Gwyn Griffin is a figurative painter living in the Dordogne, France. She was born in Umtata, South Africa, second child to a journalist father and painter mother. She completed her formal education in England and went on to receive a 1st class honours degree in Painting and History of Art from Aberystwyth University in Wales. She specialised in portraiture.
She has worked to commission as a portraitist (she is a mother of four) and private language teacher, and for the last eight years has designed Art workshops for Les Monuments Nationaux at the Chateau de Puyguilhem.
The single nude is a recurring theme; a vehicle for expressing emotion and creating mood. Her paintings are soft, subtle, elegant, and warm. They are set firmly within the tradition of classical art; intended as an antidote to a fractured world. The models are often turned away, self-contained, as if dreaming. They are intimate paintings made for domestic spaces.
Her preferred medium is oil paint, applied in thin washes to linen with large brushes, then delineated and contained using smaller brushes. Sometimes she combines brushwork with oil pastel, charcoal or conté.
Painters who have influenced her work include Vélasquez (for his subtle brushwork and humane portraiture), Klimt (for his sensuality) and most importantly Degas, the ultimate draughtsman.
‘Human beings, and their intimate lives have always fascinated me. I am drawn to people, and my role tends to be one of nurture, compassion and optimism. I want each of my paintings to be a balm, a refuge, an object of calm beauty. They exist to communicate tenderness and sensuality; like cats sleeping I want them to purr…!’