Lillian Gray, contemporary South African fine artist, says that modern society craves craftsmanship. She believes the time has come to return to true artistry.
“The increasing popularity of craft beer, home-brewed coffee, and organically-grown fruit and vegetables globally are indicative of people’s yearning for authenticity and wholesomeness. The same applies to art. Says Lillian, “For two millennia, great artists set the standard for beauty. To me, modern art does not live up to these high levels of quality introduced by the masters. I believe we need to return to craftsmanship. We need to return to artworks that require skill. We must appreciate and celebrate true beauty again.” As a successful commercial artist and art teacher, Lillian says her art is inspired by the Impressionists and German Expressionists. She adds a modern twist. “It is a return to skills-based art. The purpose of my art is to teach people to appreciate and adore real talent.” Lillian also believes that entrepreneurial skills are essential to survive as a modern-day artist. She was fortunate to be raised by two entrepreneurs. “My father was extremely business minded. We were encouraged to make our own money at a young age.
“At the age of 13, my younger brother and I won Absa Young Entrepreneur of South Africa’s award for our small business. I always knew my dad would only allow me to study art if I also studied business. Two weeks after my degree(s) I started my own business at the age of 23. I spent ten years in the commercial art industry and decided to follow my passion of being a full-time artist.” Her favourite part of being an artist is the freedom to do what she loves. “Creating new paintings in my studio with good music and wine is, to me, the epitome of happiness. My husband or my kids usually sit and chat to me when I paint. It is a special bonding time that I love. My little girl is being raised next to my easel.” As an art teacher, Lillian is inspired when she witnesses students’ confidence increase with leaps and bounds when they create something awesome. “Too many people have been broken down by school teachers, lectures or other people. I see creative wounds heal and I know that art has a purpose.” Lillian believes it is important to stay abreast of what is happening in the world of art. She constantly researches and experiments with new techniques and art supplies. Get to know Lillian the artist and art teacher better at www.lilliangray.co.za.Read more about Lillian Gray’s art classes for young and old in Johannesburg