Gillian Stanford Mitchell turned to art following a long career in film and television.
On leaving school she trained as a hair and make-up artist and worked in ITV before enjoying a long freelance career working all over the UK and abroad for many broadcasters and production companies.
‘Looking back, it’s not such a different skill,’ she says. ‘I’ve always been fascinated with the way things look and trying to alter or achieve a particular visual image.
‘The main difference is that, these days I can work from the comfort of my own home and don’t have to get up at 5am on a winter’s morning to stand on some draughty set all day waiting for things to happen.
‘It’s all about gently working with materials and being able to respond to what the medium is telling you as the subject emerges. In that respect, the two disciplines are very similar. They also both require a great deal of patience. So it’s not unusual for me to have four or five pieces that I’m working on at any given time.’
She now lives with husband, Peter at their home in rural Northumberland. They have a grown-up family and their Miniature Schnauzer, George.
‘I was born and bred on Tyneside and had lived there all my life but when the opportunity arose to come here we found there was nothing really keeping us tied to the city.
‘There is a spiritual quality to life in the countryside that has really helped me knuckle down and be both more productive and more creative.
‘There is a peacefulness and an acceptance that has generated a feeling of freedom which I hope is reflected in what I do.’