store.
We are happy to send items worldwide, simply email us the product you are interested in (using the share button below the product) and we will give you a quote within 24 hours - we prefer to do this over calculating the postage at the checkout as it ensures you get the most accurate price.
Unframed Prints: All unframed prints are sent flat, sandwiched between a backing board and heavy card. All prints are sent wrapped.
Damaged Items: If your item(s) arrive damaged or there is a mistake with your order please contact us immediately at 06 2786909 or email us at email@example.com.
Returns: If you are unhappy with your purchase or gift, return it within 14 days, undamaged and in its original condition, for an exchange or store credit. Unfortunately, we cannot accept returns on sale items or earrings. Shipping is non-refundable.
Gift Wrapping: Save time by making use of our free gift wrapping service. At the checkout select the gift wrapping option, if you would like a handwritten note included just add your message in the comment section. You can choose whether the item is sent to you or to the recipient by adding their address in the shipping section.
Escape reality for a moment by browsing our gallery.
You are welcome to place orders to help support our gallery and artists. Orders will be sent as soon as possible and gift cards will be emailed through on payment.
Take care and support one another.