Artist Showcase: Yvonne Gartside ~ Cottages, Kingfishers and the Colors of Africa

Talented and versatile, artist and illustrator Yvonne Gartside shares with us today a range of her beautiful artwork, from illustrations of magical mushroom houses to the ever-so-real depictions of kingfishers, owls and other creatures of the wild.


Yvonne Gartside, a U.K. artist who grew up in South Africa, creates wonderful children’s illustrations that transport us to magical places – places harboring mushroom houses, cozy cottages, trees, owls and fairies. She also does beautiful wildlife art. Among her subjects are fish, tigers, foxes and an assortment of birds that appear so real you could almost touch their fur or feathers. Her art, whether they be her children’s illustrations or the wildlife paintings, draws upon a connectedness to the natural world. The trees, the sky, the owl perched upon a branch are never far away.

whitefrtdbeeatersmlWe are happy to welcome Yvonne to Inkspokes today and have her share some of her illustrations. She sends us this missive regarding herself and her art work:

Born in Lancashire England in 1971 and brought up in South Africa until the age of 25, I have now returned to Lancashire and it’s my base as an illustrator artist and designer. On may way back from Africa to Lancashire, I also lived and worked in London for 15 years. I am married to a talented photographer and we have a lovely daughter.

Although I studied and worked in Interior Design, my passion has always been Illustrating and Painting and now I wish to pursue it as a career. Interior Design has helped me in illustration, as I am good at drawing interior and exterior scenes in perspective. Much of my creative inspiration comes from my days of living in South Africa as a child and visiting game parks and nature reserves. The colours of Africa have definitely influenced the way the colours come through in my work. I appreciate the detail in wild-life and love painting it, as can be seen in the Wildlife Art section on my blog.

ToadstsmlI have so much to offer in terms of using my imagination and I mainly enjoy working in chalk pastels but also work in water colours, acrylics, oils and love doing digital illustrations and design work. I like the way colours, texture and light and composition work together to create dramatic effects, in any medium, whether the subject is fantasy or fiction. At the moment, I am enjoying sketching freehand in pencil in a good quality sketchpad, as this enables my imagination to flow freely. I then scan the illustration into the computer and colour it up in Photoshop.

My current projects are:

I have written a children’s picture book story and I am illustrating it, designing the book cover and layout  of the book. This is a long term project and I am hoping it will be taken up by a publishing house one day.

I am also working on a children’s picture book idea I have had, about Pirates, with the talented writer Alastair Millen. We intend to submit it to publishers in the future.

In the meantime I am also building up my portfolio and improving my digital illustration skills.

castlesmlJean Maricich, a school teacher, long ago, once gave me a sending off note which reads:
“I pray that your dreams of Art Technikon will come true, and your life will be blessed with creativity”.
“Artists and craftsmen open the door to beauty. Let us enter.”

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my background and what inspires me. Hopefully you are now inspired!

If you would like to discuss ideas for illustrations or paintings you would like to commission Yvonne to do, please feel free to contact her.

More of Yvonne’s work and biography (and contact information) can be found here:
Yvonne Gartside’s Website

You can also follow Yvonne on Twitter

and “like” her Facebook Page.

kingfishersml   foxsml


(All Illustrations on this post are Copyright by Yvonne Gartside. All Rights Reserved.)


  4 comments for “Artist Showcase: Yvonne Gartside ~ Cottages, Kingfishers and the Colors of Africa

  1. May 23, 2014 at 2:19 am

    Love your illustrations and wish you all the best with your combined writing and illustrating projects. n x

    • Yvonne
      May 23, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Thank you Ngaire, I look forward to seeing them through to completion. Hopefully we will see the end products one day.

  2. robin
    May 23, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Wow! Those are glorious. I’d like to just step into any of them.

    • Yvonne
      May 23, 2014 at 8:54 am

      I’m glad they have that effect on you! Thank you 🙂

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