Kyle Gallup is an American artist who lives and works in New York. At the start of 2019, she was invited to London to take part in Winsor & Newton’s international artist in residence programme.
Growing up in St Louis, Missouri, Kyle had abundant space and time to dream and draw. Family road trips took in the bright sunsets of Montana, the vast plains and skies of Wyoming and animate forms in the Utah desert, leaving her with a lasting love of wide-open landscapes.
After studying figure drawing at Washington University and doing an apprenticeship with a local weaver, Kyle relocated to the west coast of Ireland, where she turned to watercolours to paint the pastoral landscape. After time in France, a BFA from Tufts University and diploma in studio arts from the Boston Museum School, she has developed an unconventional approach to landscapes. Her work is a combination of observation, experience and memory and she paints intuitively with colour that is expressive, imaginative and free from the laws of nature.
As part of her preparation for her time as artist in residence, Kyle studied images of London’s urban landscape, particularly focusing on the changing weather over the River Thames. Stretches of urban water are a reoccurring theme for her; she had already created works around the Hudson River and Coney Island in New York.
On arrival she quickly realised that experiencing London on foot was the best way to connect with the city’s vibrancy. In the studio, Kyle was given time to develop ideas and explore our complete range of materials, including a preview of our new Cadmium-Free and Jewel collections in Professional Watercolour, and Designers Gouache.
The resulting work is a personal reflection on various journeys through London’s meandering lattice of buildings, rivers, bridges and skyline. Using the vibrant new colours opened up the possibility of creating dynamic combinations for the London riverscape. Kyle’s dreamlike River Thames is injected with the vibrancy of Cadmium-Free Lemon Yellow, while the atmospheric new Smalt – a bright, jewel-like variation on cobalt blue – creates an electric energy. Walking in the unfamiliar landscape and taking in the changeable weather, while crossing the many bridges over the Thames, gives a surprising dimension to Kyle’s residency work.