About Fran Giffard

About Fran Giffard I studied Fine Art Drawing at Camberwell College of Art. During my degree I lived in Hong Kong and was highly interested in the birds at the Yuen Po Bird Market. I had previously drawn a series depicting ‘One of Every Species of Vulture’ and so moved on to drawing ‘One of Every Species of Bird Found in Hong Kong’. I draw using graphite pencil and my technique involved the sole use of horizontal lines. Since graduating two years ago, I have exhibited internationally, as well as all over London. As of the beginning of 2012, I have had two solo exhibitions. The most recent was ‘Aviary’, at the Northcote Gallery, in London. At the same time my work was exhibited at the Mall Galleries where I was short-listed for Wildlife Artist of the Year. I am inspired by the collections of the Natural History Museum and by Natural Illustrations. These artists choose to depict animals in a harmonious environment, showing the creatures at their most beautiful. There are no backgrounds, so the viewer is free to enjoy the subject without being distracted by the setting. I like the layout and stark colour of Mondrian’s paintings. Fran Giffard's Work I draw using a combination of water colour, inks and graphite pencil, where I use solely horizontal lines. I currently have two lines of work, which feed into each other. In my ‘Swatches’ series, I have drawn birds perched on a stag’s skull, or in Chinese cages, inspired by my time in Hong Kong. The birds are in colour; whereas the rest of the drawing is in graphite pencil, and produced by drawing only horizontal lines. My other series are my ‘Old Paper Alphabets’ where I have drawn birds onto my old Moleskine diary pages. I unbind my used Moleskine notebooks and draw the birds to fit amongst my writing, doodles and musings. The two series refer to each other. I draw and study a species of bird on Moleskine before deciding whether I want to pursue it further and produce a Swatch piece. Quite often a Swatch drawing will be referred to in a subsequent Moleskine page. There are usually scrawled notes mentioning colours or framing. The two collections really feed off each other and you can see this when they are exhibited together. Fran Giffard uses Winsor & Newton because 'the colour really stands out. I like my work to be high in contrast and for the coloured birds to have a lot of presence. Highlighting the feathers with Winsor and Newton white ink makes these colours really stand out.