Meet the artist Gill Bustamante, painter

Please introduce yourself to us!

My name is Gill Bustamante and I am an artist and art tutor living in Sussex, England. I paint large landscapes and seascapes that are partly abstract and partly realistic and are always spiritual in message. I have been painting since I was 3 so have had lots of time to develop my painting style which is sometimes impressionist, sometimes expressionist, sometimes a little art nouveau but is always evolving so is hard to categorize exactly.

Elusive © GillBustamante

Why do you make art?

I make art because it completely captivates me. I think art and any other creative activity (where something new is made from other materials or ideas) is absolutely vital to sanity. It is what proves that mankind is spiritual in nature and not just orderly meat. Very few animals can create new ideas and things but mankind does it routinely. We are spiritual beings in a material world. Art is how we elevate ourselves above baser levels.
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Free under the sea© GillBustamante

When working on a new project, what are the first steps you do?

Since I was a child and all through Art College and then onto my portrait painting years, I have been adding more and more new skills to my repertoire. I needed to do this so that I could develop a painting style that is my own and not just a copy of some other artist’s style. Inevitably there is no standard thing that I do when making a painting. Sometimes I paint something based on a place I have been to, sometimes I just get a shape in my head or a colour I like and then I simply do a little sketch and put it onto a canvas to see what happens. I always have a vague concept of something and often some photos when I start painting but I do like to experiment and see where a painting will go. I think painting is like life – you want to be able to control it to some extant but you also need random factors to make it interesting. My current painting style allows for this. If I know how a painting will turn out exactly, I am already bored with it. I basically make art that is 50% order and 50% chaos.
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Scarlets green world© GillBustamante

Are you interested by the buyers of your art ? Do you want to know about their reasons ?

Yes of course! I love being a self-representing artist as this means I get to communicate and often meet my buyers (which gallery artists may not do). I always ask buyers what called to them about the painting they bought from me and their answers fascinate me. Often, they get the exact message I was thinking as I was painting but sometimes they see a significance all their own. This is one of the reasons I like to leave ambiguities in my paintings so that viewers can add their own significances and not just have to accept whatever message I am putting into it. That way it is not just me being ‘creative’ it this the viewer as well which is how it should be.
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Burning Bright© GillBustamante

What artists do you admire?

I love Gustav Klimpt best of all because of how he balances very realistic portrait painting skill with very odd and decorativeness. I especially love his landscapes where he chooses deliberately awkward compositions and then makes then stunningly beautiful. I also love the Pre-Raphaelites for their sheer skill, an artist called Alex Coleville who has a fantastic eye for composition and as a contemporary artist I love Scott Naismith’s colourful landscapes which he makes using a drone to film the landscapes from above. There are many more of course and I have a Pinterest page where I keep examples of the ones I love called ‘inspiring artwork.’ Mostly though, I just admire any artist who is creating something they love. I teach art and don’t make distinctions between ‘amateur’ art and ‘professional art’. There is simply art that calls to you and art that does not. The vast majority of art I see on the internet does not call to me at all but that does not make it less valid. It just illustrates the point that we all have the right to make and show people our art and I love that the internet has made that possible!
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Shimmering Summer© GillBustamante

Please discover Gill Bustamante

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