Brighton painter Faye Bridgwater visits King & McGaw

Faye Bridgwater’s enthusiasm for her work is infectious. The Brighton-based abstract landscape painter chats to us about how it felt to exhibit work at Saatchi Gallery last year, her latest paintings, and the huge, blank canvases she plans to ‘attack’ in the future.

Faye Bridgwater with expert King & McGaw framer, Doug

Q: Hi Faye, you’ve been extremely busy creating some beautiful work since we last saw you, can you bring us up to speed with some of the latest projects you’ve been involved in?

A: Since launching my first prints with King and McGaw in 2020, I’ve had a very exciting time indeed. I had a solo exhibition at Glyndebourne which, amazingly, sold out in 24 hours. That was a crazy moment for me – I sat there in disbelief! 

I have taken part in Brighton Artists Open Houses for years and, in 2021, I finally opened my own home. It was so special welcoming people in to view my studio. I couldn’t believe that I went on to win both Artists Open House of the Year and Artist of the Year awards.

I was also an invited artist for ING Discerning Eye exhibition at the Mall galleries, and also the cover artist for Art Wave, an art festival here in Sussex.

The most momentous event was that I was asked to have two paintings in the In Bloom exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. It was like a dream at the private view, turning the corner and seeing my work on the walls. Boom!

Photo by Roderick Lockyer

Q: As life begins to feel a little more ‘normal’, what’s it been like emerging from the last two years of upheaval? Have you had time to pause or discover something new about your practice?

A: At the beginning of lockdown, I didn’t have my studio. I am so very thankful to have a dedicated space to paint in now. I now have a space that I work in at home which is brilliant, as I can paint any time, day or night.

I can pop in for a few minutes to look at a painting’s progress or I can spend hours and days in there at a time. I’m a great believer that things happen for a reason and not getting an external studio space made me make a big decision and I LOVE my space at home so very much.

Photo by Roderick Lockyer

Q: Living in Brighton, you must see some pretty incredible sunsets, do you ever draw inspiration from the Facebook Group you established, Brighton Skies?

A: Absolutely. A continuous stream of inspiring images fill my eyes and I use them as a reference point. I then make extremely quick little thumbnail sketches. When a composition excites me, it gets scaled up onto a canvas.

Q: Your new Limited Editions are absolutely gorgeous – so colourful, energetic and uplifting. Can you tell us a bit about the titles you’ve given them?

A: When I’m working on a new collection of work, I have a notebook with me. As words or sentences come to mind, I jot them down. At the end of the painting process, I lay all the works together and start my titling process. Sometimes it happens immediately and sometimes it takes days! 

I get my notebook filled with almost illegible notes and cut them all out into small strips (actually, for this last collection I paid my 12-year-old to cut them!). I have a box filled with all these tiny strips of paper from over the years.

I start pulling them out and reading each one. Most go on the ‘No’ pile. Then, as a title resonates with me, I place it next to the painting. Titling a painting is very important to me. The title will be associated with it forever and will outlast me and my time here, so I want it to reflect who I am and what I’m feeling.

‘I move about the paintings like a dance, adding colour to each one, letting the layers dry and thinking about my next move.’

Faye Bridgwater

Faye Bridgwater examines one of her new Limited Editions at King & McGaw

Q: Your new Limited Editions are so balanced with plenty of eye-popping colours and harmonious layers. Can you tell us how you settled on the final compositions?

A: I start with initial sketches then I let the paint lead the way. I always work on a full collection of twenty-ish paintings all at the same time. I found that it keeps my brushwork energetic and not too tight. I move about them like a dance adding colour to each one, letting the layers dry and thinking about my next move.

I remove as much paint as I add. Adding paint, stepping back, sometimes sitting and looking, sometimes making a decision quickly. The first few layers of paint are big, bold movements and, as the days, weeks, and months tick by, I make thoughtful, much smaller adjustments. 

Each collection takes between three to five months and I always need a deadline, otherwise, I’d just keep painting and never stop!

Faye Bridgwater points out some of the finer details in her new Limited Editions at King and McGaw

Q: The hand finishing is exquisite. Can you tell us more about the methods you use to add those final touches and the effect it has on the final work?

A: I love my hand finished elements. It gives the Limited Editions a personal touch. I use Derwent lightfast pencils to work into the print, adding great energy and movement with the spontaneously drawn lines. 

I have carefully chosen colours that not only complement the colours within the print but also lift them too. While working on them, I adored the feeling of the Somerset Velvet paper.

It has a beautiful thickness and weight to it. The paper and the hand finishings make each of the Editions very exciting indeed!

Faye Bridgwater adds hand-finished details to each of her Limited Editions at King & McGaw

Q: A lot of thought went into the final presentation of the Limited Editions, can you tell us more?

A: I would like to thank Doug, a very experienced framer at King and McGaw, for his expertise. Honestly, when I was lucky enough to visit and see the Editions being framed for the first time, I squealed when I saw how fabulous they looked.

As they are float mounted, you can see the lovely texture of the hand-torn edges. I also chose for them to be set back in a bespoke box frame which is hand-painted grey which really sets off the colours and makes them look like precious gems. They really look exquisite!

Faye Bridgwater watches expert King & McGaw framer Doug frame her new Limited Editions
Faye Bridgwater with one of her new, framed Limited Edition prints, Happy Soul

Q: What’s on the horizon for you?

A: The problem with being an artist is that I have so many ideas sparking all the time. It’s sometimes difficult to know which one to focus on. I can feel the new work starting to bubble up inside me so my new blank canvases will soon be attacked!

My next exhibition is for Art Wave in September. I’ll be exhibiting at Tony Parson’s studio, The Old Diary in Iford, Lewes. An exhibition will follow in either November or December. I’m still on the hunt for that perfect venue.

One of the exciting things with this life is that amazing opportunities always crop up and I’m always keen to be involved. There’ll be a ping in your inbox and all of a sudden there’s a new, fascinating prospect in there. 

I would love to bring out a book at some point. I would also love to go massive and paint some large scale work. I’d love to do a public piece of sculpture. 

I’d love to have some paintings in some massive shows around the world. I just love painting and creating work!

Related stories

spotlight Ele Pack’s new beginnings and emotion-filled abstracts

Upon the release of our latest collection with artist Ele pack, we caught up with her to discuss her recent relocation to Derbyshire, and the new direction of her work.

spotlight David Hockney’s collectible exhibition posters

Discover the collectible exhibition posters Hockney designed for Tate, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Opera and more.

spotlight Meet London-based design studio Oscar Francis

Join us as we talk to Sarah Evans, the architect turned artist behind London-based design studio Oscar Francis about her work, inspirations and her experience of life as an artist during lockdown.

spotlight Brighton-based mixed-media artist VeeBee’s technicolour works

Learn more about her unusual nocturnal art practice, her beloved cat ‘NooNoo’, and the vibrant portraits she creates of Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and more.

spotlight Rosco Brittin’s impossibly intricate floral collages

Based in London, quirky collage artist Rosco Brittin tells us about his animal muses and an intriguing 'spirit genie' that offers him creative fuel...

spotlight Meet Hastings-based abstract landscape painter Louise

Join us as we catch up with Hastings-based abstract landscape painter Louise Body to discuss fisherman’s smocks, juggling work and home life, and her previous career as a wallpaper designer. 

spotlight Matisse cut-outs colour matched with guidance from The Matisse Estate

Henri Matisse’s original cut-outs were last exhibited at Tate Modern in 2014. To keep the spirit of these seminal works alive, we have obtained the rights to produce these vibrant works as part of our Tate collection.

spotlight Meet London-based collage artist Scarlett Bowman

Scraps of fabric found at markets, toxic colours, and traffic cones – these are just some of the things that influence London-based collage artist Scarlett Bowman.

spotlight Rare Film Posters: Hollywood giants and iconic actors

Join us as we take a closer look at some of the world’s best-loved blockbusters that feature in our Rare Film Poster archive.

spotlight Art Deco travel posters by A.M. Cassandre

A.M. Cassandre’s early work afforded him instant acclaim. We delve deeper into the journey he took to become one of the most sought-after commercial illustrators of his generation, creating works such as Normandie, Nord Express, and many more influential graphic design posters.

spotlight Curated Editions: Meet curator Becca Pelly-Fry

We catch up with London-based curator Becca Pelly-Fry to discuss how the soon-to-be-launched Curated Editions collection ‘New Mythologies’ is taking shape, which artists to look out for, and how to receive information about the limited edition artworks.

spotlight Introducing London artist Hormazd Narielwalla

Hormazd Narielwalla’s unique artistic process starts with antique tailoring patterns as the base – collected from a variety of sources, from Savile Row tailors to vintage domestic tailoring patterns.

spotlight In the studio with Fintan Whelan

Irish artist Fintan Whelan tells us about his painting technique which is achieved by pouring, tilting and scraping materials, layer upon layer.

spotlight Meet Sheffield designer and illustrator Michelle Collins

Taking inspiration from buildings, their shapes and the negative spaces they create, Sheffield designer and illustrator Michelle Collins creates smooth geometric artworks.

spotlight Meet celebrated Australian creative art studio, Inaluxe

We interview dynamic design duo Kristina Sostarko and Jason Odd. Responsible for creating Inaluxe, the pair talk to us about their synchronised creative collaborations and they love of bright colours, shapes and forms.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Be the first to hear about our new collections, limited edition launches, and enjoy artist interviews.

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy.

Contact us: customer care
01273 511 942
Email us
Mon–Fri, 9 am–5 pm

All art prints and images on this website are copyright protected and belong to their respective owners. All rights reserved.